OLYMPIA, Wash. - The state of Washington is opening the door to a new flavor of car rental, as Oregon and California have already done. The Washington Legislature just voted to tweak the auto insurance rules so you can rent your wheels to friends or strangers when you're not using your car yourself.
To match renters with nearby car owners, several dot-coms have started Internet marketplaces. John Atcheson of Seattle is VP at one of those companies called Getaround.
John Atcheson: "Prior to this law, it's not that it is illegal for a car sharing company to come into Washington state. It just is very kind of unsure footing in the sense that anybody as a car owner who would want to participate would risk losing their personal insurance."
San Francisco-based Getaround recently expanded to Portland. Atcheson says further expansion into Washington state by his company or others could happen "relatively soon." Washington's governor needs to sign the legislation and then the insurance changes take effect at the end of this year.
On the web:
Washington Legislature HB 2384: regulating personal vehicle sharing programs
"Portland Has New Option For Car Sharing" Feb. 22, 2012:
"Companies Help You Rent Your Car To Others" June 6, 2011: