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updated 5/26/2011 6:50:00 PM ET 2011-05-26T22:50:00

A new iPhone app allows car owners to share their cars with others and potentially generate thousands of dollars each year in rental income.

The new peer-to-peer car-sharing service Getaround aims to make use of the 250 million personal vehicles in the U.S. that sit idle an average of 22 hours each day. The company and its app enables car owners to "un-idle" their cars and offset the cost of vehicle ownership by sharing it with others.

For the service to work, users install a Getaround Carkit in their vehicle that combines GPS, Wi-Fi and keyless remote technology. The app then allows users to conduct entire transactions, including reserving, paying for and unlocking cars, using nothing but their iPhone.

On average, owners can earn about $2,000 each year for every hour a day their car is rented. Members can also rent someone's car for as little as $3 an hour and can keep it by the hour, day or week.

"Getaround frees people from the burden of car ownership by turning an idle, costly, and underutilized asset into something that can generate revenue, and the Getaround Carkit and smartphone technology make car-sharing safe and accessible to everyone," Getaround founder and CEO Sam Zaid said in a statement.

To help with safety, Getaround allows car owners maintain complete control over their cars by setting the pricing and availability. Owners also have the option to approve each rental request individually. They can also monitor and track the vehicle to make sure the vehicle is being used properly.

In addition, cars are covered by premium insurance provided by Getaround and Berkshire Hathaway, so if something goes wrong, the insurance will cover it.

Reach TechNewsDaily senior writer Samantha Murphy at smurphy@techmedianetwork.com. Follow her on Twitter @SamMurphy_TMN

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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