Will Davies Car Next Door CEO and Co-Founder.
Will Davies Car Next Door CEO and Co-Founder.

'Airbnb for cars' starts up on the Northern Rivers

IT'S been dubbed the "Airbnb for cars", where car owners make some extra cash while they aren't using their vehicle, and it has arrived in Byron Bay.

A goal to reduce carbon emissions and the realisation that we don't use our cars 95 per cent of the time led to the startup of Car Next Door - a business that turns your car into a shared car.

The business kicked off in 2012 but they are piloting a new program in Byron Bay and regional NSW and Victoria, before it becomes available across the country.

On this system, neighbours can rent their vehicles out by the hour or day, with no equipment to install and no changes to insurance.

Car Next Door CEO and co-founder Will Davies said the new key handover system was an Australian first and means car sharing will become widely available to those living in the outer suburbs and regional and remote towns.

Their current car-sharing model sees the car up as a share car by installing the business's technology into the car and covering it under their insurance for all drivers - the owner and any borrowers.

Under the new program Key Handover, there's no equipment installed, and the owner keeps their own insurance.

"Instead of using our tech, the owner and borrower just meet to exchange keys and report distance and tolls through the app," Mr Davies said.

"Our insurance will cover the car only during a borrower's booking. Owners will keep their own insurance to cover their car whenever it's not rented out.

"Not having our in-car technology means a little more time is required from the owner (exchanging keys, reporting distance and tolls), but the trade-off is no membership fees, no availability requirement and a different commission structure - all making it attractive to cars outside the big metropolis where car sharing is now common practice."

"Everything is still safely regulated, but this makes car sharing a lot easier for those that do it on a more casual basis."

"It allows us to bring neighbour-to-neighbour car-sharing to more areas quickly and cost-effectively - making it possible for more owners to rent out their cars just occasionally, such as when they go away for holidays, or where the current system isn't suitable or available for them."

Mr Davies said in the next six months they expect to see more than 2,000 cars listed for sharing with Key Handover.

Visit https://www.carnextdoor.com.au/.