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Renting your car out – what it’s like (and why Jay does it)

Jay has shared all her life - found out how renting her car out fits with her philosophy of sustainability and community

Shannon Barker

Jay has shared stuff all her life. Now she’s sharing her car.

Jay has been renting her car out since April, 2014 – but as we found out, she’s no newcomer to the sharing economy! As she told us, it's a great way to offset the cost of owning a car, reduce waste and get the most out of the resources we have.

People who borrow Jay’s Honda Jazz often comment on how friendly, warm and helpful Jay is – and how clean and easy to drive the car is.

We recently caught up with Jay to find out why she rents her car out, and how she’s found the experience of sharing her car with her neighbours.

Q: How do you get around when you rent your car out?
“I ride a motor scooter – almost exclusively. But I run an accommodation business (Jay’s Apartments in Newtown) so need a car, on occasions, to shift stuff (like ladders for maintenance – that sort of thing). Otherwise I mainly, walk, scoot or take the train.”

Q: What is it like to have people renting your car?
“Renting your car out is like having a teenage son. You know he’ll come home – you’re just not sure where he is or what he’s doing. And, like your teenage son, your tastes in music diverge wildly. I listen to Classic FM – no one else in the whole car sharing community listens with me! I always have to change the radio station after the car is shared. But hey, no big deal!”

Q: What do you like about neighbour-to-neighbour car sharing?
“I like the experience enormously – financially, yep, that’s nice. But what I really like is having a resource and getting the most out of it. I have done it all my life.

I use libraries, I am on AirBnB, I share a TV roof aerial with a neighbour, I like recycled goods, I like repurposing stuff, I simply like used goods. Anything that brings a little bit of history with it. And yes, I do steam unused stamps off envelopes.”

Q: What does sharing mean to you?
“It’s a communal way of thinking – we seem to be going back to it. I was born in the 40’s – the Depression still seemed to be on every one’s mind. So for me its about being thrifty, thoughtful, and minimising waste. This approach has been around for a long, long time. As you know, there’s nothing new under the sun.”

Q: Have you run into any problems?
“I’m yet to spot a weakness – so far, from my side, it’s gone like clockwork.”

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