HiGear peer-to-peer car-sharing service closes its doors

Article by Christian A., on January 4, 2012

Upon realizing that thefts can’t be prevented, HiGear, a peer-to-peer car-sharing service, has decided to shut down operations. The San Francisco-based company, which stood out due to its use of luxury vehicles, is ending operations as its members’ cars have been targeted by a criminal ring. CEO Ali Moiz said that the company will be giving its members a full explanation soon. This news is surprising since HiGear’s performance in the past few months has been excellent.

In November, HiGear implemented its L.A. expansion but by the end of the year, it has set a plan to enter more markets such as Portland and San Diego.

What made HiGear different from other car-sharing services is that it focused on “high-end” auto brands only, including Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Tesla. It offered comprehensive liability and collision insurance and it screened its members through record checks and credit checks. In addition, a security deposit was taken to “encourage safe and fair use of members’ cars.”

Aside from the rental fee (ranging from $125 to 600), drivers would have to pay $20-40 per day in rental insurance. But these measures were apparently not enough and failed to protect its members against a criminal ring, which had stolen four cars amounting to $400,000.

HiGear’s security checks didn’t dissuade criminals who used stolen identities and credit cards. Some of the cars have been recovered by the police but nevertheless, HiGear decided to just close down the business just one month after the thefts.

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