Maximise your car’s potential: Rent out your car to earn extra income
You might have retired but that doesn’t mean your car can’t earn its keep!
Owning a car equals freedom at any stage of life and especially once you’re retired. Yet, many people find that, as the years go by, their car is spending less time on the road and more time parked.
Having your car sit idle might be because you’re content to be at home or that your eyesight, mobility or driving-confidence means you’re less likely to grab the keys and head out.
Did you know that it’s possible to still enjoy all the freedom that having a car brings and earn money from it while you’re not needing it?
How often is your car sitting idle?
No, we’re not talking about idling while in heavy traffic! We’re talking about your car sitting unused in your garage or parked on the street.
This article by Angie Schmitt, calculated that cars are parked not just most of the day but 95 percent of the time. The data used was from the US but it wouldn’t be too great a stretch when looking at how the authors crunched the numbers, to assume that Australian figures are similar.
If you’re leaving your car unused for longer than a week, or only taking it for very short trips, you’re also running the risk of having the battery flatten, adding unwanted hassle as well as expense.
What do you think your car’s usage percentage might be? And is it decreasing as you age?
How much does your car cost to own and run?
Over your decades of car ownership, you’ve likely done some calculations of your own. Or maybe you’ve preferred not to really know the full extent of how much it costs to own and run a car. If so, we understand this head-in-the-sand approach, as the numbers can be quite shocking!
There’s the price of the car itself, along with decisions over the years to upgrade or switch between smaller and larger cars as family life changes. Then, there’s the depreciation. Though this is a cost that isn’t considered by many people, it’s real money – if your car is bought new at $40,000 and a decade later, it’s only worth $18,000, that car has cost you $12,000 in depreciation over those ten years.
Then there are all the running costs. You likely well know the pain that comes when it’s rego time and when your car insurance is due (unless you have opted to spread it out over monthly payments). Then there’s servicing, repairs, roadside assistance membership and, if you incur them, tolls and parking fees.
And all that’s before you fill-up with fuel. Out of interest, what’s the cheapest you remember fuel costing? It’s probably well under 20 cents per litre, which even after factoring inflation into the equation, is astronomically different to the current $1.50-plus.
If you’re keen to explore more about how much your car costs, feel free to jump onto this calculator, which takes into account individualised factors like how far you usually drive in a year.
That’s all very well but isn’t that just life? I mean, cars are expensive.
Yes, cars are expensive, but there’s a way to help balance out the costs with some income. You see, you can rent your car out so it’s in use instead of sitting idle.
Think of it as putting your car to work. Or charging it rent and board!
Traditional car rental businesses use specific cars that are part of a fleet and only used for people to rent. Non-traditional car rental, like Uber Carshare, turns that model upside-down by connecting borrowers with available cars that are otherwise sitting around in garages or taking up valuable on-street parking.
The benefits for everyone are huge:
- Instead of having to get to a traditional car rental office, borrowers can hire a car. that’s right near them – maybe just down the street.
- Borrowers can rent a car by the hour rather than by the day – ideal for most of our trips, which are short and focussed.
- Non-traditional vehicle rental isn’t confined to cars – so someone who needs do a spot of furniture moving can specifically hire a ute or rent a van near them.
- Regular people – like you – can earn an income from an asset that’s not always in use – their car.
Hmm, interesting. How does it work?
Hasn’t technology come a long way? New models of car renting, like Uber Carshare, are made possible and easy thanks to technology.
Whether your preference is a website or an app on your phone, you can be in control of all aspects of renting your car out in one location. Once you’re registered, you can upload photos of your car, describe it and highlight features and preferences (for example, you can choose whether pets are allowed in your car or not). You set which days or times the car is available, ensuring that your needs are met first.
You can choose whether you’d prefer to meet your borrowers to hand over the keys in person, or whether you’d prefer contactless handover, where the borrower accesses the keys via a lock-box arrangement.
You’ll benefit from Uber Carshare’s registration of borrowers, their clear guidelines and access to help as needed. You might also be pleased to hear that borrowers aren’t necessarily looking for an immaculate, almost-new car. Older cars are also popular for non-traditional renting.
How much can you earn? Well, there’s no definitive answer, as earnings vary depending on where your car is located and how often it’s available for borrowing. But, assuming you don’t live beyond the back of Bourke, it’s almost definitely going to be more than nothing!
Are there wider benefits from non-traditional car rental?
Some people who make their car available for borrowing are primarily motivated by having a new income source, something we totally respect. There are also broader, less tangible but still important motivations to make use of your car when it’s not in use, including:
- Most borrowers will either live or work near you, so they’re part of your community. Even though there’s payment involved, it’s nice to find creative ways of helping a neighbour!
- If someone can borrow a vehicle when they need it, they’re less likely to have to buy a car (or a second or third car within a family), which is good news for the environment.
- Ultimately, this means that car use becomes more economically feasible – both for borrowers and lenders.
Sounds good. What are my options?
There are various platforms available for renting your car through non-traditional models. We’ve done some comparative work to help you check out options and, of course, encourage you to do your own research.
At Uber Carshare, we’re obviously biassed, but we think you’ll like knowing that Uber Carshare has paid over $54 million to car owners, overseen well over 1 million trips and offers an owner guarantee, trip protection and 24/7 support.
Interested to register your vehicle (it only takes 10-15 minutes)? Start here: https://www.ubercarshare.com/rent-my-car