I've still got a big weedy area on my allotment that hasn't been cultivated for years. It's a total jungle, we couldn't possibly tackle it all by hand. So we investigated hiring a strimmer and a rotavator to get it all under control.
Our nearest tool hire place wants £33 a day for a strimmer and £52 a day for a rotavator, which is pretty expensive.
There's probably somebody I know who has a strimmer and/or a rotavator in their shed. I've been asking everyone who I think is likely to have one, but I haven't got anywhere so far. Wouldn't it be great if there was some kind of database of who has what tools? Then when you wanted a strimmer or a power washer you could look up if anyone near you had the thing you want and was willing to lend it out. I'd pay money for a service like that.
It would work both ways wouldn't it? For example, my apple press and scritcher get used just a few days a year. If I could hire them out to other people I could recoup some of the cost. Or, as it was a gift, I could bring in a bit of income. I'm sure there are other things in my shed that don't get much use. The steam wallpaper stripper, for example, the kiln, the router. They could become nice little earners.
Fortunately someone has already thought of it. Zilok.co.uk is a Rental Marketplace where anyone, individual or professional, can rent or rent out anything (from a fancy handbag to a drill, from tuxedos to digital cameras or even cars or baby strollers…). They call it “peer-to-peer renting”, or an eBay for rentals. There are star ratings like on Ebay so you can protect yourself by only renting from (or to) people with an established reputation. Or you will when it has been up and running for a little while. It was only launched this week, so when I went on it I couldn't find any strimmers or rotavators, and nobody has any stars.
I'll be keeping my eye on it. It sounds like a brilliant idea and I'm dying to try it out when it's properly running.