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Croway Aims to Be the Airbnb of Car Rentals in Uruguay

A new digital car rental service has begun operation in Uruguay. It’s called Croway, and similar to Airbnb’s housing rental model, the app serves as an intermediary between private car owners and people looking for a temporary way to get around.

“It’s a way to generate profits for the owner of the car in the time they’re not using it,” founder Gonzalo García said.

The creators of Croway, Maximiliano Casal and Gonzalo Garcia

Garcia explained that the service after he became aware of the growing amount of cars in Uruguay. Over the last 10 years, the number of cars in the small country has doubled due to families that want more than one vehicle for getting around.

For Garcia, Croway is an option for people whose second or third car ends up going unused, especially on weekends, which is the time when most cars rentals occur. Similar apps have already appeared in Europe and the United States, but this is the first in Latin America. Garcia said that gives Croway a real shot at success.

The venture began six months ago, with systems engineer Maximiliano Casal joining García — an entrepreneur with several years of experience in the rental car industry — in initial development of the platform.

It officially launched this Wednesday, October 18, so that vehicles from 2012 onward can register. On the company’s webpage, you have to enter the characteristics of the car, an image of it and the desired price you want for renting. The site suggests a price between 15 and 20 percent less than what the market offers.

“Both the renter and the car owner will coordinate all the details through the application: date, amount of time and place of withdrawal,” Garcia said, while explaining that Croway will charge a percentage to the owner of the vehicle. The payment will be made through Mercado Pago, which only accepts credit cards.

The owner of the car will coordinate the delivery of the vehicle and the signing of the lease. Upon completion of the service, the owner checks the condition of the vehicle and confirms that the rental was concluded.

Garcia said he is seeking to expand Croway once he sees how it’s performing in the Uruguayan market. “We are going to be evaluating everything step by step,” he said. “The idea is to be able to get the necessary permits and go out looking for that scalability.”

Sources: El Observador, Infonegocios, Croway. Via Panampost.