One of the most common questions from Car Next Door owners is a simple one: what if my car is booked by someone else when I need to drive it?
The great news is that when you join Car Next Door you not only turn your car into a share car, you turn it into a whole fleet of share cars. As members of Car Next Door, owners have access to borrow any vehicle in the fleet.
Anita has been renting out her Hyundai Getz in Melbourne’s Carlton North since February 2017.
“I was going to sell my car due to the costs being so high to own one, but considering it's been reasonably well kept and is reliable, putting it up on the platform was a compromise and a way to get some of that money back on it while still having the convenience of owning my own car.”
Renting out her car makes sense as Anita rarely uses it herself.
“I don't use my car much to begin with, and when I do it's last minute. I don't have future block outs on my car so it pretty much has 100% availability for borrowers.”
This has proved to be a big benefit for Anita, with her car regularly attracting long bookings. When her car is booked out by another member, she borrows another car nearby for the odd trip she does need to make.
“Getting another car instead is just an easy and cost efficient way to get from A to B. I also don't see it as spending extra money as my trips in other cars are short term, usually 2-3 hours with pretty low kilometres. It's also really cost efficient; I have never paid more on another car than what my car earned back for me, so it's a win-win really.”
Having access to a whole fleet of cars in her neighbourhood (there are about 15 within 500 metres of her house) means that Anita can always get around, even if her car is booked out.
“I never cancel bookings on my car if I've planned to use it and it gets booked out. There's no point as it's so simple to book another person’s car.”
There are more benefits to borrowing other owners’ cars: Anita recently borrowed a van to move some bigger items, and she’s met some of her fellow car-sharing neighbours along the way.
“One time I met a neighbour and we had an instant mutual understanding of the Car Next Door world, and I think she was appreciative that another owner was using her car. We compared notes: what our cars were earning on average and discussed regular borrowers and how satisfying it is when they come back.”