Cars in the Car Next Door community need to be kept in a reasonably clean and tidy state at all times, so that all members can feel comfortable driving them. 

They’re real people’s cars - not a corporate hire car - but they should still meet this basic standard.

The basic standard of cleanliness

  • There is no rubbish on the floor, seats or in the console
  • The hard surfaces, upholstery and seatbelts are clean and free of any sticky residue or spills, sand, crumbs, pet hair or dirt
  • The floor mats and floor wells have minimal dirt or sand 
  • The windows are reasonably clean to allow for clear vision
  • There is no dried mud or heavy dirt on the exterior of the vehicle
  • There is no smoking in the car, either by the owner or a borrower

Members' responsibilities

If you borrow a car, you have a responsibility to return it at least as clean as when you picked it up, take photos showing the interior and exterior of the car before and after your trip, and report any cars that don't meet the basic cleanliness standard at the start of your trip. 

If you share your car, you have a responsibility to check your car regularly and make sure it meets the basic standard of cleanliness before each Borrower's trip. Keeping your car clean is also one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your car gets good reviews and more bookings. 

Take a few simple steps after you drive to ensure you don't get charged a cleaning fee:

  • Clear out any rubbish and take all of your belongings with you (check inside all of the pockets, under seats and in the boot)
  • Shake out the floor mats
  • If the car needs a clean after your trip, either do it at home before you return the car or take it to a servo with self-serve carwash facilities or a professional car wash. A quick online search will help you find these nearby.


What to do if a car you have booked is dirty

What to do if a borrower returns your car dirty 

Cleanliness Definitions and Fees:

Untidy - no cleaning fee

If a car isn't left perfectly tidy, but it's quick and easy to clean up, we won't charge a cleaning fee. However, the tidier you leave the car, the more likely you'll be to receive good reviews as an owner or as a borrower.


  • Minimal amounts of dry rubbish (e.g. a lolly wrapper)
  • Small amounts of crumbs, sand, or dirt on floor mats or seats that can easily be shaken off or brushed out
  • Small marks on hard surfaces or upholstery that can be cleaned off easily by hand


  • Small amounts of dirt or dust from normal use



Messy - $35


  • More than minimal rubbish left in the car

  • Crumbs, sand, or dirt on floor mats or seats that requires vacuuming to clean

  • Marks or residue on hard surfaces or upholstery that can simply be wiped clean


  • Noticeable dirt or dust on the exterior or windows that can be hosed or wiped off

$25 will be passed on to the affected Owner or Borrower, and $10 retained by Car Next Door.



Dirty - $60


  • Food or drink or significant amounts of rubbish left in the car
  • Crumbs, sand, or dirt on floor mats or seats that requires vacuuming to clean
  • Marks or residue on hard surfaces that need more cleaning effort (e.g. limited liquid spills or sticky substances)


  • Dirt or mud on part of the exterior or windows requiring a standard wash to remove.

$50 will be passed on to the affected Owner or Borrower, and $10 retained by Car Next Door.




Very dirty - Cost of clean + $60 admin fee

If the car is left very dirty and requires more than a standard car wash to clean it, the cleaning will be charged to the responsible member at cost, plus a $60 admin fee to cover Car Next Door's time in organising the cleaning. $50 will be passed on to the affected Owner or Borrower, and $10 retained by Car Next Door. The cost of cleaning may exceed $300 depending on the extent of the clean required, the size of the vehicle, and whether filters need to be replaced. 


  • Major dirt or residue on seat fabric, carpet or other hard-to-clean surfaces
  • Liquid or food spills requiring more than a basic clean
  • Any sign of an animal having been in a car that is not listed as pet-friendly
  • Pet hair or mess, even in a car that is pet-friendly: you still need to carry your pet in a carrier and clean up after it
  • Any sign of smoking (smoke scent, ash, butts) 
  • Odours from foods, spoilt milk or other smells - this may require repeated cleaning to fully remediate 
  • Interior damage (including permanent stains or tears) will be handled under the Damage Policy.


  • Dirt, mud or hard-to-remove residue on a majority of the car requiring an extensive wash to remove.



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