There’s no doubt that cars are an important asset for much of the gig economy. Uber and Lyft have about 1 million drivers each, and both companies are very profitable. There is no doubt that ridesharing has had a lasting impact on the economy and everyday life. Uber has become so successful that the company is now exploring the option of air taxis. With the success of ridesharing, a new company called HyreCar has emerged.
Yet, HyreCar is not exactly a rideshare or car shopping service. There are more ways that cars can be utilized for the gig economy. A lot more. Here is what you need to know about the emerging market of the “carshare” economy.
What is HyreCar?
While ridesharing is popular for customers, car sharing has been slower to catch on. What is carsharing, you ask? With Uber and Lyft, you can hail an independent driver who will drive you to a specified destination. However, with carsharing, you can rent a car directly from the owner for a daily fee. In many cases, the cost is cheaper than traditional car rental options, and there is a much wider selection of vehicles to choose from.
The biggest downside of carsharing vs. ridesharing is efficiency. In most cities, you can expect your Uber driver to arrive in minutes. Meanwhile, most carshare transactions take 24 hours to complete. So, for carsharing, customers need to plan in advance.
As of now, Turo is the market leader in carsharing. However, you could consider HyreCar to be the Lyft to Turo’s Uber. HyreCar has a comprehensive guide to how the program works, but it’s pretty simple. New drivers go through a small background check, and insurance is included with every rental. In a few states, a $99 deposit is also required. Autoblog has a thorough explanation of what it’s like to use HyreCar from the car owner’s perspective.
HyreCar on Wall Street
Even though HyreCar is often considered the second fiddle to Turo, it does have an interesting stock history, as documented by Market Watch. Specifically, the stock had an excellent spring. In early June, the company announced that it would be included in the Russell 3000 Index, effective June 28, 2021.
As a result, stock prices soared. Stock values rose nearly 10% after the news broke, and the volume of shares traded exceeded one million. During this climb, stock prices reached their 52-week high at $19.42 per share, as reported by MarketWatch. The stock would continue to build off that momentum, albeit at a more modest pace.
However, those gains would be short-lived. On August 11, 2021, HyreCar’s stock plunged about 46%, as reported by The Motley Fool. The reason for this drop was caused by old-fashioned profit and loss. The company incurred a loss of $0.45 per share, far higher than the anticipated loss of $0.12 per share. An unexpected increase in insurance claims caused part of this higher loss.
However, despite the dip, HyreCar is still trading about three times higher than a year ago. So, it may be a good investment if you can tolerate a bumpy ride.
How it’s different from Turo
While Lyft and Uber are incredibly similar companies, HyreCar has gone to greater lengths to distinguish itself from Turo. Specifically, HyreCar wants to be the preferred rental option for Uber and Lyft drivers.
The company aims to fulfill the market gap of people who want to be rideshare drivers but don’t have their own rides. As such, every HyreCar rental comes with all the paperwork needed to drive with Uber or Lyft. The strategy seems to be working, as the company has had year after year growth.