Car sharing takes off in Australia

According to an article in the Australian Financial Review on June 1, several companies that offer car sharing and renting in Australia have seen the usage of car sharing services increase significantly in the past twelve months.

Convenience and cost are the main driving factors for people joining car sharing companies, as well as consumers’ desire to reduce their carbon footprint. Although in most cases people are using the service as an alternative to owning a second car, a few are even getting rid of their first car – a growing market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.

The vehicles are stored on the street in specially designated spaces, and can be accessed by members with the swipe of an electronic card. Renters pay a one-off joining fee, covering RTA costs and insurance checks, and a monthly fee depending on usage. When a car is needed, they book one online and pay an hourly or daily rate, plus a per-kilometre rate, including petrol and comprehensive insurance.

Property developers are increasingly opting to make car-share companies a part of higher density projects, using it as a means to keep down the number of bays that they are required to use. The City of Melbourne is supportive of car sharing companies as evidenced by reduced on-site car parking requirements for new residential developments, and the City of Sydney has established more than 120 dedicated on-street car share spaces, with 22 new spaces approved this year.

PCI is highly supportive of these schemes, and recommends to car park and property developers to ensure that they consider the inclusion of dedicated car sharing spaces in new developments.

Key players in the car sharing market in Australia include GoGet, Flexicar and Charter Drive.

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