Avail is a car-rental platform that differentiates itself by renting out the cars of travelers to travelers, offering free parking and a daily stipend for your car’s use
Expected pay: $20 – $25 a day
Commissions & fees: NA
Where: Currently in 15 cities — Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Seattle
Requirements: 18+; able to pass a background check; a car that’s 10 years old or less
At first glance, Avail seems to be a brilliant concept for travelers planning to drive to a major airport in their own relatively late-model vehicles. The site promises to park your car for free and drive you to the gate. If the site is able to rent your car out to incoming travelers while you’re gone, they’ll give you a portion of the rental proceeds. Generally, you’d make $20 a day for a sedan and $25 a day for lending the site your SUV.
Either way, they will wash your vehicle and pick you up at the end of your trip. Their pitch: In the worst case, you get free airport parking and a wash. In the best case, you get income too.
What could go wrong?
However, a lot of things could — and do — go wrong. And despite Avail’s assurances that the site has your car’s safety handled, car owners say otherwise. For instance, Avail says cars are inspected when returned and, if damaged, the site automatically files a claim with its insurer. You, the car owner, won’t be responsible for paying for damages, Avail says.
However, dozens of reviews on Avail’s Facebook page say that these inspectors either missed the damage or chose not to report it. Car owners were thwarted when trying to claim damages later.
What if the renter doesn’t return the car on time? That’s not supposed to happen. But it does.
Notably, too, Avail does not allow the use of “after-market safety monitoring devices,” including GPS tracking devices, that you might put on your car. (In fact, the site says in its terms that it can add its own GPS monitoring device onto your car and rip yours out.) So Avail makes it impossible for you to find your vehicle if it’s not voluntarily returned.
See the copious complaints under “what their users say” about damage and missing vehicles to understand why we give this site such a low Husl$core.
If you want to rent out a spare car, we recommend Turo. GetAround and Fetch are also viable options, though Fetch is only for vans and trucks. We do not recommend entrusting your car to Avail. The small amount of money you can make (or save) by allowing this site to use your vehicle while you’re on vacation is not worth the risk you’re taking.
What their users say (from Facebook)
Please do not leave your car with Avail. They will not pay for any damage done to your car because they will just claim it was already there, even if you have pictures proving otherwise. They will say since their driver did not report any accidents and that they only had the car for 2 days, that it is not possible they had one.
My car was damaged and it has taken over two months to get anything done. And it still hasn’t been sent to get fixed. I’ve had to do all the work to chase down everyone and get my car taken care of. Do not use avail
I would NEVER EVER leave my car there again. My sunroof was broken and the car was returned with gooey marshmallows in the door. Clearly, the cleaning people don’t really clean. It’s just a surface clean and I take extremely good care of my car so this was disappointing. They have yet to pay for the cost of even closing the sunroof or any cleaning fees I incurred.
No issue I had with them was ever solved, not one. Borrower broke my radio / head unit and all I asked Avail to do was split the cost. They refused. I borrower wrecked my car and avail and AlState took two months to repair (0 compensation), then they let two drivers take my car on long hauls with under-inflated tires and they never paid my final guaranteed payout. Will never use them again.
I lent my car to Avail for 18 months. I earned $5500. My car got $7000 worth of damages that they refuse to cover. I also apparently have to pay for parking, which they claimed they provided.
Where’s my car?!?!
My vehicle was ‘rented’ for 1 day beyond my agreement & thereafter STOLEN for an additional 10 days. Avail claims to have the capability of tracking its location BUT does nothing to recover the vehicle. Despite calls from area police when the thieves outran a police attempt to stop for a moving violation, Avail only seems to have concern for the renters ‘rights’…none for those of us allowing them to profit for our own vehicles. The DAMAGE once the thieves returned my vehicle 10 days late & under cover of an unoccupied lot, was extensive.
I put 2 cars on avail and one has been missing in Miami since March 17th.
Definitely recommend this service as a borrower. You can keep the car as long as you want with absolutely zero repercussions. Even when Avail has the address where the car was last parked, and it’s 3 days overdue, and the rightful owner is back in town, they’ll just tell them to go freak themselves while you continue to trash the vehicle like it’s your own while the owner is stuck waiting on the “(No)Trust & Safety” team to… verify the vehicle information? They’ll brush the car’s owner aside with any buzzwords they can think of while you and your ratty friends run amok, commission crimes, etc.
Don’t worry, they won’t be able to get in touch with customer service or the lot manager either to simply tow their car while it sits less than 1 mile away from the Avail parking lot at Dallas Love Field airport. To CEO Mike Osborn: you’ve got to be a complete idiot not to advertise these hidden perks of the service! All in all a great experience for whoever has currently stolen my vehicle and is getting away with it. 10/10