House Passes Defense Bill that Directs Pentagon to Explore Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing on Base

Report directs Secretary of Defense to study the logistics and potential benefits of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) carsharing for servicemembers.

Washington, DC — Sept. 28, 2021 — The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on September 23 by a vote of 316 to 113, contains report language directing the Secretary of Defense to study the logistics and potential benefits of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) carsharing, which enables private vehicle owners to share their vehicles with drivers by using a smartphone application and online marketplace.  

The House recognized that P2P carsharing provides benefits not provided by traditional rental car companies. P2P carsharing “creat[es] an economic opportunity for car owning servicemembers and provid[es] a key mobility option for those servicemembers and dependents in need of a car” while enabling deployed service members to generate income on a depreciating asset while reducing the Department of Defense’s costs to store vehicles.

"As a leading digital and global carsharing marketplace, Getaround is thrilled that the House of Representatives has validated this growing alternative to car ownership," said Andrew Byrnes, Deputy General Counsel and Global Head ofPublic Policy at Getaround. "Getaround stands ready to support our warfighters and their families, whether they are deployed and wish to earn income through sharing their own car or need access to a car to live or work."

Specifically, the provision directs the Secretary of Defense to study the logistics and potential benefits of P2P carsharing, including: (1) Personal car ownership, including selling one’s car or not purchasing a car in the first place, potentially reducing opportunities for predatory lending occurrences;(2) Benefits to the deployed warfighter; (3) Reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions; (4) Benefits to spouses and dependents (ie., economic revenue and expense reduction, such as not having to purchase a second car), and (5) Mode shift away from using one’s own automobile to other transportation options, in addition to the equity and economic impacts on users of having access to a shared car, as well as how participation would impact car depreciation.

“I’m delighted that the US House of Representatives has recognized the benefits of peer-to-peer car sharing and how it improves the lives of service members and their families,” said Arun Sundararajan, the Harold Price Professor of Entrepreneurship at New York University and author of the award-winning book, The Sharing Economy. “Peer-to-peer carsharing has a large documented positive impact on the US economy, one that is increasing over time. My own research has shown that these benefits are enjoyed by both car owners sharing their cars and drivers who gain flexible temporary access to a vehicle. There is also growing evidence that the positive impacts of carsharing are particularly significant for underserved communities.”

“Studies show that peer-to-peer (P2P) carsharing has increased access and mobility for formerly carless households, reduced vehicle miles traveled, and reduced fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” added Susan Shaheen, professor in civil and environmental engineering, and co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center, at the University of California, Berkeley. “For service members and their families, P2P carsharing has the potential to provide on-demand, short-term access to a fleet of personally owned motor vehicles while allowing service members to share their vehicles and earn additional income during temporary absences, such as temporary duty assignments and deployments.”

Under the terms of the language, the Department of Defense shall report back to the House Armed Services Committee not later than April 1, 2022.