How does a booking work from start to finish?

Once you've applied and been approved as a borrower, taking a trip with Car Next Door is simple. 

How to book a car, van or ute

To book, just visit the search page or download the app, search for available cars that match your needs, and book instantly. You don't need to wait for the owner to confirm. 

Your trip can be as short as an hour, and increase in increments of 15 mins for up to 60 days.

Trip instructions

Log in to the mobile site or app 15 minutes before your trip starts. We’ll walk you step-by-step through your whole trip.

Before you drive …

Remember, you are a guest in a real person’s car. Please take care of it as you would for a friend.

  • Only you or other approved Car Next Door members may drive the car. Other drivers are not insured.
  • Don’t smoke in the car. If you or a passenger smokes, close all the doors and windows and go at least 10 metres away before lighting up.
  • Return the car clean and tidy, ready for the next driver.
  • If anything goes wrong, let the owner know - don’t wait for them to discover damage, spills or fines themselves.

1: Get the keys and find the car

The keys for the car are secured in a lockbox. It may be on the car’s window, or attached to a fence or building nearby.

You’ll get the exact location, and a code to open the lockbox, 15 minutes before your trip starts. 

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2: Check the car and take photos

Before you drive, do a quick check of the car.

If the car is not in good condition, is dirty or has less than ¼ tank of fuel, take a photo of it and let us know.

Take photos of all surfaces of the car. You will take photos again when you return the car. Keep the photos for 30 days.

Your photos protect you. If damage is found later, and your before and after photos show that it was not caused during your trip, you won’t be held responsible.

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3: Read the owner’s instructions

Each Car Next Door is unique. The car owner’s instructions will tell you any tips and tricks for using their car.

You’ll get the owner’s contact details in case you need to ask them a question.

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4: Refuel

You must return the car with the fuel tank at least ¼ full, so the next driver can get on their way. The car’s instructions tell you what type of fuel to use.

You don’t pay for fuel yourself - it is included in the distance charge. If you need to fill up, use the fuel card in the car to pay. You will need a PIN - find it in the trip instructions on your phone.

Can’t find or use the card? No stress - just pay for the fuel and upload a photo of the receipt for reimbursement.

5: Need more time?

It’s simple to extend your trip through the app or mobile site, as long as no-one else has booked the car. Just follow the prompts to set a new end time.

Make sure you extend before the trip is due to end, to avoid late fees.

If you return the car early, you’ll still pay for the time you booked, unless someone else books it. This is because the owner may have made plans around your booking, and missed the chance to rent the car to someone else.

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6: Return and park the car

Check the owner’s instructions for parking the car. Some cars have a dedicated park, like a garage or driveway. Others are parked on the street.

In very busy areas, you may need to plan extra time to find a park at the end of your trip.

If the car is parked on the street, check the instructions and parking signs very carefully. If you leave a car in a place where it gets a parking fine - no matter how long after your trip ends - you’ll need to pay the fine.

7: Check, lock and leave

Take another set of photos clearly showing all surfaces of the car (keep them for 30 days).

Check that you've taken all your belongings with you and left the car clean and with at least ¼ tank of fuel.

Check that all windows are closed, lights are off and the car is locked

Use the app or mobile site to generate a lockbox code, put the key back inside and close the lockbox securely.

Hit the 'end booking' button to complete your booking and you're all done!

Watch the video to see a trip in action

Here's a video on how it all works:

Not a member yet? Here's how to join

You can join Car Next Door and become an approved member for free. Once you're an approved member you'll be able to borrow from our fleet of over 1500 cars, vans and utes across Australia. 

It only takes a few minutes to apply and you can be on the road today. 

Join for free

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  • That makes it easy

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