Sharing your car on our Instant Keys plan - overview

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 send three pieces of technology: a lockbox, a toll tag, and a GPS tracker. We'll also send 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 installation

About the technology

The three things you'll install in your car are a lockbox, a toll tag (if there are tolls in your state), 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.

About the stickers
When you sign up to list your car, we'll ask you to nominate which sticker design you'd like on your car. It's not compulsory, but it's a big help with marketing your car and getting bookings. The stickers are easy to remove if necessary and won't damage your paintwork.
About the installation

We'll send your car-share kit together with instructions to set your car up for sharing. It's simple, and doesn't require any tools or specialist knowledge.

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. If you have a pre-paid or auto top-up toll account, check if you have any remaining credit and ask your toll provider for a refund.

About the app or website

The Car Next Door app and website provide you with all the tools you need to manage your car - including booking the car for yourself and seeing your past and upcoming bookings. Download the app or bookmark the website to your phone's home screen now.

More about the app
More about the website

Once your car-share kit is installed (or while you're waiting for your kit to arrive), 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:

  1. Enter your credit card and bank account details
  2. Fill out your car's profile
  3. Upload condition photos in the 'insurance' section showing all sections of your car and the odometer

We'll double check that everything is ready and list your car on the platform!

Filling out your profile

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.

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:

How do borrowers get the key?
Where is the lockbox installed?
How to open your car's lockbox

Instant bookings

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:

Booking your own car: why it's so important
How do I manage my car's availability calendar?


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. You choose your car's distance income from 13c, 25c or 37c a kilometre. This is how much you'll earn for every kilometre a borrower drives, to cover fuel as well as wear and tear on your car.

If a borrower needs to fill up during their booking, they pay themselves and upload a photo of the receipt. We'll reimburse them and add the charge to your monthly invoice.

Learn more about fuel:

How do borrowers pay for the fuel they use

Your responsibilities

Sharing your car is easy and rewarding. It also comes with some responsibilities:

  1. Keep your car roadworthy at all times
  2. Keep your car reasonably clean and tidy
  3. Keep an eye on your car and check it regularly

Learn more about your responsibilities:

Owning a shared car - your responsibilities
Keeping your car roadworthy
Keeping your car clean

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:

Using the website
Using the app

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:

Creating your car's profile and parking instructions

Earnings and payments

Each month we'll pay you your share of your car's income, less your membership fee, fuel 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. Your membership fee covers the cost of our in-car technology, and our share of income covers our other costs.

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:

A borrower does the wrong thing
A borrower gets a fine in your car

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:

Marketing your car
How to post a Gumtree ad for your car
How can I maximise my earnings?

Getting bookings

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:

How long will it take to get regular bookings?
Why is my car less busy in winter?
How much should I charge for the use of my car?
How do I change the rates charged for my car?

Managing 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:

  1. Make sure your car, key and lockbox are in place
  2. Send the borrower a welcome message (optional)
  3. Make sure your car is clean and has at least 1/4 tank of fuel
  4. After your car is returned, check it over and report any issues
  5. 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.


  Availability matters

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.

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 compensate them for the inconvenience.

Learn more about availability:

Can I still drive my car whenever I want?
The Fair Availability Policy
General availability requirements vs the income guarantee requirements
Can I cancel a borrower's booking?


  Quick fact

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 whenever it’s with a Borrower. You’re also covered for fire, hail and theft during Borrower bookings. If you’re on our Instant Keys Plus+ plan, your car is covered by our insurance at all times.


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:

How does the insurance work?
Checking your car and reporting damage
How is my car's value assessed if it's a total loss?

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 under-used cars. Car-sharing is the most sustainable way to access a car, and with Greenfleet reducing the carbon footprint from Borrower trips, your car is also planting trees!

  Quick tip

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:

Learn more about spreading the word:

How do I invite a friend and earn credit? 


Interested in renting out your car? Get your car earning money for you now!

List your car on Car Next Door

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