The new Lula app is bringing peer-to-peer car rentals to campuses across the nation, including the University of Arizona.
Lula, also known as LulaRides, is available to any college student 18 years old or older. Through Lula, students can rent their cars to other students for times and prices of their own choosing.
“As the car owner, it’s like running your own business,” said Matthew Vega-Sanz, CEO and co-founder of Lula. “Lula is there to help by providing the medium and the insurance.”
Lula ensures that car owners are in total control of who is using their vehicle.
“When someone requests to rent your vehicle, you can take a look at their profile and decide to deny or accept their request, usually based on the times they want your car,” Vega-Sanz said.
To ensure Lula is only being used by responsible drivers, potential users will have to go through a background check. Lula will make sure that an applicant is who they claim to be, has never been convicted of driving under the influence or does not have too many points on their driving record.
If a rental car is ever involved in a crash, Lula’s million-dollar insurance policy will keep the car owner covered. The car owner can go through Lula’s insurance partner instead of their own insurance company to get their car repaired. While a car is being repaired, Lula will provide the owner with a stipend to help them cover any transportation costs, according to Vega-Sanz.
The insurance also covers car theft, which is very rare in the car rental industry, according to Vega-Sanz.
“The larger fear is that owners may try to manipulate the [insurance] policy so they can get money or certain issues fixed in their car using Lula’s insurance instead of their own,” Vega-Sanz said. “At the moment, Lula’s insurance will run an investigation, and if the car was stolen without any foul play by the owner, they will get the [car’s] cash value back to them.”
Vega-Sanz has big plans for Lula and hopes to expand Lula out from just college campuses. He wants Lula to be available to graduates as they leave college and branch out into their careers.
“We think we have a shot at making transportation more affordable and more sustainable in the long run,” Vega-Sanz said.
He also said he wants to save students money.
“As college students who grew up in not-the-best financial situation and grew up in love with nature, we see the financial and environmental tolls caused by transportation,” Vega-Sanz said. “We want to be able to make an impact, and we see Lula as our way.”
Along with saving money, Vega-Sanz says he hopes that Lula will help the environment.
“Studies show that for every one car added on a car sharing platform, almost 50 metric tons of carbon dioxide can be eliminated from the atmosphere,” Vega-Sanz said. “We want to reduce the cars on the street so that the air my kids breathe is a little cleaner, so that the air the animals breathe is a little cleaner. That’s one thing that really motivates us.”
When approached by the Daily Wildcat, some students said that they would use this app.
“I would rent a student’s car, since you are able to independently transport yourself,” pre-business freshman Psalm Davis said when asked if he would rather use an Uber or a car rental service.
Sophomore Danielle Linville agreed.
“I would rent my car out because it would be insured and if someone needs a car, I’d be willing to help them while getting paid,” Linville said. “I’m not using the car, so I might as well put it to good use.”
However, other students said they will stick to Uber or Lyft.
“I would rather use an Uber or Lyft to get around,” freshman Brianna Birney said. “If I were to rent someone else’s car, I would have to consider a lot of factors like if the car was stolen, or if it was a scam.”
Lula launched on the Apple Store for free Sept. 1 and is planned to hit the Google Play store in early 2019.
For more information and special offers for campus groups, contact Matthew Vega-Sanz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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