If you rent your room, why not your driveway/garage?

Hi all, my name is JD,

First of all, I love Airbnb. I was a couchsurfing.com user many years ago and I
jump right into using Airbnb when I first heard of it. Love meeting people and sharing stories.

Don’t get me wrong, this post is more of a question to you guys/gals that rent out their rooms and
make other people (like me) extremely happy, than a “marketing tool”.

We started a startup to help people rent out their driveway/garage so we don’t build more parking lots (increases the price of housing), or get frustrated/stress trying to find parking. Even if people understand Airbnb and the benefit of renting out their rooms they still don’t want to rent out their driveway/garage. Why? Why? I know you don’t make enough money as renting the room, but you literally have to do NO work. No cleaning, no dealing with broken things or breakfast. Why wouldn’t you?

As we run out of funding, and we try our best to serve those that believe in us, I’m still hungry to learn from people about their motivations and reasons. I’m here for your to teach me :slight_smile: Thanks, have a great great day

Hi JD,

I rent my spare bedroom via Airbnb and have had mostly very good experiences. I wouldn’t rent out my driveway for these reasons:

Liability - What if the renter of the driveway hit someone while entering or exiting my driveway?

Security - I am usually home with Airbnb guests and their identity is verified by Airbnb. If I rent out my driveway it would be only when I’m not home. Thieves could sign up for your service in order to know when homes are unoccupied. If I were to rent my driveway out when I was home and park on the street, my neighbors would be irritated by the dwindling number of parking spaces.

Hi Ellen!

Thanks for replying. Really nice of you.

So, that was the first concerns we got when starting. And you are right on spot on them. On the liability
we just copied Airbnb by getting an insurance company to cover that kind of situations. Even with it, we
still get people that are worried. Which is interesting, and I guess trust is built with time :slight_smile:

On the second point that is extremely interesting and I went really deep into understanding that behavior. So, there has been many studies that say that the car park at the driveway/garage actually helps reduce crime against the property (kind of having an alarm system in place). There is a risk, that it would be use for the wrong reasons, but in the overall we believe the effect would be positive. We haven’t had any problems so far (cross fingers).
Regarding your neighbors, our idea is you rent it when you commute to work. So when you come back you actually have your spot for yourself. The idea is to benefit the community, so one less car on the street will leave that spot for those that really need it (have kids or RV).

Thanks so much for your comments. Really appreciate it.

Hi JD,

Are you aware that Airbnb’s “Host Guarantee” only covers property, not liability.
? If I rented out my driveway my concern would be liability if the driver was uninsured or underinsured.

Another concern would be, what if the event that the renter was attending took longer than anticipated; therefore my driveway wouldn’t be available when I needed it.

Hi Ellen,

We cover liability, not property. Most cars are insured but you just gave me good idea of asking for the last paid bill of insurance. We usually ask for license plate and driver license.

So, we haven’t had this happening, because we recommend homeowners to leave 1 hour buffer between when you need the space and the time available to be rented. Now, we also have a policy of charging a high fee if they leave the car, and the last case scenario we will tow away the car. Obviously this is such a bad experience (and one we are looking to help solve) that is the last action we will take.

Thanks again, appreciate your questions. May I ask you what is the main reason you rent in Airbnb?


I wasn’t asking questions; I was answering yours.

A vast majority of drivers don’t have adequate insurance coverage for a serious accident. This is the reason I wouldn’t sign up for your service.

The reason I rent my spare bedroom on Airbnb is that it is a nice way to earn extra funds and meet people from around the world.

i’ve never heard of this but i think it’s an interesting concept. When we lived downtown, it was a condo with a large garage for the building so our neighbors would not have been cool with strangers in the garage where people store stuff behind their cars, etc.

We moved out of downtown (4 miles) to an area with single family homes but it also has trendy commercial area with shops, restaurants, etc – street parking can be difficult to find. We have an attached garage but it houses my husband’s expensive bikes so renting the spot out wouldn’t work.

I’d think that in SF, however, that this would have actually worked (although so many of the driveways are so short that cars would stick out into the sidewalk.) Is it legal to block a driveway in SF with permission of homeowner? One issue might be how little money per transaction is generated although I can see how it would add up over a month if you live in a popular hood. If i didn’t have to open my garage and just let them park in my driveway while I’m at work (or better, park in front of my driveway on the street) I think I’d totally consider doing this.

Really good.