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RentMyRide, the innovative South African peer-to-peer rental company, is bumping up its service division in preparation for the upcoming holiday season.

The Cape Town-based company now has service staff both in Cape Town and Johannesburg who will be available 24/7 for enquiries and client support. This division also handles background checks of both vehicle owners and renters and helps new members to quickly list their cars.

RentMyRide offers a comprehensive vehicle rental service similar to that of large vehicle rental organisations. In contrast to these fleet organisations, however, it lists cars of private owners who make their vehicles available for use on the www.rentmyride.co.za website.

The RentMyRide service is the first of its kind in South Africa and is modelled on large peer-to-peer platforms such as Snappcar in Europe and Turo in the United States.

“Every year, we see a massive influx of foreign tourists and tech-savvy local travellers who are looking for an affordable and easy vehicle-rental service. Since there are many similar services abroad, tourists feel comfortable to use a service like RentMyRide, and we see a significant jump in rentals over the holiday season,” says Sebastian Brokmann, CEO and co-founder of RentMyRide.

Brokmann explains that all vehicle-rental companies increase their fleets over the summer holiday, but similarly increase their prices due to the high demand. This drives many travellers to search for more affordable options.

“Since we facilitate a peer-to-peer match, and our preference is for more affordable vehicles, we are able to undercut standard rental rates by as much as 40%. We do this by keeping our overheads low and removing the large cost of owning a fleet of cars, so this does not negatively affect the money a vehicle owner makes from renting his or her car.”

Brokmann and his colleagues recently introduced a Professional Fleet Owner division, which allows car dealers or small rental companies to upload several vehicles at once and make money from cars that are standing idle. The service is on trial with rental companies such as Pace Car Rental, who use the platform to supplement their own vehicle rental efforts.

According to Brokmann, the new division was inspired by private vehicle owners who started by listing one vehicle and soon grew their number of rental cars into a small fleet, turning their side hustle into a growing business.

“Many of our most active users, who list their cars on our platform, first started during the holiday season when they themselves were on holiday and tested our platform to make money while their cars would have been standing idle.

“This is the ideal time, since we have so many enquiries and the demand for rental cars far outstrip supply,” says Brokmann.

Aside from facilitating the rental booking and handling the payment, RentMyRide also does background checks on every person who wants to rent a vehicle. It further offers insurance on any damages for vehicles up to R150 000.

RentMyRide is available in most major cities in South Africa, including Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.