Sometimes, when I daydream about the future, I imagine escaping the public transportation madness of my city by making a private chauffeur in a shiny black car appear with the press of a button.
…And then I realize the future has already arrived.
This January 2014, Uber landed in Santiago! Uber is a mobile app-based platform that seamlessly eliminates the inefficiencies of taxicab services of which many of us are far too familiar. Instead of waiting by the side of the road for 20 minutes with your hand raised every time a car that appears to be a taxi passes (if it’s been an indulgent night out, this could include soliciting everything from horse-and-carriage to police vehicle), finally waving down a cab with a less-than-transparent pricing scheme, being dropped off at home while fumbling with your cash (why do NO taxis take credit cards?! We’re in the 21st century!), and finally exiting the vehicle after engaging in a 5-minute heated discussion with your driver about the appropriate tip amount, Uber has invented a better way. Thank God.
In 2012 Arriendas launched the first peer to peer car rental website in Latin America. The site generates an insurance policy and essentially allows an individual car owner to lease their car to Chilean residents and tourists. Over 200 car owners have registered their car for private rental and the company continues to show steady growth each week.
They are serving a huge need in Chile’s car rental market which is serving the ‘under banked’ (those unable to obtain credit through traditional financial sources). An individual in Chile can rent a car through Arriendas without a credit card whereas traditional car rental companies in Chile require both a credit card and a guarantee deposit.
Effective since June 7, 2013, as part of their continued efforts to support entrepreneurs throughout the country, the local Chilean government (City of Santiago) is allowing the general public to rent their car through the Arriendas.cl website and receive full coverage via BCI Insurance. The car owner must register and travel to the Arriendas office to survey and photograph any damage on the vehicle. They also need to show proof of ownership. Continue reading