Getaround has recently re-launched in Portland and asked me to try the app out the next time I ventured into Portland and let you all know how it went.
First off, what is Getaround? Getaround is a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace, which is a smart way of saying “you can rent someone’s car by the hour with an app.” So, you want to rent a car for an hour or the afternoon? Reserve an available car with the Getaround app (<– you can get a $50 credit for signing up through that link), unlock the car through the app, and start driving!
Everything, including the payment, insurance, rental and return instructions, is handled through the app. Pretty simple.
My three big kids and I headed to the Northwest Portland area last Saturday to give Getaround a spin. Northwest 23rd is always fun and there some fun cars available to rent in the area.
We fairly quickly found a parking spot (it was the morning) and walked around the neighborhood a bit before landing at Cha!Cha!Cha! for lunch.
This might be the most horrible artsy restaurant photo ever. Sorry Cha!Cha!Cha! Your food was delicious (and incredibly affordable) and this pic does not represent our awesome experience.
After lunch, I fired up the app and started the rental process. I was looking for a two-hour rental for an awesome and unique car. There was no way I was going to get a Toyota Camry for this adventure.
Luckily we found another car available one block away and it was an adorable 2014 Scion iQ. And it had four seatbelts, so we were in business.
I quickly went through the checkout process in the app and rented that teacup-sized car in about two minutes. I was impressed that it was so easy to checkout — it took just a minute for the app to approve me with my driver’s license number and credit card info. It is pretty slick and intuitive.
Getaround rents by the quarter hour, so we had to wait next to the car for about ten minutes before the app would allow me to unlock the car. I’m sure most people go through the checkout process in a restaurant or their hotel room and not on the sidewalk which keeps you from looking like a strange loiter-er.
But it did give my boys time to get in a couple of play wrestling turned fist fights. Because nothing says fun like punching each other in every available region while out in public.
Once the clock struck 2:00 pm, I clicked the “unlock” button on the app and the car magically unlocked. Once inside I quickly found the car keys (they were in a little zipper pouch along with the Getaround insurance card on the visor) and we were off.
Okay, we were off once I lectured my children on how to sit in a car without having minivan space for their feet.
Can you figure out which kid had to sit behind me in the Scion? Sucks to be the shortest in the crowd.
We spent the next two hours tooling around NW Portland. We went over the St. John’s bridge, stopped for Dutch Bros., and explored some parks.
As our two-hour rental period drew near, we headed back to the owner’s neighborhood and easily found street parking (he had a residential permit), cleaned out our garbage, and used the app to remotely lock the doors. I’m assuming the owner uses the app to find his car when he needs it the next time. Our car’s specific return instructions were found right in the app.
And then I prayed that I hadn’t screwed the return process up. I think I did it right because I have yet to receive a call from Getaround.
You are supposed to replace the gas before returning the car or somehow the app charges you the amount when the owner fills it up. Since we were deep in Portland, there weren’t many gas stations close by and I was not about to spend a bunch of time trying to find one, so we went with the “charge me later” option.
Okay, this whole Getaround thing is pretty cool. Here are some of the things I really like about it:
1. There are tons of cars available throughout Portland, at least the downtown, inner parts. Vehicle availability changes all the time, depending on what’s been rented and if the owner has taken the car off the grid for personal use.
This is a shot of the cars available in Portland at one point. Lots of options!
I found that cars in downtown and NW Portland were more available during the weekend and cars on the eastside were more available during the week.
2. It’s really easy to find cars and then rent them. Again, the app is slick and I didn’t need to ask my husband for help once nor did I have to yell at the screen.
3. I love how flexible the whole thing is — you need a car for an hour? Four hours? The whole day? No problem. I can totally see how helpful it would be to quickly get a car for a trip to the beach or Mt. Hood if you were staying downtown for the weekend. The process is so much easier and faster than going the traditional rental car route, and you don’t have to figure out where the park the thing (or pay for parking) when it’s not in use.
4. There are some pretty fun cars available with the app. This is your chance to drive a car that you will probably never own (I certainly have little use for a Matchbox car with seven children).
5. It’s fairly affordable. Our two-hour rental came to $15 ($7 per hour + $1 processing fee). Cars have different rental rates, some as low as $6 an hour. This is a great option if you’re coming into Portland by plane or train and mostly using Tri-Met options for quick transportation but need a car to go farther away.
Getaround is excited for all of you to try the app out — so excited that they are offering all of you a $50 credit if you sign-up through this link!
Now, if you’re noticing the math on this one, that $50 credit could get you a bunch of free rental hours in my zippy Scion. That makes for a really fun (and inexpensive) outing!
This post is sponsored by Getaround, meaning they paid me to try the app out and to write a post. All opinions stated are mine.
This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.