Let a stranger rent my car? Here are six reasons to say “No”.

Let a stranger rent my car? Here are six reasons to say “No”.

“Let a stranger rent my car? You’re kidding, right?”

If you’re like many people, your car is one of your most valuable assets. Even if it’s not worth all that much money, it can be special to you. And even if it’s not all that special to you, you still don’t want it to be mistreated, or messed up, or not to be there when you need it.

We’re here to talk you through six common fears that hold people back from making money from their under-utilised car:

  • Other people won’t drive my car nicely.
  • My car might get damaged.
  • My car might get messy.
  • My car might get stolen.
  • My car might not be there when I need it.
  • Sharing is kind of like communism (and I don’t like communism).
  • We’d love to hear if you have others (logical or lunatic, fire them at us!)

Other people won’t drive my car nicely.

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It’s a common fear: if I let someone else drive my car, they might drive like a hoon. If I’m not there to watch out for my car, who will?

Fred will. He’s the little GPS device that we install in all of our owners’ cars when they join up. He’s smart, and loyal. He tracks the speed, revs and G-force while your car is being driven, and lets us know in real time if anyone’s driving like it's the Formula 1.

But it’s actually highly unlikely that anyone would drive your car like a hoon. We screen all of our members to make sure they’ve got a clean driving record. Any member who breaks the rules may have his or her membership suspended or revoked, and will have to pay for any damage caused.

My car might get damaged.

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Imagine this: someone takes your car out, and backs it into a pole. Ouch, right? You really liked your car the way it used to look.

This is actually pretty rare. On average, a car owner will experience an incidence of damage only once in two years (less than 0.5% of bookings), and most of the damage that does occur is minor stuff (like scratches) that is easily fixed. But if it does happen, we’ve got comprehensive insurance that covers everyone if car is damaged. You won’t be out of pocket on the slim chance that a borrower damages your car.

In the statistically improbable event that a borrower has an accident in your car that puts it out of action, we’ll sort out the repairs and provide you with $25 per day while your car is at the mechanics.

My car might get messy.

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You keep your car tidy, right? And you’d hate for someone to return it in a mess. We hate that, too. Here’s how we minimise the risk of it happening.

Feedback: Car owners and borrowers report messiness to us, so that we can quickly identify anyone who’s been inconsiderate when borrowing a car.

Fines: We fine borrowers who leave a car messy. As an owner, you’ll get 50% of the fine charged to the borrower, and we’ll cover the cost of cleaning the car.

Firing squads: The Car Next Door community depends on members treating other people’s cars like their own, and when it comes to making sure that people adhere to our rules of car borrowing, we can be a tiny bit fierce. If anyone doesn’t stack up after a friendly reminder or two, they’re out. (We’re joking about the firing squads.)

My car might get stolen.

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I’m letting a stranger drive my car. How do I know they’ll bring it back?

Well, to begin with, you’re not actually lending to a stranger. You might not have met them, but they’re a vetted member of the Car Next Door community. We’ve done a positive ID check (which means we’re positive that they are who they say they are) and a credit history check. If you want to get in on the checking thing, you can check out their profile online, and see how other members have rated them.

Our booking system and in-car technology also means that we know who has accessed your car, and when. And, of course; Fred’s got your back – he knows where your car is at all times. Which means, if you think it through, that it’s actually a fair bit harder for someone to steal your car after you become a Car Next Door member than beforehand.

(But what if some super-tricky person got through all this and still stole my car?? It’s fully insured. So we can help you to get a new one. Just don’t leave your kids in there.)

My car might not be there when I need it.

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What if someone borrows my car, and then doesn’t return it on time? What if I’m all dressed up and ready to go to really, really great party, and then I go outside to get my car and it’s not there?

Borrowers get fined for returning a car late, so it doesn’t happen often – but occasionally people do get back late from their trip.

The best way to avoid this is to build in a buffer in the time that you set for your car’s availability – so if you really need it at 8pm, make in unavailable from 7pm. This gives us plenty of time to get in touch with the borrower and get your car back to you if they’re running late. If your car isn’t back when you need it, we will find a way to get where you need to be – it’s very likely that there will be another Car Next Door car available nearby.

Sharing is kind of like communism (and I don’t like communism).

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OK. We probably wouldn’t have come up with this one ourselves, but we’ve heard it more than once. We’d probably have said that generating income from your car through micro-rentals is more like a capitalist plot than a communist one, but then it’s been a while since we studied Das Kapital.

If this is what’s stopping you from renting out your car, then we’re probably going to need to go stand somewhere else now. It was really nice hanging out with you!

Thanks for clearing that up. But I still have questions.

Still have some concerns about renting your car out? If you'd like to have your questions answered, you can easily apply to list your car here and we'll get in touch with you to talk you through all of the ins and outs of renting out your car.

Apply to list your car

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