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Avail: A rival to traditional rental car companies in Austin

The company is already seeing exponential growth in Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas — If you're in need of a car or you're trying to make some extra cash, there's a new option in town.

Avail launched near Austin's airport earlier this year as a rival to traditional rental car companies. The company is already seeing exponential growth in Austin.

Borrowers can schedule a car online or on the app. Car owners who list a 2010 model or newer with less than 125,000 miles can make up to $175 a week.

They bring it to The Parking Spot lot near the Austin Bergstrom International Airport where the staff gets it ready for pick up with extra coronavirus-cautious cleaning measures.

Then, borrowers can pick up the car, pre-reserved on the platform, and keep it for the scheduled amount of time.

"Safety and security has always been a core tenant of ours and we always have had it in our DNA to to be very thoroughly washing cars, very thoroughly inspecting cars," said Alex David, Avail's general manager for airports. 

Avail is currently in 10 cities and said Austin has quickly become its second-largest market, growing 300% since July.

All the cars on the platform are backed with a custom insurance policy by Allstate.

"Cars are people's babies and they have a very personal relationship with that asset and we take that trust very seriously," David said. 

For Jordan Brown, that was added peace-of-mind after a small fender bender over the summer. 

"I had to put my car in the shop," Brown said. "It seemed like a quicker, cheaper option for renting a car. And it definitely was was all of that."

Avail joins other app-based peer-to-peer car-sharing services like Turo and Getaround. And consumers also have options like Lyft and Uber. 

"The pie has become smaller and now companies like Avail and Turo are eating into that pie, so it's not good for the traditional rental car companies," said Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst from Atmosphere Research Group. "When you have more options, you have more product, and of course, you may also have better pricing."

It's just one way to save – or make – extra money.

WATCH: Avail: New car rental company launches near Austin airport


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