A new car-sharing app allows users to rent out vehicles using nothing more than their smartphone.

Peer-to-peer app Yourdrive works on a similar model to AirBnB – vehicle owners can post their car on the app for rental when they don’t need it, and users can select from those available.

Previously, renters and owners would have to meet to exchange keys, but now, with the installation of technology similar to that used by electric scooter apps like LIME, all a renter needs is their smartphone.

Oscar Ellison, Youdrive’s CEO, pointed out that most car-owners only use their vehicles about 4 per cent of the time, yet they carry the fixed costs of owning them for a much higher usage – spending around $21 a day to own a small car.

Ellison says vehicle owners on their platform are earning up to $1,500 for longer bookings, with their biggest earner taking in over $11,000 in total so far.

“Peer to peer vehicle rentals are growing rapidly throughout New Zealand, particularly in urban areas where public transport infrastructure is well developed,” said Oscar. “It means that car owners who take the train or bus to work, or don’t use their car on the weekends, can derive an income from their vehicle when it is not in use.”

Ellison says under the Yourdrive GO programme, his company will cover the $250 cost to retrofit vehicles with the new smartphone-unlockable technology, which increase the likelihood of a car being rented by 5 times.

He says they have already installed hardware in more than a dozen vehicles around Auckland and Wellington – the country’s largest markets for peer to peer car rentals.