In what is being described as the ‘Airbnb for cars’, Canberrans can now jump on board a new peer-to-peer car sharing platform where you can rent out your car to strangers.
The new car-sharing service allows people to rent out their car for $5 an hour or $25 per day plus 33 cents per kilometre when they’re not using it through an online platform called Car Next Door.
After running in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast, the platform has launched in the nation’s capital after the ACT Government created a new CTP insurance to cover shared vehicles outside the ‘personal’ or ‘hire’ categories, in an Australian first.
Car Next Door founder Will Davies says the platform helps car owners offset the cost of car ownership while giving borrowers affordable and easy access to cars when they need them.
“Car-sharing has been popular in the ACT since it was launched three years ago by GoGet and Popcar, who brought in new cars specifically for car sharing but Car Next Door is different,” Mr Davies said.
“Our fleet is made up of real people’s cars that would otherwise just be parked, making better use of the millions of under-used vehicles already sitting in our streets.”
According to Mr Davies, cars are used for only four per cent of the time, with his platform designed to provide extra income, reduce parking congestion and wasteful car ownership for the 96 per cent of the time vehicles sit idle.
The car-sharing platform has grown to over 2,000 cars being shared by more than 100,000 members in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle and the Gold Coast.
“We were really impressed with the ACT Government’s support for innovative business models, and their willingness to work with the insurers and Car Next Door to come up with an arrangement that worked for the ACT community,” Mr Davies said.
“Each car that is shared takes up to 10 cars off the road.”
Mr Davies said the platform’s comprehensive insurance that covered anyone driving the vehicle, strict membership criteria, easy to use online booking and payment system along with high-end, in-vehicle technology made the car-sharing service safe, fast, and hassle-free.
“Since we launched in 2013, we have grown 100 per cent every year and a big part of the reason why we have grown that fast is that we take trust and security very seriously,” he said.
“To make sure the right people are in the right vehicle in the first place, we do a very thorough check of borrowers when they first join.
“We do ID checks and credit checks along with a range of security checks to make sure the borrowers are legitimate people and are the right type of person to loan the car to.”
Thirty-five-year-old Tristan Skinner, who lives in Canberra, first used the service in Melbourne four or five years ago without a hiccup and was glad to see the service arrive in Canberra.
“It worked really well in Melbourne and I was waiting for it to come to Canberra,” he told Region Media. “It was extremely useful because we were travelling overseas so I left it at my brother’s place and it was rented out pretty much every day and we offset all our car costs for that year when we were away.
“Now that we are in Canberra, we only use our car every second day so we will rent it out every second day on the platform. There are always concerns but the idea and the benefits outweigh that.”
For more information on how to borrow a car or rent yours, click here.