While pursuing a master’s degree in economics at the Sorbonne, Ayman projected himself into finance. He was seen working on bank compliance for a large company. Since then, his plans have changed. In March 2020, while in Master 1, he bought a second-hand Renault Modus for 5,000 euros to rent. The others will follow. And what was supposed to be extra income has become … a full-time professional activity.
The 24-year-old embarked on an adventure with Pierre, a friend who was working for a real estate company at the time. The duo rents their vehicles to Getaround (formerly Drivy) and OuiCar, two leading private car rental platforms in the French market. Drivers can rent vehicles for a few hours, days or weeks. Among the owners registered on these sites, two profiles: those who rent their personal vehicle that they do not use daily to recoup the cost of acquisition and maintenance, and others, such as Ayman and Pierre, who buy vehicles without driving. them, for profit.
They are established in several cities. Very quickly, they realize that there is a high demand and increase their fleet. Today, they have no more and no less than 22 vehicles (urban, commercial and family cars) and 34 are registered during the summer. “We never imagined he could be so successful”, smiles Pierre, 28, who has resumed his work-study studies in real estate promotion. To support them, they have a part-time administrative assistant.
Connected boxes for simplified management
Their vehicles are parked in Brest, Quimper, Limoges, Poitiers, Orleans, Dijon, Besançon … If this logistics is possible, it is thanks to the connected boxes offered by the platforms. These allow tenants to unlock the vehicle with their smartphone, collect the keys and return them at the end of the rental without meeting anyone. Enough to offer great flexibility, which traditional rental agencies do not necessarily have.
Of course, this service comes at a price. Getaround connected box costs 19 euros per month per vehicle, expenses borne by the owners. To benefit from it, the vehicle must be, among other things, less than 10 years old and less than 150,000 kilometers on the odometer. At OuiCar, you get 29.90 euros a month for a box.
If these boxes amputate their income, the duo finds their account there. “It allows us a very passive management”, excite Pierre and Ayman, who still have to travel around France to clean their vehicles once a week. They can now count on the help of Ayman’s brother, Mehdi, an official, who has joined them.
Luke, 34, prefers to do without the box and hand over the keys. It can be allowed because its 15 vehicles are concentrated in the conurbation of Toulouse, near his home.
He is also engaged in his rental business. When he started in 2019, he was a project manager in aeronautics and wanted to generate additional revenue. Dismissed in the summer of 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, he decided to dedicate himself to it with his wife, who left his job as a centralist.
Their cars are rented at OuiCar, Getaround and a place the couple created. “We will have enough benefits to be able to live decently, Luke explains. I earn about the same amount as in my previous job, and my wife, a little more. » And add: “With the difference that we now manage our time, our investments we have a better quality of life. »
To achieve this, they immersed themselves in their savings and reinvested all their income in the acquisition of new vehicles. But not everyone who rents cars on platforms owns them.
Emile, a 27-year-old Paris-based developer, did not have enough savings to buy five vehicles as he wanted. So he found a rental company that rented cars to … sublet them.
He pays 250 euros a month for each of the five rented Volkswagen Polo. To this are added 100 euros for parking in Paris and the suburbs and 150 euros for car insurance. This costs about 500 euros per month and per vehicle. “I rent them for 50 euros a day. After 11e day rent, so the money goes into my pocket. » Over the course of a year, it aims to make a profit of 15,000 euros with five vehicles, or 3,000 euros per car. It intends to increase its fleet and become its owner, with a view to “Earn enough income to hire someone to take care of it”.
Taxation and limitations
Of course, taxation erodes profitability. Owners who rent vehicles must declare the income derived from them for tax purposes. From 8,227 euros per year, they must register their activity (as a general rule, as a micro-employer or as a self-employed worker) and pay social security contributions.
And this activity requires a bit of logistics. Emile vacuumed each of his vehicles at least once a week. You must also transfer the fines you receive to motorists and go regularly to the garage in the event of a breakdown or damage to the bodywork. Getaround and OuiCar insurance, included in the 10% commission deducted from the price indicated by the rental companies, allows you, in general, to repair your vehicles without incident.
In the event of a serious accident, vehicles may not be able to return to service and may be scrapped. He passed by several of Luke’s cars, the tenants of which had had an accident. “In these cases, we have to buy a car immediately with our savings and wait for the insurance to reimburse us, which takes an average of a month and a half. But if we don’t have cash, we give up cash tickets for several weeks … “ Another thing to keep in mind: Unlike real estate where the seller of a property can make a profit from resale, cars are declining in value.
Some people are saved from buying vehicles that would be of little use
Tom, owner of three cars
Despite these limitations, this form of investment is attractive. Tom, a 22-year-old salesman, made the move in the summer of 2021. He owns three vehicles bought for a total of 28,000 euros and rented in Vaucluse. “It was not enough to invest in real estate and it turned out to be a good investment! » It generates about 600 euros in profits each month. In addition to the pecuniary participation, he insists on the fact that this investment seems virtuous to him: “It simply came to our notice then. »
What reassures you in this business is to be able to go back easily if profitability plummets. “All you have to do is take the vehicles off the platforms with a few clicks and resell them. » But this is not current. For now, the young man hopes to increase his fleet … for him too, why not make a living from it.