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VOA标准英语2011--Americans Try Renting Their Car to Stran

时间:2011-06-21 01:52来源:互联网 提供网友:oj726057   字体: [ ]

Americans Try Renting Their Car to Strangers

Americans love their cars. There are more cars, per capita, in the United States than in any other country - more than eight cars for every 10 Americans, according to recent government figures.
But most of the time, those vehicles sit idle, parked in a driveway or on the street. Now, several startup companies on the U.S. West Coast are helping1 people rent their personal car to someone else when they don't need it.
Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing
Eric Loebel is one of those people. For a small price, he wants to let his Oregon neighbors "borrow" his car. It's a dark blue, model year 2000 Volvo sedan.
The sales and marketing2 consultant3 says he doesn't use it much.
"My wife and I are huge bike commuters and almost don't need a car, but haven't quite been able to eliminate that element," he says. "So we have a car that basically sits in front of the house maybe 85 to 90 percent of the time."
Loebel is one of the first car owners in Portland to list his wheels for rent through a so-called "peer-to-peer car sharing" service called Getaround.com.
"Cars are so expensive to own," he says. "This can definitely offset5 some of the cost."
The website lets car owners decide for themselves how much to charge borrowers to rent by the hour, day or week.
Collision protection
Loebel is charging $9 per hour or $199 per week. So is he worried someone will wreck6 his car?
"Ummm... no. My relationship to my car is one of non-attachment."
And besides, he says the car sharing marketplace automatically includes liability and collision insurance that is separate from his own. That's an important feature. Most U.S. insurance companies hold the owner of a vehicle responsible for accidents, no matter who is driving, and can raise the insurance premium7.
So the Oregon Legislature is considering new regulations to smooth the road for person-to-person car rentals9, following an example set by the California legislature last year.
"Commercial uses of vehicles are prohibited under typical insurance policies," says State Rep. Ben Cannon10, a Democrat11 from Portland. "So we needed to create new law to provide for the possibility that someone could put their car into a car sharing program without violating their motor vehicle insurance policy."
Cannon's legislative12 fix encountered no organized opposition13 on its way to passage. He enthusiastically endorses14 personal car sharing as a free market solution to help neighborhoods make do with fewer cars.
Something for everyone
Person-to-person rentals began in Germany a decade ago, and there are a handful of similar companies in Europe and Australia.
The concept caught on quickly in California over the past year, according to John Atcheson, vice4 president of Getaround, one of four car-sharing startups in the San Francisco area.
"We have had an amazing array of cars leaping into our system," Atcheson says. "Not just 1995 pickup15 trucks, but we have had late model Mercedes, Audis, any type of car you can imagine. We actually have a Tesla Roadster - a $150,000 sports car - that people have put into this pool."
Atcheson's company and its competitors screen the driving records of prospective16 borrowers. Private car owners post when their vehicles are available in a members-only internet marketplace.
The car sharing companies take a commission of 35- to 40 percent of the rental8 price to cover administration and insurance. Owners and borrowers can police the marketplace by giving each other online ratings.
"So far, we have had surprisingly few issues come up," Atcheson says. "In fact, the only issue I can think of right now that has happened is that someone had a BMW sports car in the system. It was a stick shift. Someone who didn't know how to drive a stick shift very well took it and burned the clutch down."
Getaround helped to pay for a new clutch.
Another service called JustShareIt plans to stand out by going beyond cars. Its founder17 says the company will offer person-to-person rentals of power boats, dune18 buggies, jet skis and snowmobiles too.


1 helping 2rGzDc     
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
2 marketing Boez7e     
  • They are developing marketing network.他们正在发展销售网络。
  • He often goes marketing.他经常去市场做生意。
3 consultant 2v0zp3     
  • He is a consultant on law affairs to the mayor.他是市长的一个法律顾问。
  • Originally,Gar had agreed to come up as a consultant.原来,加尔只答应来充当我们的顾问。
4 vice NU0zQ     
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
5 offset mIZx8     
  • Their wage increases would be offset by higher prices.他们增加的工资会被物价上涨所抵消。
  • He put up his prices to offset the increased cost of materials.他提高了售价以补偿材料成本的增加。
6 wreck QMjzE     
  • Weather may have been a factor in the wreck.天气可能是造成这次失事的原因之一。
  • No one can wreck the friendship between us.没有人能够破坏我们之间的友谊。
7 premium EPSxX     
  • You have to pay a premium for express delivery.寄快递你得付额外费用。
  • Fresh water was at a premium after the reservoir was contaminated.在水库被污染之后,清水便因稀而贵了。
8 rental cBezh     
  • The yearly rental of her house is 2400 yuan.她这房子年租金是2400元。
  • We can organise car rental from Chicago O'Hare Airport.我们可以安排提供从芝加哥奥黑尔机场出发的租车服务。
9 rentals d0a053f4957bbe94f4c1d9918956d75b     
n.租费,租金额( rental的名词复数 )
  • In some large hotels, the income derived from this source actually exceeds income from room rentals. 有些大旅馆中,这方面的盈利实际上要超过出租客房的盈利。 来自辞典例句
  • Clerk: Well, Canadian Gifts is on the lower level. It's across from Prime Time Video Rentals. 噢,礼品店在楼下,在黄金时刻录像出租屋的对面。 来自口语例句
10 cannon 3T8yc     
  • The soldiers fired the cannon.士兵们开炮。
  • The cannon thundered in the hills.大炮在山间轰鸣。
11 democrat Xmkzf     
  • The Democrat and the Public criticized each other.民主党人和共和党人互相攻击。
  • About two years later,he was defeated by Democrat Jimmy Carter.大约两年后,他被民主党人杰米卡特击败。
12 legislative K9hzG     
  • Congress is the legislative branch of the U.S. government.国会是美国政府的立法部门。
  • Today's hearing was just the first step in the legislative process.今天的听证会只是展开立法程序的第一步。
13 opposition eIUxU     
  • The party leader is facing opposition in his own backyard.该党领袖在自己的党內遇到了反对。
  • The police tried to break down the prisoner's opposition.警察设法制住了那个囚犯的反抗。
14 endorses c3e60c44ba7aa93f0218a4cb8797284f     
v.赞同( endorse的第三人称单数 );在(尤指支票的)背面签字;在(文件的)背面写评论;在广告上说本人使用并赞同某产品
  • There isn't one country in the Middle East that now endorses the Eisenhower Doctrine. 但至今没有一个中东国家认可它。 来自辞典例句
  • Whether any of this truly endorses Dr Patel's hypothesis is moot. 这些视频能否真正证明帕特的假设成立还是个未知数。 来自互联网
15 pickup ANkxA     
  • I would love to trade this car for a pickup truck.我愿意用这辆汽车换一辆小型轻便卡车。||The luck guy is a choice pickup for the girls.那位幸运的男孩是女孩子们想勾搭上的人。
16 prospective oR7xB     
  • The story should act as a warning to other prospective buyers.这篇报道应该对其他潜在的购买者起到警示作用。
  • They have all these great activities for prospective freshmen.这会举办各种各样的活动来招待未来的新人。
17 Founder wigxF     
  • He was extolled as the founder of their Florentine school.他被称颂为佛罗伦萨画派的鼻祖。
  • According to the old tradition,Romulus was the founder of Rome.按照古老的传说,罗穆卢斯是古罗马的建国者。
18 dune arHx6     
  • The sand massed to form a dune.沙积集起来成了沙丘。
  • Cute Jim sat on the dune eating a prune in June.可爱的吉姆在六月天坐在沙丘上吃着话梅。
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