Jacksonville Man Quits IT Job, Makes a Living Renting His Cars – Action News Jax
JACKSONVILLE, Florida – Finding a cheap rental car continues to be a challenge. Major car rental companies still have limited inventory due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But a new business model has stepped in to meet the demand.
People earn extra money by renting out their car.
“Fundamentally, Turo is like the Airbnb of cars,” said Alvin Mccay. He runs Jacksonville’s largest car-sharing company.
He rents his cars on Turo, a peer-to-peer car rental company.
It all started a few years ago.
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“I was working for the house at the time and I was like ‘this car was just sitting in my driveway’ and I said ‘let me try to share this with the public,'” McCay said.
Now he has more than 50 cars for rent on land north of Jacksonville.
A Nissan Sentra rents for $59 a day. A similar car to rent at the airport costs $30 to $40 more.
Tenants do everything from their phone.
“It’s very easy to rent on Turo. As long as you have a good driving record and a good insurance score, most people are approved,” McCay said.
He has a few economy cars, but he specializes in luxury cars and muscle cars: Maserattis, BMWs, Corvettes, Porches, Chargers and Challengers.
Brad Pelland rents five to six cars a year primarily for the experience. “I’m a car lover, so renting a car for a day, a birthday, or just for the day to drive to St. Augustine – and that’s what I do.”
Action News Jax Anchor Phil Amato also saw several people renting cars because they needed transportation.
The pandemic paved the way for Turo and other car rental apps like Getaround.
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Last year car rental companies sold their fleet due to lack of demand.
Now, the global chip shortage is making it difficult for major rental car companies to rebuild.
McCay runs his business on his home computer and phone. He worked full time in IT and rented cars on Turo. His wife, Wella McCay, worried that he was working too much.
“How are you going to handle this? she asked him. “You can’t just rent our cars and then you work.”
He ended up quitting his job and now devotes all of his time to Turo.
McCay not only rents the cars he owns, but other people’s vehicles as well.
“More people are jumping on it. That’s why I have a lot of investors who leave their cars and I lease them to them, making them money passively,” McCay said.
Its luxury cars rent between $75 and $175 a day depending on demand on www.rentluxurycarsforless.com.
His best car is a mid-engined 2021 C8 Corvette. He rents it for $499 a day. He owned another C8 earlier this year before a renter wrecked it on Interstate 295.
No one was injured, but the car was destroyed.
The renter had insurance, and McCay’s insurance reimbursed him for the car.
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McCay says chips, knocks and wrecks are the price of doing business and said he will continue to compete with Hertz and Avis to provide renters with an experience they’ll likely never forget.
The rental car shortage is easing a bit since the start of the year, but could be back for the holidays.
Experts said the best advice is to book as early as possible, even if you use car rental apps like Turo.
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