Our instant booking system means your car can be booked by a Borrower anytime you haven't blocked it out for yourself. To keep the system running smoothly for everyone, it's really important that you always block out your car when you need to use it yourself.
The instant booking system
Car Next Door works on a system of instant bookings. This means that your car can be booked instantly at any time when your calendar shows that it is available.
This means you don’t need to deal with individual booking requests. It also maximises the number of bookings you get, because Borrowers can book and go on the spur of the moment.
But for this system to work, you (and any of your Additional Drivers) need to always block out your car for your own use.
For most of us, this is a new way of thinking about our cars, and takes a bit of getting used to. The good news is that it's super easy to block out your car through our mobile site or app.
What happens if you don't block out your car
Getting into the habit of blocking out your own car is the most important thing you can do as a car-sharer.
If you don’t block out the car for your own use, then:
- it might be out on a booking when you need it
- it might not be there when a Borrower turns up at the start of their trip
Fees for no-shows
If a Borrower turns up to use your car and you're out driving or the key is not available, you may be charged $30 to go towards the Borrower's costs of finding alternative transport. It's also likely to impact on your car's earnings, as Borrowers won't become regulars if your car isn't reliably available.
Three essential rules that make instant bookings work
Sharing your car is really easy, but you need to make these 3 things your habits:
1: Always block out your car if you are using it yourself
Members can instantly book any available car. This means that if you don’t block out the time when you are using your car, a Borrower may book it and turn up – to find the car missing. Here's how to block out your car when you need it.
2: Always have your keys available
If you're on our Instant Keys plan, Fred the lockbox is your friend. He’s the reason you can share your car without meeting Borrowers. If he’s not in his usual home (as detailed in your car's profile), then a Borrower won’t be able to get in - which is possibly even more frustrating than the car not being there.
If you're on our Key Handover plan, you need to be available to meet Borrowers and give them the keys whenever your car is available for bookings. If a Borrower can't get in touch with you, we'll have to cancel the booking and may charge you a fee. Make sure you've set your booking preferences so that your car is only available when you are.
3: Don’t wait till you get a booking to put the car (and keys) in place.
Most bookings are made within 15 minutes of their start time, so you often won’t have enough notice to bring the car back, or have the keys ready for the Borrower.
New habits are hard to make – but getting the hang of these three things at the outset will save a lot of hassle!
Interested in renting out your car? Get your car earning money for you now!
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