We’re on a mission to dramatically change the way people think about cars. The way it is now – with a car to every person, most of them sitting unused for 96 percent of the time – is just crazy. It’s a waste of resources, a waste of space, and a waste of money. Plus, having a car just waiting makes driving feel like the easiest, cheapest option to get somewhere – even when it’s not.
We want to help people save a buck (or make a buck). But our motivation is much bigger than that.
We want to create connected communities – because we believe that they’re better places to live.
We want to be part of the solution to global climate change. Yes, it’s a massive problem, and yes, our influence is small. But if we don’t start now, doing what we can with what we’ve got, who will?
We don’t like sitting still. We’re working, testing, trying new ways of doing this. We’re building something new, and it’s a long way from perfect – but we’re getting somewhere fast.
If you’re not using that car … can I rent it?
Will Davies was an entrepreneur with an environmental conscience. Walking through Bondi one day on the way to pick up a Go Get share car, Will started to look more closely at the hundreds of idle cars that lined the way.
What a waste. Wouldn’t it be great if he could rent one of those instead?
Will looked into it, and found that ‘peer-to-peer’ (or neighbour-to-neighbour) car rental services had been operating successfully in the U.S. and Europe since 2010.
Will enlisted his mates Dave Trumbull (the IT guy) and Chloe Iliffe (the member experience maven) to help bring this new kind of car sharing to Australia. (Read more about the team here)
The birth of a car-share revolution
Car Next Door launched on Christmas Eve 2012, with around 20 car owners in and around Bondi. Eric made an historic trip when he borrowed Brianna’s SUV to collect his visiting family from the airport and drive them (and their luggage) home for Christmas dinner in comfort and style.
Car Next Door helps people get around without needing to own a car, reduces the personal and environmental costs of car use, and strengthens connections between people in the community.
For Will, Dave, Chloe and their small team, there were the late nights and pre-dawn calls of start-up life. But there was also the high of seeing that this idea worked, and was making a real difference in members’ lives.
Growing the Car Next Door community
Car Next Door’s community of car owners and borrowers grew quickly throughout 2013. By mid-year there was a network of cars serving borrowers in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, from Randwick to Paddington.
Car Next Door’s members soon included:
- A mum who borrowed a car so that she could get her kids to early-morning, cross-town sports practice;
- A dad who borrowed a car so that he could drive his kids somewhere fun when he picked them up from their mum’s place at the weekend;
- A guy who sold his little-used, high-cost car and instead spends less than $100 a month to drive when he needs to;
- A retiree who joined because she felt good that her car was helping neighbours instead of just taking up tarmac; and
- A whole bunch of regular guys and girls who mostly got around by bus or bike, but sometimes needed to use a car.
Car Next Door was helping people. It felt good.
Car Next Door is now operating in the central suburbs (within approximately 10km of the CBD) of Sydney and Melbourne. Check out our fleet map to see current car locations.