Car Next Door makes it simple to turn any car into a share car, empowering people to save money, reduce waste and create cleaner, greener, better neighbourhoods. It’s common sense for the common good.
Here we're going to give you an overview of how it all works.
Getting set up for sharing
There are two ways to share cars through Car Next Door.
- The Instant Keys system, which uses our smart lockbox to share keys and a GPS tracker and toll tag to automatically bill distance and tolls; and
- The Key Handover system, where the Owner and Borrower meet to exchange keys, and will report distance and tolls to us through the app.
This article describes the Instant Keys system.
To turn your car into a share car, we'll come out and install three pieces of technology: a lockbox, a toll tag, and a GPS tracker. We'll also apply your chosen stickers to your car to help with marketing.
All you'll need to manage your car is the Car Next Door app or members' site.
The three things we'll install in your car are a lockbox, a toll tag, and a GPS tracker.
Lockbox - This is an electronic lockbox that holds the car keys safe and allows borrowers to access them without needing to meet you. More about the lockbox
Toll tag - This allows us to bill the right people for their tolls – you or a borrower. More about tolls
GPS tracker - This is to keep your car safe and allows us to measure the distance borrowers drive in your car.
Our installer will come out on a weekday to install the technology in your car. You don't need to be home that day as long as you can leave the car key somewhere secret. We'll send you an email and text message once your installation is complete.
After your installation, you can take your own toll tag out of the car and suspend your account. Your tolls will now be paid through your Car Next Door account.
Once we've completed your installation, there are just a few things you need to do before your car is ready for bookings. Log in to the website and go to your car's profile page:
- Enter your credit card and bank account details
- Fill out your car's profile
- Complete the steps to sharing checklist
We'll double check that everything is ready and put your car live on the platform!
Before your car can go live...
Your car's profile is what borrowers see when they are looking for cars. Make sure you've filled out your car's description, any special quirks about your car borrowers need to know, and parking instructions for returning your car at the end of a booking.
Make sure you've also entered your credit card and bank account details.
You'll also need to nominate your additional drivers who will be covered by the insurance when they drive your car. Here's how to do it.
Lockbox and keys
Your Car Next Door lockbox provides key access to borrowers, so you don't need to worry about meeting up to hand over the key.
Here's the most important thing to remember when sharing your car:
Keep the key in the lockbox and the lockbox in place at all times.
Most bookings are made within 15 minutes of their start time, so you often won't have time to put the key in the place.
Learn more about the lockbox:
Car Next Door works on a system of instant bookings. This means that your car can be booked instantly at any time when you haven’t booked it out for your own use.
For the system to work, it's crucial that you always book your car if you're going to drive it.
It's really simple to block out your car through the website or app - here's how.
If a Borrower turns up to use your car and it’s not there, or the key is not available, then you may be charged a fee to cover the Borrower's costs of getting where they needed to go.
Learn more about instant bookings:
We have a simple system for making sure each driver pays for the fuel they use.
How fuel works
You pay for all the fuel that goes into your car, and then each borrower pays you back for the fuel they use. For every kilometre a borrower drives, you'll be paid 25 cents to cover fuel as well as wear and tear on your car.
If a borrower needs to fill up during their booking, they can use the fuel card we send to you a few weeks after your installation.
Learn more about fuel:
Sharing your car is easy and rewarding. It also comes with some responsibilities:
- Keep your car roadworthy at all times
- Keep your car reasonably clean and tidy
- Keep an eye on your car and check it regularly
Learn more about your responsibilities:
Using the app and website
The Car Next Door website and app provide you with all the tools you need to manage your car. Here you can see your car's calendar, book your car for yourself, update your car's profile, leave reviews for your borrowers, and see information about your earnings and payments.
Learn more about the app and website:
Creating your car's profile
It's important that your car's profile is accurate and easy to read. You can edit your car's profile at any time through the website. Make sure you include:
- A great photo of your car
- A brief description of your car
- Any information about driving your car that borrowers need to know
- All the features that your car has, like roof racks or air conditioning
- Clear parking instructions to help borrowers return your car at the end of a booking
Learn more about your car's profile:
Earnings and payments
Each month we'll pay you your share of your car's income, less your $60/month membership fee, fuel card charges, and your own tolls.
Membership and commission
Your membership includes comprehensive insurance, roadside assistance and all the technology and support to make renting your car out possible. $60 a month doesn't cover our costs of having your car on the platform, so we also take a commission on your car's income.
If you need to stop sharing your car and cancel your owner membership for any reason, you need to give us at least 10 business days' notice so we can arrange to uninstall our equipment from your car.
Learn more about membership, earnings and payments:
Does it cost me anything to list my car?
How much money will I earn?
How to work out your car's earnings after costs
How and when will I get paid?
Understanding your invoice
What is Car Next Door's commission?
Why does Car Next Door take a share of my income?
I need to stop sharing my car - what do I do?
Communicating with Borrowers
As a car-sharing community, we have a set of rules and standards to keep everything running smoothly. Just as borrowers expect to find your car clean and roadworthy, you can expect your borrowers to treat your car well. In the unlikely event that a borrower does the wrong thing, we're here to help.
Here's what to do if:
Remember: the community standards, and fees for not following them, apply to car owners too.
Marketing your car
There are lots of things we do to promote your car, and lots of ways you can help too. Telling your friends and neighbours about Car Next Door, creating an ad on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace, and putting up posters in local community hot spots can all help get the word out.
Learn more about marketing your car:
It can be hard waiting for bookings for your car, but it's important to remember that it can take a little while for your car's bookings to build. There are many variables that impact on how many bookings your car will get, including seasonal demand, availability and your car's rates.
Learn more about what impacts on bookings:
It's both exciting and nerve-wracking when you get your first booking! Thanks to our in-car technology and instant booking system, managing your car's bookings is really easy. There are just a few things you need to do before and after bookings:
- Make sure your car, key and lockbox are in place
- Send the borrower a welcome message (optional)
- Make sure your car is clean and has at least 1/4 tank of fuel
- After your car is returned, check it over and report any issues
- Review the borrower within 10 days of their trip ending
Most bookings are made less than an hour before they start, so keep your key, lockbox and car ready for bookings at all times.
The number one factor affecting bookings is availability. The more your car is available, the more bookings it will get and more the money you will earn.
Because availability has such a strong impact on bookings, we have a Fair Availability Policy in place - your car should be available for at least 50% of weekdays and 50% of weekend days each month.
If your car is booked at a time you need it, it's best to make alternative arrangments (like booking another local car) rather than cancel the borrower's booking. If you cancel a borrower's booking we may need to charge you a fee to cover our costs of arranging alternative transport for them.
Learn more about availability:
It's very rare for cars to get damaged - on average a car would need to be rented out for close to 20 years for it sustain serious damage.
Of course, accidents do happen but your car is covered by our comprehensive insurance policy – whether damage occurs when it's you driving, one of your additional drivers, or a borrower. You're also covered for fire, hail and theft.
If your car does get damaged, our repair processes will kick in to get your car repaired and back on the road as soon as possible – we'll take care of it all.
It's important to note that the insurance doesn't include cover for 'wear and tear'.
Learn more about damage:
Community and environment
When you join Car Next Door, you join a community of over 60,000 car sharers across Australia. By renting your car out, you're helping your neighbours get around and reducing the waste of underused cars. Car-sharing is the most sustainable way to access a car, and with all the emissions from borrowers' driving offset through Greenfleet your car is also planting trees!
Want to connect with other Car Next Door owners? Join our private Car Next Door Owners Facebook Group.
Spreading the word
Our mission is to free people and the planet from the ‘one person, one car’ mentality. We want to help as many people as possible save money and reduce their environmental impact. To do that, we need your help to spread the word about neighbour-to-neighbour car-sharing!
You can help by:
- sharing your personal invite code with friends and family - they'll get $15 credit to try us out
- leaving us a review on Product Review or Google, or leaving a review for the app
- following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
- sharing your own photos with #carnextdoor
Learn more about spreading the word:
Interested in renting out your car? Get your car earning money for you now!
List your car on Car Next Door