When COVID-19 hit Australia, Melbourne man Gregor Gniewosz was not only forced to close his business, he also missed out on JobKeeper as well.
The 43-year-old had a disability transport business and a fleet of five disability-friendly vehicles – but because the company was only founded in January this year, he was not eligible for the coronavirus wage subsidy.
As the bills started to pile up, Mr Gniewosz considered selling his home to get by – until he decided to rent out one of his cars on peer-to-peer car sharing platform Car Next Door to make some extra cash in the meantime.
It ended up raking in around $1500 in one month alone.
He has now listed all of his vehicles – several Ford Escapes, a Kia Rio, a Mitsubishi Outlander and a Nissan Cube – and is on track to make more than $6000 a month from them.
“That one car paid for last month’s mortgage,” said Mr Gniewosz, who started the business due to his own disability.
“I’d heard about Car Next Door but figured once I lost the company it made more sense to trial one car on the platform rather than selling them all and risking a huge loss.”
He told news.com.au he had been worried when he had initially had to cut his losses and close down his fledgling company, but that the pressure was now off.
“Right now I’m covering all my expenses including my mortgage with the five cars I have on the platform,” he said.
“Having said that, while all the cars are booked out pretty much every day, nobody is travelling long distances (because of Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown) so the income from each car is different compared to June when were in stage 3 lockdown when people could still move around.”
He said he hadn’t expected his own vehicles to be so profitable.
“I had a mate who had been on the platform for two years and he made around $700 a month, so when I doubled that in my first month it was very much a surprise,” he said.
“I had actually started looking into selling my house to stop the stress but then I realised I could make (the cars) go to work for me.
“It means I don’t have to worry about things for a little while, although I am looking for a job.”
Mr Gniewosz said anyone considering renting out their car should research the areas of peak demand, and said his location in inner Melbourne where many residents did not own their own vehicles helped his bottom line.
“Do it, it’s fun and there’s nothing to lose,” he said.
Meanwhile, Car Next Door CEO Will Davies said bookings had soared in recent months as Aussies shunned public transport due to coronavirus fears, instead opting for other modes of transport.
View the original article on news.com.au