I recently flew back to Boston to visit family over the holidays to visit family and finally finish the outline of my dragon tattoo I started over a year ago. My biggest problem was I had to get from my family’s to the tattoo shop in Saugus, MA – a town north of the city of Boston, and to a place where there was no bus stop – and do this all before jumping on my flight back home out of Logan.
I could have skipped getting the rest of the tattoo, but since it takes up my entire right side, and currently stopped just below my pants line, I was really getting tired of looking silly naked. So, being determined to not look ridiculous any longer, getting access to wheels for a few hours, before I boarded my plane back home, was a necessity.
I didn’t have the option of borrowing a car from a friend. And renting a car, for the 4 hours I would need it, was coming out to a minimum of $60 for the day. (You know, $20 for the car, $40 for the insurance, taxes, and extra fees).
So I looked up by-the-hour car rentals. I had heard of ZipCars, but they too, were coming out to almost $60 for the 4 hours I would need it. Then, thanks to a Google search for “car sharing rental Boston” I stumbled upon Relay Rides.
Relay Rides differs from the regular car sharing and by the hour rental places, in that you are using OTHER PEOPLE’S CARS. These are not cars specifically for renting, these are cars you are essentially borrowing from someone you’ve never met; and borrowing for as low as $6 an hour. That’s it. The price you see is the price you pay. And yes, the price includes insurance.
This is basically how it works: someone has a car that sits, unused for hours while the owner is at work, or in classes (remember, Boston is a huge college town), or at home. Instead of just having a perfectly good car just sitting, owners offer their car up for use. Someone without a car, like me, can now borrow the car for a couple hours, a day, a week, and so on. Renters can see all the cars Relay Rides has in the area, down to where it is parked (within a 3 block radius), and the renter then contacts the owner to see if the car is available. When an owner comes back with an affirmative on the car, you then have so many hours (depending on when your rental starts) to confirm. Once confirmed you go through Relay Rides to confirm your identity, your driving history (you have to be driving for at least 2 years to be able to rent with Relay Rides), and to set up payment.
The first time you want to use them, be ready to have to email them a photo of you holding your id, or other information. Since I moved my license and insurance from Massachusetts to Nevada just under 2 years before I rented, they had trouble confirming my driving record. I wasn’t about to pay the state of Massachusetts money to get my own driving history, but luckily, I had a photo of my old MA license saved in with my travel documents from 6 years ago. Relay rides gladly accepted my 6 year old driver license photo as proof I have been driving for more than 2 years.
It was super easy to use. I met the guy I rented the car from at a predetermined place (his apartment building). His car was parked a street over. He gave me keys, and since this was Boston street parking, told me what parking sticker zone I could park in, and where to leave his key when I returned (because he was in class), and off I went. His car was even a stick shift, which I prefer! (You have the option to exclude manual transmissions if you want). When you return the car, you park it within 3 blocks of where you picked it up. When I dropped off the car, I put the key where asked, then, since I had to park a street over from where I picked it up, I took a photo of the building number I parked next to and text the owner the photo with the street name, and was off.
Because of this, I finished the outline of my awesome dragon tattoo!
Relay Rides is available in cities all over the USA too! I wish I knew this when I was busing all over Vegas in 100+ degree weather the first three months back in Vegas!
If you are visiting, or living in a city, and need a car for a few hours to do errands, or a day to go to the beach, or whatever thing you could need a car for, check out Relay Rides. Its affordable, you can find everything from older, basic manual transmissions to brand new, state of the art, massage your back while you drive style SUV’s. While most cars range from the $6 to $15 dollar an hour range, I did see the top of the line in luxury cars for as much as $120 an hour.
You can find out more about Relay Rides here:
I would like to thank Brandi Poppz for my awesome tattoo. She does amazing work and is the only person I will let tattoo me. You can find her on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/LilPoppz
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com. I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I've flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion. I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.