Making use of an idle asset
With major hospitals and a hotel nearby, and a steady flow of tourists to her inner Melbourne neighbourhood, it made no sense to Tish to have her little car sitting idle when she wasn’t using it.
Familiar with car sharing and located in a suburb where many of her neighbours live in no-car households, listing her Yaris on Uber Carshare made perfect sense to Tish.
Though she regularly uses her car for personal transport, Tish was attracted to the idea of renting her car to offset the costs and cover her other travel expenses. It’s turned out to be a profitable solution.
“Being able to rent my car out when I’m not using it means I can cover the costs of owning a car, plus have all my other transport expenses covered. But I still get the freedom to use a car whenever I want to.”
Settling On The Right Rate
Tish says part of the reason her car is steadily booked is her decision to keep the rates low, at $6 an hour, $30 a day and 33 cents a kilometre.
Her decision has paid off with a steady stream of tourists - as well as neighbours - booking her car. It rarely goes a day without being used, especially in the busy summer months.
“A lot of borrowers come and explore Melbourne for a few days and then want to head off to the Great Ocean Road, but don’t want to pay too much to take a car for a few days," says Tish.
"Keeping the rate low and having the car parked right in the centre of Melbourne means it’s cheap and easy for tourists to take it on longer trips. My neighbours also borrow it if they need to get around.”
Part of the $37,000 in income that Tish has made from renting her car out has gone towards fuel, servicing and tyres for borrowers' driving - but the fact that she's paid for each kilometre means that she can be sure her distance income will cover these extra running costs.
Tish is able to park her car on the street close to home and within easy access of the city. This helps to make her car an appealing option for her car-free neighbours and visitors to the area.
Tish has never had a problem with street parking and has found her neighbours to be very supportive and welcoming of her share car. It’s almost like her little Yaris has become the neighbourhood car!
Parking on the street in an area where people are already familiar with car sharing and the sharing economy means she gets plenty of promotion without the need to do any further marketing.
Borrowers can book using the Uber Carshare app and pick the key up from the electronic lockbox, so Tish doesn’t need to interrupt her life to deal with bookings.
Crunching The Numbers
One thing that makes Tish’s car share story stand out is the number of borrowers she’s had over the six years she’s listed her car - and how many times its market value she’s earned through sharing it.
To date, her Yaris has been borrowed over 730 times by 456 different people. It has travelled an impressive 86,318km and earnt Tish around $540 per month for the 5+ years it’s been listed on the platform.
Equally impressive is that despite the popularity of her little Yaris, sharing it hasn’t impacted Tish's ability to drive when she wants to.
“If you look at my booking calendar, you can see that I might use the car for a day or two and then it’s booked out for a weekend. Then it comes back and I use it to run errands before it’s booked out for another three or four days."
"Over a month I’d say it’s pretty even, the amount of time I have it and the amount of time it’s being borrowed.”
Tish’s Top Tips
Tish’s top three pieces of advice if you’re looking to offset the costs of your personal car:
1: If you need to use your car, block the time out in advance. Your car could get really busy!
2: A good parking situation helps. Areas with a lot of new apartments are likely to have a lot of potential borrowers.
3: Even though you don’t need to meet Borrowers, good communication with them is important. It’s a good idea to answer calls from unknown numbers when your car is available for bookings, as they’re likely to be a borrower.