How can I rent my car out in Australia? Top questions answered

How can I rent my car out in Australia? Top questions answered

Do you spend hundreds of dollars a month on a car that sits idle for most of the week? You’re not alone. Owning and running a new small car can cost nearly $8000 a year. You’ll pay a bit less if you don’t drive it every day, but the bulk of the cost is what you spend just to own a car: the depreciation, rego, insurance, servicing and repairs. By renting out your car, you can turn it from a drain on your wallet into a money maker.

There are a few different options when it comes to renting your car out in Australia, from basic “key handover” type arrangements to integrated systems where you don’t need to meet borrowers at all. Providers typically organise to install a gps tracker in your car, organise insurance which covers borrowers and manage payments for you. You have the ultimate control over when you want to rent out your car.

If you’re thinking about whether or not you should rent out your car, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you list your car on a car sharing platform. We’ve gathered and answered the top questions we get when members apply list their cars on our platform.

You can rent out your car in Australia if:

  • It is safe and comfortable for people to drive
  • It is available a fair part of the time - i.e. you don’t drive it every day
  • It has registration with appropriate CTP insurance
  • It is located in an area where there is a peer-to-peer car rental platform operating
  • It is not too old (the age limit depends on the platform, but it should generally be less than 10 to 12 years old)
  • You are willing to do a bit of housekeeping to keep your car ready to borrow
  • You don’t have a criminal history or insurance fraud convictions

1: What kind of condition does my car need to be in to rent it out?

Most importantly your car needs to be safe and secondly it needs to be comfortable for people to drive. Your car should be:

  • Roadworthy. Your car must be in safe, reliable, working order. If you are unsure of how safe your car is, have it checked by a licensed mechanic.
  • Less than 15 years old. Borrowers generally prefer to drive newer car share cars, but some people actually find it more comfortable to drive an older car
  • In good condition. The car shouldn’t have dents or damage to it.
  • Clean. Nobody likes the feeling of being in a dirty car, your car should be kept clean on the inside and outside.

2: How available does my car need to be to rent it out?

Nobody will be able to rent your car out if you are always using it or if it is always in a different location. It needs to be available a fair amount of the time for other people to use. Here are the things you need to consider about availability:

  • Is it available more than 50% of the time? This means that 50% of the time Monday to Sunday your car is at home not being used.
  • Is it available on weekends? If you use your car Monday to Friday but rarely use it on the weekend, you can rent it out, but you will only earn about 1/3 of what you could if it was always available.
  • Is it available at one place all of the time? Because your borrowers will need to get to your car, it will need to have a place where it is usually parked. If you take your car to work with you it will be hard for borrowers to get to it.
  • Optional: Give your car to a "car sitter". If you have a spare car and are outside a car sharing area, you can give your car to a friend or family member who is in the area. Car Next Door offer car sitting arrangements as part of their service.
  • Optional: Rent your car out long term. With some car sharing options like Drive My Car, you can rent your car out for months at a time when you go overseas or don’t need your car for an extended period.

3: Is my location suitable to rent my car out?

If you want to rent out your car it needs to be in an area where a peer-to-peer car rental platform is operating. There are three major peer-to-peer car sharing operators in Australia and their areas of operation can be broken down as follows:

Car Next Door:

  • Metropolitan Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Newcastle and Wollongong.
  • Car Next Door install your car with a GPS tracker, key lockbox and calendar management system so that you don’t need to meet borrowers.
  • You manage the cars calendar and make it available to borrowers whenever you’re not using it, and you can still block out the car for days when you need it.
  • Members can borrow for just an hour, or weeks at a time.
  • Membership includes insurance and roadside assist for you and your borrowers
  • You’re reimbursed for fuel that borrowers use.
  • You set the rates for your car.
  • Borrowers are screened for ID, driver’s licence, credit history and criminal history. No provisional drivers.

Drive My Car:

  • Australia-wide.
  • Long-term car sharing option: minimum of 7 days, up to a full year.
  • Key handover model means you will need to arrange to meet with the borrower to rent out your car.
  • You set the rates for your car and agree to an included number of included km for the booking.
  • GPS is optional.
  • Insurance for borrowers only, you still need your own comprehensive insurance.
  • Borrowers are screened for ID, driver’s licence, credit history and criminal history. No provisional drivers.

Carhood:

  • Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports only.
  • Park your car at the airport when you are travelling and get free parking.
  • Your car is rented out while you are away and you’re paid around $10-15 per day.
  • Short to long term. No hourly rates for borrowers.
  • GPS is optional
  • Insurance for borrowers only, you still need your own insurance.
  • Borrowers are screened for ID and driver’s licence. No provisional drivers.

4. How much money can I make?

How much you'll earn depends on the type of car you have and where you live, but the average owner on Car Next Door makes around $3,500 a year. Small cars earn about $250-350 a month, large cars and SUVs around $300-500 a month and vans and utes can earn between $350 and $750 a month.

A lot of our owners, like Angie, earn enough to cover all their car's expenses, meaning they can own their car free!

5. How does the insurance work?

All cars on Car Next Door are covered by comprehensive fleet insurance policy, so you and all our borrowers are covered to drive your car. It's rarely rare for cars to be damaged - on average, a car would need to be rented out through Car Next Door for over two years to experience any minor damage, and about 20 years to experience major damage. If the worst did happen our repair process would kick into gear to sort out the insurance claim and organise the repairs, and get your car back in tip top shape as soon as possible.

6. Is renting out my car really a good idea?

We think so! It's an easy way to reduce your car's costs, reduce waste, and help your neighbours. Car-sharing isn't for everyone though so if you think your car is eligible but you're still a little unsure, take a look at the top reasons people rent out their cars to find out if it's right for you.

Still want more information? Have a look at our indepth comparison here!

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