Get Free Airport Parking and Make Money Renting Out Your Car While You’re Gone

TravelCar has launched in its first U.S. city — Los Angeles.

  • You get free airport parking if you agree to rent out your car while you’re gone. (Parking is free even if no one rents your car.)

  • You get paid per mile.

As a consumer looking to rent a car they tout rates “up to 70 percent less than traditional rental car companies.”

It’s like peer-to-peer car rental company Turo (formerly Relay Rides) where you rent out your car for income when you’re not using it, and customers rent cars from people for less than from a car rental agency like National or Hertz. But it adds the kicker of ‘park for free’ whether anyone rents your car or not.


Via photo 2011 PopCultureGeek.com taken by Doug Kline, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

As far as renting from them, I searched for a car next Thursday for one day at LAX and found this as my baseline:

There are ‘off brands’ that are cheaper but here’s a full sized vehicle with unlimited miles from a national chain.

Meanwhile the cheapest car there offering is more, and with limited miles:

On the other hand, also limited miles, you can rent a Mercedes for not much more:

There’s also a less generous cancellation policy than a traditional car rental.

From my limited searching this doesn’t look like an amazing rental deal, Turo is probably better for niche vehicles, and Silvercar for a consistent rental experience with a nice car. You may be able to get lower pricing elsewhere with the best coupon codes and AutoSlash tracking your rental price to lower it.

I’d probably require a greater premium than they’d be willing to pay me to rent out my car. I usually Uber or similar to the airport anyway and it’s cheaper than airport parking most trips.

Nonetheless I can see this working out for some, and it’s good to have competing platforms.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I don’t see this going anywhere, the problem is for the most part, people parking at the airport are traveling for work and so the employer picks up the parking bill.

  2. Wow, people trash rental cars. Imagine someone doing that to your POV (privately owned vehicle).

  3. I would have no interest in renting my vehicle to someone I did not know. Who provides the insurance? How do you keep smokers out of the vehicle? Who pays for the gas and any tolls?

  4. I would have no interest in having my cehicle rented to someone I did not know. How would you keep smokers out?
    Who pays for damage, insurance, gas and tolls?

  5. The other issue is these companies don’t have enough insurance in case of loss of life. If someone gets drunk then drives your car and kills someone or badly injures multiple people you end up needing a bankruptcy lawyer. Not likely but a deal breaker for me.

  6. I just did a rental near SFO for about $70 a day less than Hertz (for a compact SUV) not counting garbage fees. All and all it would appear on the 2 day rental I saved about $210. Not complaining at this point.

    Let’s see how the experience goes.

  7. I can’t believe that anyone would be willing to let strangers drive their car to save the price of parking.

  8. It sounds like the same business as FlightCar, which got up to a dozen airport locations before shutting down last summer.

  9. Hey Gary, I’m sorry to post an off-topic comment on this story, but I wanted to make sure you got my message. I saw your post on the new Metal Amex Platinum card a few months ago, I saw you got a card that’s printed way off center just like mine. I just wanted to know if you ended up asking for a replacement card or did you stick with that one? Because it slightly bothers me. Thanks.

  10. When you loan out your car, you may be notified about parking tickets three years after they were issued when you have a hold on your driver’s license or vehicle registration renewal.

  11. If you try to rent your car, your auto insurance won”t cover damage or losses caused by the renting driver. You willl be on the hook if the renting driver hits something and causes injury or death. If the renting driver is arrested for DUI, you can be arrested in some states for allowing the operation of a vehicle by a person under the influence. And, if the renting driver is arrested for drug possession, your car could be forfeited to the state.

    All this for a few $$$ off your parking (maybe slightly more than the upgrade from Basic Economy). Good luck with all that.

  12. Never worked out at DAL with FlightCar because the rates weren’t competitive with easily found rental car discount codes (Costco, etc).

    I was rooting for them but just never made $ sense.

  13. Turo also offers “park for free”. They promote this at LAX (and possibly others) as a way to park your car for free as well as make money while you’re gone…. Turo manages the rentals for you. I think it requires a minimum one-week parking though.

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