Car Sharing: Rent your car out for money

Make money from a car you barely use.

Carpool

Thanks to car sharing apps, it’s never been easier to rent your car out. The concept is really simple: you register your vehicle with a car sharing service and whenever someone needs a car in your area, you can make money lending it to them for a specific period of time.

Find out how to start offsetting the costs of ownership like your rego, car insurance and depreciation with car sharing.

How does car sharing work?

To get started, you'll need to register online with a car sharing company and create a profile for your car. Most car sharing websites will:

  1. Ask some questions about the type of car you have.
  2. Get you to take some photos of your vehicle and ask you when the car is available for use.
  3. Bookings are then sorted by you through the app or the booking service itself.

Housekeeping

Car sharing services will usually make sure your vehicle is insured when it’s with the customer as well.

Some other aspects of car sharing include:

  • You can usually attach a lockbox to your vehicle, so customers can easily access the keys.
  • Car sharing is often charged by the hour.
  • Insurance and fuel costs are ordinarily included in the charges.
  • Mileage is usually capped at a daily rate with added per kilometre charges for additional travel.

What car sharing apps exist in Australia?

The trickiest part of car sharing these days is choosing from one of the various car sharing apps available. Here's some of the main apps:

  • Car Next Door
  • Drive My Car
  • Carhood
  • Go Get

To make your decision easier, take a look at this breakdown to see what makes each car sharing app in Australia unique.

Car next doorDrive my carCarhoodGo Get
Where does it operate
  • Operates throughout New South Wales and Victoria, and in metropolitan Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Canberra.
  • Operates throughout Australia
  • Operates at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports only
  • Operates throughout Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide.
Features
  • You're reimbursed for fuel that borrowers use.
  • You manage the car's calendar and make it available to Borrowers whenever you're not using it.
  • You can block out the car for times when you need it yourself.
  • GPS is optional.
  • Park your car at the airport when you're travelling and get free parking.
  • GPS is optional
  • You'll be sent a smart card once you sign up.
  • Book the car you want on the GoGet app for as long as you need it.
  • Use your smart card to unlock the car.
How do you give keys to borrowers
  • Car Next Door install your car with a GPS tracker, key lockbox and calendar management system so that you don't need to meet Borrowers.
  • Drive My Car comes with a key handover so you can meet the driver.
  • Carhood requires you to drop your vehicle and keys off at their depot.
  • GoGet requires a key handover.
GPS tracker?
  • Yes
  • No
  • No
  • No
Max length to borrow
  • Members can borrow for as little as an hour to weeks at a time.
  • Drive My Car comes with a long-term car sharing option of 2 days, up to a year.
  • Carhood comes with short to long term options.
  • GoGet somes with short to long term options.
Insurance and roadside assistance
  • Insurance and roadside assist for borrowers. You need your own policies to cover your car at other times
  • Insurance and roadside assistance is included in the daily rate price for renters. You need your own policies to cover your car at other times
  • Free insurance for renters and owners. You need your own policies to cover your car at other times
  • Insurance for renters. You need your own policies to cover your car at other times
Security
  • All borrowers are screened for ID, driver's licence, credit history and criminal history. Provisional drivers are not eligible.
  • All borrowers are screened for ID, driver's licence, credit history and criminal history. Provisional drivers are not eligible.
  • All borrowers are screened for ID and driver's licence. Provisional drivers are not eligible.
  • All borrowers must be at least 18 years and hold a Red Provisional licence for more than 1 year. Borrowers must also have a valid email address, Australian Mobile number and a credit or debit card, or PayPal account.
Rates
  • Owners set the rates for their car
  • Owners set the rates for their car and agree to an included number of kilometres for bookings.
  • Owner's cars are rented out while they are away and they are paid around $10 to $15 per day
  • Rates are charged at $0.40 per km for hourly bookings. Full day bookings receive 150km free each day with an additional kilometre charge of $0.25 per km.

How do I maximise my income?

Want to make the most out of car sharing? Check out these tips to maximise your income.

The weekends are always the busiest time for car sharing, as are long weekends. If you can go without it, try and make your car available for the full weekend. Even blocking it out for an hour or so can hinder your chances of a booking. The majority of people make the booking within a couple of hours of needing a car so it’s always a good idea to keep your vehicle available for last-minute sharing.

If you choose a car sharing service that allows you to set your own price, be shrewd about your pricing. Check the cars available in your area and weigh up how yours compares. It’s all about staying competitive. You can adjust your pricing if you’re not receiving the demand you’d like.

If someone has used your car, chances are they live in the area, so make sure their experience is enjoyable, as they’re likely to return. As well as keeping your car clean, equip it with things like phone chargers and holders, even a GPS device. Making their journey as smooth as possible boosts your chances of them returning to you.

You can market your car with a great profile. Take pictures of your vehicle when it’s clean and shiny and make sure you include any features your car includes, from an in-built GPS to TVs in the back for the kids.

When it comes to writing the description, ask yourself, what makes your car unique? It could be the spaciousness, the boot size or even the handy location of the car. Either way, make sure you highlight that when you write the description.

Requirements for car sharing

Specific requirements will vary between car sharing services though if your car is safe and in good shape, you generally won’t have any problems signing up. The following requirements generally apply to your vehicle.

  • It must be safe and comfortable for others to drive.
  • It needs to be available a reasonable amount of time. If you use it everyday, it’s unlikely to be rented out.
  • It must be properly registered with CTP insurance.
  • It should be located in an area of Australia where a car sharing service is available.
  • It should be made after 2000, though age limits differ with each service.
  • You won’t be accepted if you have a criminal history or a bad credit history.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Where does car sharing work best?

  • A. Car sharing is most popular and profitable in busy cities. That’s because there are plenty of people living in the city who don’t own a car. However, they often need one for short periods of time, for example, weekend trips, moving house or simply getting somewhere that has poor public transport links. Cities allow people to pick up cars near them and easily return them.

Q. Is car sharing right for me?

  • A. Car sharing is still in its infancy. If you live in a large city and own a car you don’t use all that often, it’s likely that there is a demand for your vehicle. There probably isn’t much demand outside the city and in rural areas, largely because most people still own at least one car.

Q. What happens if someone crashes my car?

  • A. With the majority of car sharing services, you will keep your own car insurance and the business you sign up with will provide insurance to cover customers driving your car. That means if someone crashes your car, the car sharing platform you’re with should cover the costs. It will sort the insurance claim, organise repairs and get your car back to you as quickly as possible.

Picture: GettyImages

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