Rob’s green Subaru Outback was a much-loved family car until his third child came along, and the family needed just a little more space. Selling the Subaru didn’t make financial sense, so most of the time it just sat – a little bored, a little lonesome – on the street near their home in Bondi.
With a Car Next Door sticker on the window, the Subaru is now seeing the open road more often. It’s early days yet, but already the fees that Rob earns from car-sharing come pretty close to covering the costs of owning it. Rob is expecting that as Car Next Door expands over the next few months, he’ll start to earn a profit.
The family enjoys having the convenience of a second car, without bearing the full cost. “My parents are in town this weekend, so they’ve been using the car,” says Rob. “It’s great to have a second car for times like this, but for most of the year we really don’t use it much. Being able to rent your car out through Car Next Door works well for us.”
With plenty of space in the boot for camping gear, golf clubs or boogie boards, the Outback works well for a weekend getaway or a trip to Ikea. At $5 an hour, or $25 a day, it’s a bargain as well.
“It’s usually booked about once a week mid-week, and once each weekend,” says Rob. “There have been some all-weekend bookings, as well. We expect it will continue to increase – we’ve really only just gotten started.”
It’s taken some time for the younger members of the family to get used to the car-sharing concept. Rob recalls the first time the kids saw the car being driven away. “My three-year old started crying,” he says. “And my six-year-old wanted us to call the police.”