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Driving up interest in car-share model

A car-sharing platform dubbed the "Airbnb of cars" has launched in South Australia, allowing people to rent their vehicles to others in their neighbourhood.

Jessica Pilon-Summons

Written by Giuseppe Tauriello and published by The Advertiser 23 July 2021

Car Next Door which launched in 2012, has about 270,000 users across the country.

Members can search for an available vehicle in their area, book via the Car Next Door app, and either pick up the keys in person or in a secure electronic lockbox.

Membership is free with users able to borrow vehicles by the hour or day, with fuel and insurance included.

Car owners who list their vehicles on the platform pay a monthly subscription fee. Owners can set the rental price for their vehicle, including an hourly rate and a charge for distance travelled.

Car Next Door chief executive and founder Will Davies said the platform had already attracted strong interest in SA.

“For people to really embrace car sharing and use it instead of owning a car - or second or third household car - there needs to be a good network of cars available,” he said.

“To date, there have never been more than 10 or 20 car-sharing vehicles available in Adelaide at any one time, and so it hasn’t been able to really get that momentum that it needs.

“We expect that there will be at least a few hundred cars shared by the end of the year in Adelaide.”

Mr Davies said unlike GoGet and Flexicar - another car-sharing platform currently run in partnership with the RAA - Car Next Door does not manage a pool of cars, but rather connects existing car owners with people seeking the short-term use of a vehicle, as well as vans in Adelaide and Utes in Adelaide.

“With a peer to peer model such as Car Next Door, we are just activating cars that are already in these suburbs. Anyone can rent their car out or borrow a car,” he said.

“Data shows that cars are only used for 4 per cent of the time - the majority of the time they are just parked on the side of the road or in the garage idle.

“It’s an incredible waste of money and resources.”

Mr Davies said Covid-19 had increased demand for the platform, which had attracted a 245 per cent increase in users since the onset of the pandemic.

Remy Di-Federico, 25, recently listed his 2005 Honda Accord on the platform.

“I’ve been working from home and so I was looking at what options there were for my car given that I wasn’t using it as much,” he said.

“I’d used the platform in Melbourne and in Cairns and found it really easy to use, so when I saw it was in Adelaide I signed up.”

Find out more about sharing your car or browse available cars in Adelaide.

Written by Giuseppe Tauriello and published by The Advertiser 23 July 2021

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