Last Updated on 8 November 2022 by Dan
Hello everyone! If you’re finding yourself either in need of car hire or potentially looking to make some extra money using you car, the HiyaCar service may be of interest. Today, we’re reviewing HiyaCar to give you our opinions on it!
Please note this post is affiliate: If you signup to HiyaCar from this post we will receive a small referral fee which in no way affects the service you receive. Per our editoral policy, we always write honestly about our experiences of products – we know how important your trust is to the website.
What is HiyaCar?
HiyaCar describe themselves as a peer-to-peer car hire service. What this means in practice is that instead of having a fleet of cars at a specific location like a classic hire car company, they provide the infrastructure to allow rental of a spare car from another person, or from Hiyacar themselves.
No keys take place in renting a HiyaCar – everything works through a remote unlocking system on the app, where you can unlock the car for the period of your rental.
All trips are also covered by comprehensive insurance and roadside assistance as well in case of problems, providing assurance on that front both for owner and driver!
This creates a service which creates an easy to use and cheaper option as the user, or the ability to make some money with a spare or unused car if you rent yours out for others to use.
Advantages of using HiyaCar
A HiyaCar can be convenient (as user)
As you’re renting from a local user, I’ve found there are quite a few HiyaCar’s immediately around my local area and I haven’t had to walk or travel that far to the car (based on experiences in Zone 2 London) – in fact my nearest one was literally around the corner from my flat.
The nearest proper traditional car hire place is some distance away, so this was helpful.
A HiyaCar can be cost effective (as user)
As HiyaCar has relatively few fixed costs owing to the peer-to-peer nature of the service, it’s considerably cheaper to hire a car than classic car hire options. I was finding that the average cost near me was around £4 an hour, which compares well for short term hire car and below rivals ZipCar. The cheapest I found was £3 an hour offered on a Toyota Yaris.
HiyaCar has a good range of vehicles (as user)
I found there was quite a range of sizes and car options in my area as well so if I needed a bigger car, I’d have the option (I would have had to go slightly further, but not an unreasonable distance).
HiyaCar can be effective as an income stream with a spare car (as owner)
Whilst obviously you have to be comfortable with the idea of strangers using your car, if you have a spare then renting out your car can represent some good extra money for an asset sitting unused.
You can set your own rental fee (as owner)
If you are a car owner, you can set the rental fee yourself (note that HiyaCar will take 30% as their fee, and you keep the other 70%).
HiyaCar will sort out the insurance (as owner)
You effectively make temporary use of HiyaCar’s insurance whilst your car is being rented out – it supersedes your personal insurance and means you don’t need to take out additional insurance yourself.
Disadvantages of using HiyaCar
As a user you have a responsibility to return a HiyaCar in same condition (as user)
When you use a HiyaCar you’ll need to return it in the same conditions as when you took it out, meaning that you may have to plan in fuel and potentially cleaning if going anywhere particularly muddy.
The policy isn’t designed to catch you out (it’s based on reasonable expectations) but it may be something you have to factor into your hire if say, going somewhere muddy and think about refuelling.
As an Hiyacar owner, there can be admin in case of problems (as owner)
What Hiyacar have policies and approaches for anything that could go wrong to make sure you’re still not out of pocket, there can be a bit of administration to sort this out with HiyaCar.
In the case of a more serious issue like the user having an accident, you could not have the use of your car for a while as well.
Overall review of HiyaCar
As a user, I think HiyaCar is well worth using for shorter term rentals. It’s significantly cheaper and more convenient to pick up the car locally than traditional car hire options.
I would however be making sure I’m travelling somewhere I can fill up relatively easily on the route back, as the requirement to leave car in same state isn’t always easy.
I have mixed feelings about renting out a car – if you’re in an area you can get consistent use, I think it can be a good income stream.
Speaking for myself, having limited ability to control who is renting my car, I wouldn’t want to take the risk of the administrative headache in case of damage or problems, but my risk tolerance is fairly low on such things! If you’re the kind of person happy to rent out our place on AirBnb, HiyaCar is probably a good service for you!
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FAQ’s on using HiyaCar
Do I need to pay for fuel use with HiyaCar?
Yes, you’ll need to return the car with the same or more fuel than when you set off. If it’s returned with less, the owner has the right to submit and claim and you’ll be charged for this.
Do you pay a subscription fee with HiyaCar?
No, there’s no ongoing or hidden fees – you simply pay on a per use basis.
Can I rent a van on HiyaCar?
Yes you can! Just search for these when using the platform.
What happens with speeding tickets or penalty charge notices?
If there’s a penalty charge notice, you contact HiyaCar with the details who will recover the fine from the customer. (If the customer does not pay, there’s a process to transfer liability to the driver).
If it’s a speeding fine, you’ll be asked to submit the drivers details (which you’ll have from the rental agreement) to the police for them to take forward.
Can I list all cars to rent on Hiyacar?
Most cars, there are some exceptions:
- it must be under 15 years old
- it can only be up to insurance group 31
- have a current value of under £40,000
- it can have a maximum of 7 seats
And for Vans:
- it must be under 20 years old
- it can only be up to insurance group 18
- have a current value of under £40,000
- have a weight of no more than 3.5 tonnes
- it can have a maximum of 5 seats
Can I rent out a leased car with HiyaCar?
Nominally yes, the HiyaCar policies and insurance will cover this – however you should check with your lease provider that they’re happy with the arrangement first.
Do I need a driving license to use HiyaCar?
Yes, you’ll be asked to upload your driving license and provide some details of our driving history – you can use the app before this, but not rent cars.
Do I need special equipment to rent out my car as a HiyaCar?
Yes, you’ll need a bit of kit to enable keyless entry to our car via the HiyaCar app, which is provided free to you.
What happens if I need the car for extra time?
Car owners can set their own policies on overtime requirement, so you’ll need to check with the owner of the specific car you’re looking to hire for this.
What cars are typically available with Hiyacar?
Near me I had several options for a SEAT Ibiza, Kia Stonic, Suzuki Swift, VW Golf and Renault Twingo – basically a good range of compact city cars. There was a Toyota RAV4 and a Ford Galaxy a little further on if I needed something bigger.
Looking for alternatives?
If you feel Hiyacar might not be for you, check out our review of ZipCar as an alternative city hire car service.
We’d love to hear from you if you’ve had experiences on using HiyaCar as a driver or owner – and if you have any questions at all, please just leave them in the comments below!