McKeel Hagerty admits he was taken aback, to the point of speechlessness, when Ziv Aviram, co-founder of Mobileye, the Israeli company developing cameras and software for autonomous vehicles, told him, “Sorry, I’m going to put you out of business. You have to find something else to do.”
What Aviram apparently was saying was that self-driving vehicles that avoid collisions will eliminate the need for car insurance companies, perhaps even those such as Hagerty’s that specialize in insuring classic vehicles.
“I didn’t have a good answer,” Hagerty said as he shared the story. “But it set my mind to thinking,” thinking about the future.
While Hagerty’s mind was wrestling with itself, business acquaintances and car friends were asking for his advice aboutwhether they should invest in a company called Classics&Exotics, a startup trying to convince collector car owners to rent out their cars under a shared-economy arrangement; think Airbnb for car guys.
Intrigued, Hagerty contacted Classics&Exotics co-founder Peter Zawadzki.
“This is a way to our future,” Hagerty said as he announced during Monterey Car Week that Hagerty had acquired Classics&Exotics, and that Zawadski would serve as director of what Hagerty will call DriveShare. We think this is is a real game-changer in the collector car world,” — McKeel Hagerty.
“I started this company so people could try out these amazing vehicles and owners could make a little money to defray the cost of ownership, and that’s still the mission today for DriveShare,” Zawadzki said. “It’s a great way to bring more people into the hobby. What we’ve seen is that people who rent these cars often become classic car owners themselves.”
Often may be too strong a word. Launched early last year, Classics & Exotics has put together only 50 rentals, but four of the renters ended up buying their own collector cars. One of the things Hagerty will bring to the program is its million-member car community.
Among other things, Hagerty sees the acquisition as a way to encourage younger people to try on collector cars, to experience them without having to own them, and to experience the enjoyment of driving instead of merely riding along.
“A taste of the classic car lifestyle,” is how the Hagerty news release phrased it.
It’s also may be a way for people to add to their collection, and by renting their vehicles those vehicles and their maintenance can become more affordable.
“What we think this is is a real game-changer in the collector car world,” Hagerty said.
“DriveShare gives people an easy way to get behind the wheel of cars they’ve always wanted to drive,” Hagerty said. “Our goal is to provide a common platform that connects enthusiasts and owners to expand the community of people who love cars.”
Renters must be at least 30 years of age, submit driver’s license information for vetting, and agree to a minimum security deposit. All cars will be covered by Hagerty Plus roadside service (at no cost).
The program is valid in all states except New York, where regulations prevent private-party car rentals, Hagerty said.
For more information, visit the DrivesShare.com website.