Car fanatics rejoice! RideAlike, the self-proclaimed “Airbnb of cars”, launched its app in July 2021 and is providing a unique opportunity for drivers across Ontario. Car owners, or “hosts’, can list their car for rent, and “guests” can rent their desired car for an extended period of time.
RideAlike has gone the extra mile, ensuring that communication is seamless, drivers are ensured, vehicles are professionally sanitized, and pickup is convenient. The app has also created a unique opportunity for car owners to earn money by listing their car for rent during times when their car would otherwise be stagnant.
In 2018, founder and Airbnb Superhost Zelani Bhuiyan was driving one day when he ended up behind a vehicle that caught his attention.
“There was a Range Rover Evoque ahead of me. What I realized was when we were buying our car in 2016, this car was not available, and we were not able to test drive it. It looks like a nice car, and I would love to drive it”. The Evoque was not available at the time he purchased his current car two years earlier.
” I already made a commitment to my current car, and of course we could not change it because it would not make sense financially. Then I thought, if I would like to drive other types of cars, then perhaps the owner of those cars would want to drive my car”. Zelani’s entrepreneurial sense was activated and he began to brainstorm potential business models for the RideAlike concept, taking pricing, algorithm, and mutual interest into consideration.
“There must be a way we can bring in harmony with a platform that provides access to many different types of cars. How can we create value out of this? How can we make this a revenue generator? That is when I felt a vacuum for a concept like this”.
When developing RideAlike, Zelani teamed up with CIBC former head of innovation Phil Griffths and Abeda Bhuiyan. Building trust amongst their community is the top priority, so verifying members and testing the app is essential. Zelani and his team created an extensive survey for vehicle owners and renters to understand their concerns and the best way to address them.
“We designed our platform geared towards building a trusted community. We wanted to give verification to car owners and renters, just like renting an Airbnb”, Zelani explains. “All members must provide their email, phone number, credit card, driver’s license and driving record. So they are verified using 5 pieces of information”. RideAlike cultivates trust amongst their users through the double-sided review mechanism. The owner and the vehicle receive a review and rating so people can get to know each other and the cars available. “By default, you will know that the people who are apart of the RideAlike community are verified members. That is the fundamental concept of building trust in our community”.
Owning a car is the second biggest purchase one makes in their lifetime, behind owning a home. Maintenance cost, insurance, carrying cost, gas, and wear and tear costs all equal to an average of $1000 per month. With RideAlike, vehicle owners have the opportunity to earn that money back, especially during times when their car is not in use. “This service will be helpful because a car is not running all the time. There are many hours of the day where cars are just sitting in a parking lot or in the garage. People also go on vacations, leaving their cars for days or weeks at a time. RideAlike is a platform that helps people save money, to get more out of their dollar that they are putting into their cars”.
Since their official launch in July, Zelani and his team have had gradual growth. Likeminded individuals who have a passion for cars are sharing their preferences and feedback, as well as getting the chance to drive their dream car. With the intention of transparency, RideAlike has a bright road ahead of them.
“Of course, we are still in the early stages, so we are still have to put our name out there and the reliability aspect to drive more traffic”, Zelani admits. “But we have had some successful transactions, payments, and our app is entirely tested by Telus. We see that hosts and guests are providing their details to help us grow that trusted community”.
For more information, or to register your vehicle, visit ridealike.com