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GM car sharing lets owners sublease their vehicles like an Airbnb for wheels

Behind GM's peer-to-peer car sharing service

Taking a cue from Airbnb, General Motors is encouraging owners and renters of some vehicles made by GM to sublease them out for cash under a program launched Tuesday in Chicago, Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Those who own or lease 2015 model or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles can list their cars and trucks to rent when they don't intend to use them through GM's existing car-sharing platform, Maven. Consumers keep 60 percent of the money garnered from renting the car, and Maven the rest.

Dubbed Peer Cars, individually owned vehicles will be available alongside Maven Cars for rental by more than 150,000 current Maven members, GM said in a news release. All vehicles are insured through GM's $1 million insurance policy. 

The business model is akin to Airbnb, where people offer their homes for short-term rentals, or a San Francisco service called Getaround, that lets people list their cars for others to rent for an hourly fee. 

"Your car is one of the most expensive things you own. Sitting idle, it is a wasted asset," Julia Steyn, the vice president of GM Urban Mobility and Maven, said in the statement. "Maven's peer-to-peer offering is a smart way for owners to offset their vehicle investment."

The automaker plans to expand the program to include additional U.S. cities in the fall.

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