Car Next Door CEO Will Davies.
Car Next Door CEO Will Davies.

Half-price flights spark rental car shortage

Visitors taking advantage of cheap flights to Byron Bay may struggle to find a car to travel around in during their stay according to new data.

Rental comparison site vroomvroomvroom.com.au shows no cars available for the Easter weekend and with half-price flights launching this weekend demand for rentals is expected to increase.

 

 

Cashing in on the influx of tourists and an opportunity to run a lucrative side-hustle, there has been a spike in locals putting their cars and houses up for rent on share economy platforms like Car Next Door and Airbnb.

CEO Will Davies said car sharing numbers were at a high across the country, where it's still possible to rent a medium car for as little as $25 a day this weekend.

There has been such an increase in demand that there are now 12,000 people joining the platform a month, with that rising to 15,000 last month.

Northern Rivers local Andre Potappel's Toyota Yaris is constantly booked out by tourists.

Car Next Door car
Car Next Door car

 

Because the father-of-one is based in Ballina, near the airport, tourists generally get an Uber to the car and then have their own vehicle for their visit.

His prices start at $31 a day, and generally he makes around $200 a week listing on Car Next Door.

Between March 2019 and March 2021 cars listed across the country have risen 87 per cent, with more than 21,000 trips taken each month.

"We are already starting to see the numbers swell in holiday hot spots like Cairns, Gold Coast and Byron Bay as well as Sydney and Melbourne and areas one- to two-hours on either side," Mr Davies said.

Byron Bay only had two cars in March 2019, now it's gone up to 30 cars listed.

Trips have also skyrocketed to more than 120 a month.

 "Traditional car sharing hasn't been able to get off the ground outside of urban centres because of the significant overheads involved with buying and maintaining a fleet of cars," says Mr Davies.

"With a peer to peer model such as Car Next Door, we are just activating cars that are already in these suburbs - cars that are sitting unused for 96 per cent of the time.

"Anyone can rent their car out or borrow a car.

"We don't have any peak pricing - so it doesn't matter if it's Easter, Christmas Day or New Year's Eve - you'll still be paying the same as any other day of the year."

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