Here at Car Next Door, we’re on a mission. By enabling people to share cars with their neighbours, we’re aiming to radically change the way people choose their transport.
We know car sharing makes economic sense for both owners and borrowers. But just as importantly, we know it’s good for our cities and good for the planet.
Well, to start with, we need less cars if we share them. Every car that’s registered for sharing means more cars that can be removed from the Australian vehicle fleet. And once people get into the habit of car sharing, they actually drive less. That’s because car sharing gives people the flexibility – and the incentive – to choose alternative transport options.
How many people use their car as a giant shopping trolley? Or hang on to it for the few weekends a year when they hit the open highway, or head to the ski slopes? If you know that you can get access to a car when you need it, then not owning your own car is not so scary. Being able to rent the Car Next Door means that people can take public transport, walk, scoot, skip or cycle to get around most of the time, but still get hold of a car when those modes of transport aren’t going to work for the trip they’ve planned. Car-sharing makes car ownership less of a necessity for life in our cities, and frees people to live a less car-dependent life.
Researchers from the Transportation Sustainability Research Centre estimate that one shared car removes between 9 and 13 cars from the vehicle population. These researchers also worked out that the average car-sharer generates 40% less carbon dioxideemissions in getting around than someone who owns a car, which works out to a saving of 0.84 tonnes a year.
We’re aiming to get 10,000 cars registered with Car Next Door, and to have at least 10 borrowers for each car that’s registered on our system. Based on conservative estimates, we could be looking at getting at least 90,000 cars off the road and bringing CO2 emissions down by 84,000 tonnes a year.
Ambitious, we know. Impossible, you may even say. Can we really get 10,000 cars signed up?
Yes, we can!
At least, we think we can. After all, there are over 7 million cars in Australian capital cities right now. 10,000 is only 0.14% of them. In an article about Car Next Door, the Sydney Morning Herald asked its readers “Would you rent your car to the neighbours?” Over 2,500 people responded, and 35% of them answered “YES!”
OK – it’s not exactly scientific. But hey, we only need 0.14%. We can handle a pretty fat margin of error here.