I don’t own a car and I haven’t for five years. Financially it’s definitely cheaper to not own a vehicle, but for our family that’s not the sole reason why we car share – there are so many other benefits.
When we moved back to Australia with our young daughters after many years in Britain, my husband and I decided to hold off on buying a car. We thought we’d try car sharing for a year and see how it goes. Although there have been ups and downs, it’s become easier and easier over time.
At the time we first returned, I was working on a research project on new and more environmentally friendly ways to manage food, transport and energy, so I had a professional interest in trying out car sharing.
We started out with Goget, but later Car Next Door emerged, and I’ve always liked their peer-to-peer approach, because it means that you are using cars that are already in your suburb and would otherwise be sitting idle. Back then it was a little harder, as our two girls were in car seats and we had to hike up the hill with the car seats and kids to get to a car.
Now it’s so easy, there are so many more cars available on the platform. Where we live there are two share cars in front of our house, another one across the road, and three more within an easy walk. In the beginning there sometimes wasn’t any car available when you needed it, but it’s been years since that happened, so I don’t even need to plan ahead anymore to book a car.
Listen: A mum shares how she manages to feed her entire family for less than $50 per week.