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Why car sharing means freedom for this Sydney woman

Kylie is a sharp business woman. Clear, confident and purposeful. After a casual start as a Car Next Door owner, she realised the opportunity car sharing provided.

Linden Brown

About five years ago, Kylie was looking to sell her Hyundai i20. The perfect city runabout. It was only five years old with 50,000 kms on the clock. But it wasn’t worth much on resale – she could only get about $5,000 for it.

So she decided to try sharing it on Car Next Door instead.

Her initial goal was to offset the cost of owning her car. It wasn’t meant to make money. “In life generally, I don't want to just break even and live week-to-week. So I saw it as an opportunity. But it was just to balance out the cost of car ownership.”

Sharing part-time started well. But when she ran the books, it was clear that sharing full-time would bring in much better returns. Now she makes about $5,000 every year from that same little Hyundai i20 that she nearly sold.

“When that came in after a year of full-time sharing, I thought, there’s something here. The car has so many more kilometres left in it, why not use those to make money?”

From one Hyundai to a fleet

She now has five cars on the platform. Two of her cars were purchased specifically to share on Car Next Door, so I asked her what she looked for in a car.

“I crunched a lot of numbers. I was looking at price point. The other thing to consider is that when you share a car full-time, it’s going to get some bumps occasionally. Things happen. I wanted cars that already had a bit of wear and tear, so I didn’t have to be too precious about them. And they needed to be automatic. Small automatics do really well in the city.”

And then there’s her brand new Subaru, which was supposed to be all hers. “I ended up sharing that as well. The other cars were doing so well, and I wasn’t working as much. So I chose to list it too.”

Success in the city

Kylie is strategic about where she parks her fleet. The Botany resident spaces her cars out for better coverage across the city. But she says, “It’s not just about location, it’s about season too.”

Once she realised how much better off she was listing her cars full-time, she'd just borrow a car herself when needed.

“I only used the car a couple of times a week. So instead of blocking out the two days that I was wanting to use it, I was better off leaving it available on the platform, because then I might get a week-long booking. And so financially, it was still better for me just to go and borrow another car.”

Sharing and earning in the circular economy

An AirBnB owner and Uber Eats delivery driver, Kylie is an active participant in the sharing economy. “I'm very comfortable with the sharing economy. Cars, AirBnB, even a bit of job sharing. I like to run my own race.”

Sharing on Car Next Door could be seen as a natural progression. “Time and freedom is really important to me. I like to do purposeful work, but money is for time and freedom. I've been working towards passive income for a long time.”

From the beginning of our chat, it was clear Kylie knew a thing or two. I was in for some considered reflection on car sharing. What I didn’t know was that Kylie would finish up with a perspective that would leave me pondering long after we hung up.

“Life’s for living. Keep your eyes open. There’s no black and white. But I like doing it, we’re all in it together. And my car is a part of that.” She explained a bit more, “I see my car as the people’s car. It used to be my car, but now it’s for everyone.”

Interested in putting your car to work or starting a business like Kylie? Learn more about sharing your car