It’s a Saturday night and you’re catching up with friends at your favourite watering hole during the holidays. You have had a couple of beers and your mate is about to tell a story you have heard a thousand times before, signalling the time for you to head home.
You suddenly remember you drove your car to the pub because you had sworn to your partner that you were only going to have one beer.
What do you do? You don’t want to leave your car there overnight and none of your friends are able to drive.
Fortunately, two Canberra brothers Joshua and Oscar Gonzalez have set up a service to help people in such situations. Launched in December 2016, PKUP provides Canberrans with a driver to drive them and their car safely home.
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Joshua said the idea for the service was born out of situations they and their friends had experienced.
“We started this company because we were always going out and having drinks with friends and we came across the situation where we would drive to the pub, have a good time out but not want to leave the car there,” he said.
“Our friends would also find themselves in this situation and would make the wrong decision. There was no service like this available so we decided to create a service that would help a lot of people out.”
The service works in pairs, with the drivers appearing at the requested location to drive you home in your own car with the second driver driving a PKUP car which will follow to your destination.
Originally, the service was just a website with a phone number to call the brothers who would come and drop you home, but now the service has developed an app and has up to five pairs of drivers to help people across Canberra.
All drivers have suitable accreditation and have passed a police background check, and customers can be reassured by the business’ insurance coverage. The service aims to meet customers at their location within half an hour of their request.
“We want to give people the freedom to make spontaneous decisions, to have fun, to get out there and have a drink,” Joshua said. “We want people to not worry knowing that a driver will always be there.”
The service runs till 2 am from Sunday to Thursday and on Friday and Saturday night till 4 am, giving Canberrans an option to get their car home no matter the time of night.
Joshua said he is expecting a very busy festive period for the brothers and the other pairs of drivers, who have been inundated with calls since the beginning of the month.
“The past month has been a very busy period for us and last week was the busiest week we have had ever,” he said. “It is cool now that people immediately recognise the company and the logo which is completely different from a year ago.”