Every so often, it happens: despite your best efforts to keep up with maintenance, sometimes your car has to make an overnight trip to the shop, leaving you without a set of wheels.
That's not so bad if you have a second car, or a partner with a car, or occasionally, a good bicycle. But if you don't, you're left in the lurch.
A new feature for car-sharing service RelayRides aims to address that problem: Renting Social lets you announce your vehicular needs on Facebook, telling friends and "friends" alike that you're willing to pay for the use of their car.
RELAYRIDES & RENTING SOCIAL
We weren't convinced about RelayRides when it made its 2011 debut. The idea of loaning out our cars to complete strangers for money seemed nice in theory, but rife with practical problems.
Over time, we've warmed to the idea -- and so have others. General Motors, in fact, recently partnered with Relay Rides, allowing users to employ OnStar to facilitate sharing.
Renting Social offers an interesting improvement to RelayRides. According to a press release, Renting Social "enables renters to advertise their interest in renting a car via Facebook, inviting car owners in their social network to rent their cars to them through the RelayRides marketplace".
In other words, it's like posting a message to Facebook that says, "Dude, can someone loan me a car for tonight?". The difference is, Renting Social says, "Dude, can someone loan me a car for tonight? I'll pay!"
That's a clever move on RelayRides' part. Not only does it grow awareness of the company, but it should also encourage more car owners to sign up for RelayRides so they can earn moolah from their friends (and subsequently, complete strangers).
The fact that Renting Social uses Facebook seems pretty smart, too. The discomfort some of us felt when we first heard of RelayRides stemmed from the thought of letting strangers borrow our cars. Although we're not besties with everyone on our Facebook list, we're at least casually acquainted with most of them, meaning that we're more comfortable loaning them our cars.
Is Renting Social enough to convince you to sign up for RelayRides? Or are you still a no-go? Share your thoughts in the comments below.