I've just had an email from WhipCar, the car-share company, saying it has closed. Having tried it, I'm not surprised.
The press release says: "While so many of you saw the future of peer-to-peer car rental, we have discovered there are still barriers to widespread adoption of this new behaviour."
It was a nice, cuddly idea. Hire your neighbour's car, give them some money to help them run it. But have you looked at your neighbour's car?
I tried WhipCar just once. At least, I tried several times unsuccessfully to get someone to response to my hire request, I got a car just once.
For a start the owner had moved, so he was no longer living conveniently next to a station. He had to meet me and drop me back, which added about an hour to my already long journey.
He'd called to warn me there was some damage to the body in case I was going somewhere smart. I said I could live with that. When I arrived it had some damage on every panel and every corner.
As he opened the door, a waft of pond water hit me. Every seat was stained, there was brown stuff on the seats, the dash, the load area - and the roof.
At this point, I could have rejected the car as unsutable and the owner would have been fined £100. But I had to get somewhere, and I didn't want to be mean. 'I could keep the windows open' I thought.
Then he explained that the electric windows had fallen down and the car had been soaked in the rain. Hence the stale water smell mingling with the ripe fragrance from whatever had made those stains. "It's OK now," he said. "I've taken the fuse out, so the windows don't open."
I pointed out that it was a bit dirty. He looked astonished and rather hurt. "But we had it cleaned." he said. "It's a bit smelly," I added. He shrugged. "We're parents, we've lost our sense of smell."
So I drove it there and back, and got home reeking of pond. I could have written a mean review on the WhipCar website, but it's like eBay, people can write nasty things back. And he had my mobile phone number.
So I'm sorry it didn't work, but there would need much stricter checks by the company, and the costs were way too high. Hiring this shed for two days would have cost me £60 if I hadn't had a voucher.
I'm not surprised it's gone.
Click here to read the press release.
I shared a shed
3/12/2013 05:34:39 am
I rented my car via Whipcar and had several repeat bookings, so I think my car was ok. However, I just didn't think it was worth the money I made for the hassle.
3/12/2013 06:35:51 am
3/13/2013 08:25:48 pm
I liked Whipcar even if I didn't use it so extensively.
3/13/2013 08:53:42 pm
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