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Trust in the Sharing Economy

Sharing economy platforms disrupt the traditional players by offering convenience and better value and it is up to the platform to put in place as many safeguards and guarantees in place as possible so users feel comfortable transacting with another user, quite often a stranger. Trust is the currency of the sharing economy.
Is the car sharing industry finally ready to move up a gear?

“Congested cities, with increased traffic and pollution, penalise car ownership while customers are encouraged to use public transport,” he says. “Car-sharing sits in a niche between the two and is able to offer the comforts of private transport with the flexibility and economies of scale, driven by a sharing model.”
'We make £1,000s by renting out our cameras and cars online'

John Mulvey, 51, began to rent out his car on easyCar Club in February last year and has since built up a mini-empire of five vehicles which he hires out for £35 a day. After easyCar Club takes its cut he's left with £25. He estimates that he earns just under £1,200 a month.

Member Success Stories

Ingrid's Honda Jazz
Ingrid's Honda Jazz
Member since February 2014
View Ingrid's Profile
We have found that there are hundreds of small rural communities throughout the UK who have already established a trusting and friendly relationship with one another. For these communities, easyCar Club is a no-brainer. We deal with the technical side of insurance and payment authorisation, so that our members need only to think about the rental itself.
As easyCar Club grows, we pride ourselves on being involved in communities all across the country. We may have started in London, but since we went national this year, we have gained members from Land’s End to John O’Groats, from Swansea to Lowestoft. We have found that there are hundreds of small rural communities throughout the UK who have already established a trusting and friendly relationship with one another. For these communities, easyCar Club is a no-brainer. We deal with the technical side of insurance and payment authorisation, so that our members need only to think about the rental itself.

When Ingrid, heard about us on the radio, she was somewhat doubtful that her car would get any rentals. Living in Crowthorne, a village located just South of Reading, she believed that there would not be enough demand for her car. However, since easyCar Club is completely free to join, she decided to give it a go anyway.

To improve her chances of getting a rental, she referred to the welcome pack that we provide to all of our new Owners, which included stickers to apply to her car and advice on the best ways to let local people know that her car is available to rent.

It wasn't long before Ingrid got a request for a 2-week rental. She accepted the request as soon as she could, and set to work preparing her car. Ingrid was aware that first impressions count, and that this first rental was the most important way to establish her reputation within easyCar Club. When the Driver arrived to pick up her Honda Jazz, she demonstrated all of its features and its quirks to ensure that he would get the best of the car. Ingrid’s efforts definitely paid off: she not only received a five-star review, but the Driver went on to make another booking with her a few weeks later. Ingrid has been able to use the money that she has earned through the site to fund the entertainment of her children over the Summer holiday period. Luckily, she’s also covered for Christmas, as she has an upcoming booking which will earn her almost £200 in just one rental.

Her advice to fellow Owners is to take advantage of the ‘Market Value’ option, which sets her rental price at one which remains competitive with industry rates. Ingrid chose this option in order to encourage bookings and reviews from the outset, which helps to establish her in the community as a trusted Owner. Ingrid also allows her car to be booked instantly, which saves Drivers the time it takes to wait for a response.

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Aminur's Ford Focus & Ford Fiesta
Aminur's Ford Focus & Ford Fiesta
Member since December 2013
View Aminur's Profile
At easyCar Club, we believe that a sense of community can be just as important as the financial gains of being a member. There are some members of the community who truly go above and beyond, who are happy not only to promote themselves within the community but also to promote their community as a whole.
A few months ago, we introduced you to Aminur, an early-adopter who had been successfully renting his Ford Focus out to members of our community, and who seemed to have his eye out for a new car. Well, I checked back with him this week to see how things are going, and am delighted to say that he’s gone from strength to strength.

You might be asking what we mean by this, how could Aminur possibly have improved on what seemed to already be an ideal position in the easyCar Club? Well, he did it by doubling his assets. Shortly after his first chat with us, he bought a new car and immediately put it up on the site. Since then, he hasn’t looked back. Having two cars can be financially straining in this day and age, with many families needing to cut down to one in order to afford it. Aminur doesn’t have that problem; his car costs are so largely offset by the money he makes from easyCar Club, over £1,200 so far, that two cars don’t even make him break a sweat.

“My experience being an Owner has been really good so far. I meet Drivers face to face so that I can get to know them and can form a friendship.” Although presented with the option of a key safe, Aminur prefers to hand over the keys in person. Doing so encourages trust, but it also allows him to develop friendly relationships with regular renters. Like any great entrepreneur, Aminur understands the importance of customer retention. Sure, it’s great to be getting new Drivers renting from him every week, but it’s also extremely rewarding to have developed a reliable and trustworthy customer-base. He fondly recalls an occasion where a Driver had brought her bike, and had nowhere to put it for the night. In true Sharing Economy spirit, he offered up his house as a temporary storage facility, an offer she was glad to take up!

When I traveled to east London to have a chat with him about his experience as an easyCar Club Owner, he was nice enough to pick me up from the station, and to drop me off when I’d finished taking photos of him and his pristine cars. When I fervently thanked him for the lift, he told me that it was no problem, and that he’s often happy to give his Drivers a lift to where they need to go as well.

Interaction within a community like ours is key to success, but Aminur does not rest on his laurels when it comes to delivering an impressive and competitive product. Both of his cars are fully kitted out with gadgets and gizmos to impress techies and casual drivers alike. His Ford Focus comes with a sat-nav which updates every minute with information on traffic, accidents and road-works, changing route information to ensure you have a pleasant and speedy drive. His Ford Fiesta is even more technologically advanced, with voice recognition which lets you control everything from incoming calls to the car’s air conditioning.

In Aminur, we find not just a budding entrepreneur, but also somebody who genuinely cares about his Drivers at a very human level. It’s great owners like him who are encouraging people all over the country to shun conventional car hiring in favour of easyCar Club.

We asked him what he plans to spend his extra income on, can anyone guess what he said? That’s right, he’s planning on buying a third car. This time, he has a Polo in mind and judging from his current cars, this one will presumably have hover technology and a flux capacitor! Or, at the very least, a USB charger.

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Richard's Ford Focus
Richard's Ford Focus
Member since June 2014
View Richard's Profile
Richard, our easyCar Club Hero, is certainly no stranger to peer-to-peer communities. As an early adapter to the internet and an IT expert, Richard has always been one step ahead of other consumers when it comes to new and exciting online ideas.
In the early 2000s, he began compiling a list of bookmarks titled ‘Sharing Economy’ – beginning with such websites as Zopa – so that he could track their progress and their success. Once adequate research had been done, Richard would sign up and get sharing. He is now a proud renter of his parking space (thanks to JustPark), his own house (via Airbnb) and, of course, his Ford Focus with easyCar Club. Richard often receives simultaneous bookings with all three websites over the weekends, and he even offers on his Airbnb deal whereby renters can both stay at his house and drive his car around for the period.

It’s great to see such involvement in a new, fast-growing economy, and its even better to see just how successful he has been. He’s had 7 bookings since he joined up this year, and already has more lined up for the future. Not just that, he has also had repeat rentals and maintains a 5-star average rating on the site. He’s full of advice for other Owners, with the key piece of advice being a focus upon embracing the community. Since he often works from home, Richard chooses to hand over the keys in person. This is something which he says is helpful as it not only reminds the Renter that they are renting a personal car but it also allows him to establish a friendly relationship with his Renters, encouraging repeat rentals.

But embracing the community doesn't just help with current bookings – it also helps him to secure future bookings and to allow members of his online community to get involved in the Sharing Economy. When he has had a good rental experience, or when he’s achieved a triple whammy weekend (simultaneous Airbnb, JustPark and easyCar Club bookings), he tweets about it to all of his followers. In this way, Richard truly understands the ‘Sharing’ nature of the Sharing Economy – that it is driven by community and is best spread by word-of-mouth.

As a forward-thinker who demonstrates the virtues in providing a fantastic car at a competitive price and in engaging with communities both online and offline, we’re proud to add Richard to our roster of easyCar Club Heroes.

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Contact Our Press Office

All enquiries Annabelle Clarke easycarclub@pha-media.com Phone: 0207 0251 350 (Mon to Fri)