Sydney is one of Australia’s most popular cities, but it’s also our most expensive city to live in - making affordability an issue for many people. You can reduce your everyday costs significantly by car sharing. Using car share in Sydney is easy, convenient and an easy way to save hundreds of dollars each year. It can be a great source of passive income too, if you want to rent out your car. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to car sharing in Sydney, including:
- A list of all the car sharing providers;
- The differences between these providers;
- A handy price comparison, and
- How car sharing can benefit not only your wallet, but most importantly, our planet.
What is car sharing?
Up recently, many people saw car ownership as essential. But with the growth of businesses that offer car sharing in Sydney, more people are choosing to give up ownership altogether. Car sharing differs to traditional car hire companies in many ways, including;
- Greater flexibility, with the ability to make shorter bookings for a few hours
- Fast and simple online booking
- Convenient pick-up and drop-off at locations in your neighbourhood
Peer to peer car sharing businesses like Car Next Door work by providing car owners with a platform to rent out their car when it’s not being used. As an alternative to traditional car ownership and car hire, car sharing benefits both car owners and those without a car, and can mean significant financial savings.
How does car sharing work?
No matter whether you choose a peer to peer or fleet car share service the process is usually quite simple, though it does vary depending on the company.
You can expect to sign up through the company's website or app and provide photos of yourself and your driving license. It generally takes somewhere between a few hours to a couple of days for your application to be verified, and after this you will be free to book vehicles. Some operators like GoGet and Popcar require you to get a fob to access the vehicles, whilst others like Car Next Door make use of lockboxes attached to the vehicle; when you start your trip, you'll be given a unique code to enter, which will unlock the box and allow you to take the key. Find out more about how Car Next Door works.
Types of car sharing platforms
There are two different types of car share businesses:
Peer to Peer
Peer to peer car share businesses like Car Next Door provide a platform for private individuals to rent out their car when they aren’t using it.
Fleet car share is when the car share business owns a fleet of cars which they rent to borrowers.
There are currently five car share businesses in Sydney, all with slightly different coverage, pricing and business models.
Car sharing companies in Sydney
The following companies offer Car Sharing in Sydney:
- Car Next Door
We take a detailed look at each of them below.
Car Next Door
- Peer to peer
- Over 1,600 vehicles in Sydney
- Free and paid monthly Plans
- Book by the day or hour
- Booking rate: from $5.00 per hour
Car Next Door is the only peer to peer car share platform operating in Sydney. They also have the broadest reach, providing privately-owned car sharing vehicles throughout inner Sydney and its suburbs. As we will see, Car Next Door tends to be the most affordable car sharing service for most types of trips, starting at $5.00 per hour and $25 per day.
- 100 vehicles in Sydney
- Choice of annual Plans
- Book by day or hour
- Booking rate: from $9.50 per hour
Flexicar is owned by Hertz. Flexicar is a fleet car share service with 100 vehicles located in inner Sydney. Cars are parked on the street in designated car parks (or ‘pods’). Flexicar offers three plans, based on frequency of use: Business, Personal or Student.
- 1,500 vehicles in Sydney
- Monthly or Annual Plans
- Book by day or hour
- Booking rate: from $6.50 per hour
GoGet car share Sydney is the largest fleet car sharing service in Sydney, with around 1,500 cars. There are a choice of plans available, with hourly rates starting at $6.50 per hour and $76 per day.
- 80 vehicles in Sydney
- Monthly Plans
- Book by day or hour
- Booking rate: from $5.50 per hour
Popcar is a small fleet based care share business in Sydney, offering a choice of pay-by-the-month plans and with hourly rates starting at $5.50 per hour and $59 per day.
- Peer to Peer
- Bookings from two days to 365 days
- Book by the day
DriveMyCar differs from other options for car share in Sydney, because it does not offer rentals for less than two days, and is more like a traditional car rental business. Unlike the other companies listed here, with DriveMyCar, you need to meet the car’s owner to exchange keys, and sign a contract each time you rent.
Which company has the most cars?
For car sharing to work well, customers need it to be affordable, easy to use and reliable. The more cars that are available, the more confidence borrowers have that they can always get a car when needed. When selecting a car share business in Sydney, knowing the size of the pool of cars available and where they are located, can help you decide which is right for you.
Car Next Door is the only peer to peer car share in Sydney and provides customers with a choice of over 1,600 vehicles in suburbs all across Sydney.
As the largest fleet car sharing business in Sydney, GoGet has 1,500 cars. Flexicar has 100 cars and Popcar has 80 cars.
Where are the cars located?
More important than the number of cars, is where they are located. It’s no good if you live in far west Sydney and the only car share you can find is in Bondi! That’s where peer to peer car sharing in Sydney has considerable advantages, because cars are more evenly dispersed across the city, making it easier for customers to find an available car close by or in the next street.
The map below shows the locations of cars listed on Car Next Door (light blue), GoGet (orange) and DriveMyCar (dark blue). We asked Popcar and Flexicar for a list of their locations but they didn't respond (if you're reading this guys, we're still happy to add them 😊 ).
Car Next Door has over 1,600 vehicles located across Sydney, available for short term hire. Cars are evenly spread across the city, from Avalon on the northern beaches, to Blacktown in the west and as far as Heathcote, south of Sydney.
GoGet has fleet cars available as far south as Cronulla, to Blacktown in the west, and Mona Vale on the northern beaches.
Flexi Car has a much smaller number of fleet cars extending from Sydney airport to Camperdown in the west, and surrounding the inner city.
Pop Car has a small fleet of cars, with most located in central Sydney and north of the CBD.
How do the prices compare?
In a city as big as Sydney, most people will need to use a car at some point - even if it’s just a short shopping trip, a visit to friends or family across town, or a weekend away up the coast. We’ve put together some costings on three common scenarios to compare the main providers.
Most car sharing providers in Sydney charge either an hourly rate or a daily rate, depending on how long you need a vehicle. For hourly bookings you also pay for the number of kilometres you travel (except with Flexicar). Day rates can include travel for up to 150 kilometers with some providers.
In the comparisons below, booking fee shown for Car Next Door is based on the free 'featherweight' membership; the booking fee does not apply to borrowers on the 'heavyweight' plan.
Price comparison #1: A short shopping trip
Distance: 10 km
Time: 3 hours
Carl is doing some shopping and meeting mates at Bondi Junction. He needs the car for three hours. It’s a 10km trip from Bondi Beach to Bondi. Drive My Car isn't included because they have a minimum hire period of at least two days.
|Car Cost||Fuel Cost||Booking Fee||Total||Go Get ($49 per year)||$32.79||$4.00||$36.70||Car Next Door (Free plan)||$21.00||$3.30||$6.99||$26.29||Flexi Car ($49 per year)||$40.50||$0.00||$40.50||Pop Car (Free subscription)||$29.70||$4.00||$33.70|
Price comparison #2: A family trip to the suburbs
Time: 7 hours
Kim is going to visit her friend, who lives in Castle Hill. It’s a 42km round trip for the day. She’ll need the car for seven hours. Drive My Car isn't included because they have a minimum hire period of at least two days.
|Car Cost||Fuel Cost||Booking Fee||Total||Go Get ($49 per year)||$85.00||$36.70||Car Next Door (Free Plan)||$29.00||$8.82||$6.99||$40.81||Flexi Car ($49 per year)||$79.00||$79.00||Pop Car (Free Subscription)||$59.00||$59.00|
Price comparison #3: A weekend camping trip
Distance: 562 km
Time: 2 days
Everyone loves a weekend away. Jess and Tam are going on a two day weekend camping trip, from Surry Hills to Seal Rocks (about 562 km), which includes picking up a car on Saturday morning and returning on Sunday evening.
|Car Cost||Fuel Cost||Booking Fee||Total||Go Get ($49 per year)||$178.00||$104.80||$282.80||Car Next Door (Free Plan)||$80.00||$185.46||$6.99||$267.45||Flexi Car ($49 per year)||$158.00||$141.18||$299.18||Pop Car (Free Subscription)||$160.00||$90.50||$250.50||DriveMyCar||$177.94||$52.40||$230.34|
Comparison of car share company fees
The table below outlines the hourly rates, daily rates and booking fees for each of the car share companies in Sydney. As mentioned above, the booking fee charged by Car Next Door is based on the free 'featherweight' membership; the fee does not apply to borrowers on the 'heavyweight' plan.
|Hourly Rate||Day Rate||Booking Fee||Go Get|
($49 per year)
+ 40 cents per km
(150 km incl.)
|Car Next Door|
+ 21c per km
|from $25.00||$6.99||Flexi Car|
($49 per year)
|Pop Car (Free Subscription)||$7.90|
+ 40c per km
(100 km incl.)
|Drive My Car|
(minimum two day hire)
What is the best car share in Sydney?
Choosing the right car share company for you will depend on where you live, how far you need to travel and how frequently you travel. Obviously, we believe Car Next Door is the best choice, for a number of reasons.
Price & Coverage
Compared to our competitors, Car Next Door provides the best coverage for car share in Sydney, and also tends to be the cheapest, particularly for everyday trips like shopping or travelling across town. Car Next Door also offer free membership.
Whilst for some longer trips of several days, smaller fleets may have a slight edge on price, Car Next Door still has more cars on the road and better coverage throughout the suburbs of Sydney, meaning a more reliable and efficient experience for our customers.
Car Next Door provides customers with a choice of two Plans: Featherweight and Heavyweight. Featherweight has no monthly fees and is the best option for occasional use. Heavyweight is the most cost effective Plan for people who travel at least once a month. There are no booking fees and the damage liability is also significantly lower.
Car Next Door are also the best choice for people who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Car Next door uses the cars of existing car owners, unlike other car sharing businesses who buy new cars for the specific purpose of car sharing.
Making use of existing cars for car sharing (rather than buying new cars) reduces CO2 emissions because as much as half of the emissions over the lifespan of a car occur in the manufacturing process.
We also support Greenfleet’s reforestation projects across Australia to help offset emissions from our vehicles.
Move with the times
If you live in Sydney, it’s almost impossible not to need a car occasionally - even if it’s just for a trip across town to visit a friend, or picking up furniture.
However, with the the total cost of owning and running a car estimated to be between $120 and $300 dollars per week, car share platforms provide a smart way to offset the increasing cost of living in Australia’s most expensive city.
There are currently five car sharing platforms in Sydney from which to choose - each offering a choice of plans based on frequency of use, and each having different numbers of cars dispersed across Sydney.
Car Next Door is one of the most cost effective choices for a range of car trips - from a few hours to a full day. Signing up to the Heavyweight Plan provides even more savings for regular users. With an easy to use platform, quick sign-up process and no lock-in contracts, you can start browsing cars, SUVs and utes in your area today. Wherever you need to go and whatever type of vehicle you need, there’s one available nearby or next door, to take you across Sydney.