Owning a car isn't easy these days, particularly if you're a student.

That's why firms like Wheelz Inc, a peer-to-peer car-sharing company aimed at college students, has caught the attention of Bill Ford Jr.'s Fontinalis Partners LLC, and car-sharing company Zipcar.

Detroit News reports that the two companies are investing $13.7 million in Wheelz, to take advantage of schemes that make motoring easier for cash-strapped students.

Students who own cars can earn money by lending their cars to other students, via Wheelz. The scheme means students without cars can borrow them for short periods of time.

The company sits nicely with Zipcar's business plan, which rents cars to city drivers by the hour or by the day, again allowing individuals without cars use only as much as they need. Several other companies, including Car2Go, offer a similar service.

Though Bill Ford's Fontinalis company isn't afiliated with Ford Motor Company, Ford is already involved in the Zipcar scheme, with the Focus and Escape both on the Zipcar fleet.

Car sharing does actually cost the car industry sales, but some of this is made up for in the higher wear and tear of shared vehicles, which results in higher turnover.

There are other benefits too. As with the Fords used in the Zipcar scheme, deals with carmakers mean drivers develop an affinity with those brands - and may buy from that company when they're in a position to run their own car.


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