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Cars that make money

Imagine receiving texts everyday saying that someone in your neighbourhood would like to borrow your car and pay for the privilege.

Well, it's no make-believe. Whipcar is an online service that offers its members exactly that – drivers can rent out their car when they're not using it, by the day, hour or even month.

'A friend encouraged me to try WhipCar because I wanted to minimise my motoring expenses,' 321-year-old Nick Koidl told the Telegraph. 'I've rented it nine times in the past four months and I love it because it's so simple to use. I usually charge £30 to £34 per day, but it's trial and error depending on demand.

'For anyone with a car that's not used for a few hours a day, it's the perfect way to earn some extra income.'

Whipcar is a new service started last year. Everything's done online. Drivers submit a request to book a car, the owner gets a text including details of that person's driving history and if they're happy, the driver's card is debited, Whipcar automatically insures the vehicle, and the driver and owner meet at the vehicle.

Founder Vinay Gupta says: 'The average car owner in the UK only uses their vehicle for one hour a day. Yet the average cost of owning and running a car is £5,500 a year.

'Also, 40 per cent of cars are driven less than 5,000 miles per year, so people are paying more than £1 for every mile they drive. It's hugely expensive.'

The choice of cars is wide, from Ford Fiestas to even Jaguars. Gupta says Volkswagens are the most popular, adding: 'We've found people use different cars for different purposes. They might rent a large car for a trip to Ikea one day, and then a smaller car for nipping around town.'

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