Peer to peer car sharing has arrived in Brisbane. Here's a quick look at Car Next Door.

Car Next Door is different to other car share schemes you might be familiar with, where a car owned by a private company is parked in the street for members to use. Car Next Door is a peer-to-peer sharing model – private cars being shared with other people living in the neighbourhood.

For drivers, it allows them to use their phone to find and to rent cars from people in the local area by the hour or day.

For car owners, the company’s pitch is that you put your idle car to work to help offset the costs of ownership.

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Some of the more immediate questions we had were…

Why would your insurer even think about letting strangers drive someone’s car?

When you rent your car out, it’s covered under a comprehensive fleet insurance policy whenever it’s with a borrower. Car Next Door also offers an option where the policy expands to include your regular car insurance coverage, meaning you can cancel your existing insurance.

How do you get the car keys?

Two possible ways. The car owner can choose a plan where Car Next Door provides a secure lockbox kept either on the outside of the car or attached to a wall, fence or door nearby. Borrowers get a code to open the lockbox and get the keys, and return the keys to the lock box after their booking.

The other way is a key handover, where the car owner meets the borrower to exchange the keys in person.

How do you book a car?

It typically runs like this:

  1. Join and wait for your account to be verified (within 3 business hours).
  2. Log in to the website or app, enter the dates and times you need a car (trips must start and end between 11am and 6pm).
  3. Use the search filters to look for a car that suits your needs.
  4. Use the calculator on each car’s checkout page to help you estimate the total cost of your trip (including the distance charge).
  5. Double check all the details and click ‘Book Now’.

How much does it cost?

Each car has both hourly and daily rates that are set by the owner of the car. Typical rates for cars are $5–$8 per hour, and or $25-$40 per day. Vans cost around $9-12 per hour and $50-60 per day. Car Next Door has a clear statement of its pricing structures on the website.

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Check out Move for Less @ Green Heart Fair

If you’re exploring alternative transport options, Brisbane City Council’s upcoming Green Heart Fair on Sunday 2 June includes the Move for Less zone, where you can test ride and drive alternative transport options, from ebikes and skateboards to electric cars.

Exhibitors will include:

  • Mini (check the new Mini plug-in hybrid!)
  • Brisbane BMW
  • UT Electric Bikes
  • Evolve Skateboards
  • Bicycle Queensland
  • Mitsubishi Motors Australia
  • Electron Vehicles
  • STAR 8 Australia
  • Riverlife Brisbane

More at greenheartfair.com.au

*savings are based on annual estimates by Car Next Door. Full figures at https://blog.carnextdoor.com.au/car-ownership-vs-car-sharing/