This article was originally published on news.com.au.
Earning money while studying is tough but Melbourne PhD student Kate Ferris has found a way to get some extra cash on the side.
While Ms Ferris gets about $30,000 a year on a scholarship, that income usually needs to be supplemented.
A few years ago she looked into Car Next Door and decided to hire out her own vehicle.
She had been made redundant from a $70k a year job and had moved to a limited student income, but still had a new $18,000 car to pay off.
“Renting it out covered the payments and I was finally able to pay it off this year so now it’s just pure income,” she said.
“It was a really effective strategy.
“In addition to being able to help the community, it just helps supplement that (PhD) income instead of going into negative.”
More people have been turning to car hire services during the coronavirus pandemic to avoid public transport.
A study by the University of Sydney found average weekly household trips reduced by more than 50 per cent during COVID-19.
It found more than 80 per cent of respondents were concerned about hygiene on public transport.
“This gets cars off the road, it enables sharing between community members and it can save a bit of money for both the borrower and owner,” Ms Ferris said.
The student has made as little as $300 but up to $900 a month by renting out her Suzuki Swift.
“I can work full-time from home and my car is sitting there most of the time,” she said.
“Even when I go to the shops I ride my bike.”
Ms Ferris only pays $60 a month for the service which covers her fully comprehensive car insurance.
Some car owners have been dropping the prices of their cars to support essential workers and let them know how valued they are.
One man in Sydney dropped the hire price on his Volkswagon Jetta to help essential workers and people who are struggling financially.
From March to August 2020 he earned $4057 – more than double the $1813 he earned during the same period in 2019.
Those on the frontline have been hiring cars to keep their patients safe.