Ian is a Software Tester living in Westbury Park who has been renting out his Ford C-Max with his partner Rachel as part of Karshare’s community car sharing scheme. He first used Karshare when it operated as Car and Away at Gatwick Airport. “It worked really well there and made me think about the fact that there’s always cars sitting around at airports – it makes way more sense to use those rather than a whole fleet of rental cars. Then I saw that Karshare had started operating in neighbourhoods during lockdown and got on board.”
Ian used to use his car every day to get to work, but now that he has started working in Bristol, he rarely uses it during the week. “I prefer cycling or walking to work – I don’t really like using a car to drive around locally. It’s useful to have it on the weekends, but otherwise it just sits there pointlessly. For someone else to be using it makes a load of sense – plus now I’ve always got a clean and tidy car, so that’s a bonus!”
Since sharing their Ford C-Max, Ian and Rachel have made over £900 from rentals. “It feels like free money, really. All we’ve got to do is think ahead sometimes to check if we’ll need it for a weekend, and if that’s the case, we just make it unavailable to rent.”
Ian can see the benefits for his entire neighbourhood, too. “It would be great on our street to have more people renting out their cars. There are too many households with two vehicles, so parking can be a nightmare – I would think that Karshare would work really well for them because they could rent one out whilst still never being without a car.”
The environmental impact of car sharing has not gone unnoticed either. “Renting out our car has certainly made us think about our own car usage. If we’ve got a good rental coming up, it means we have to think of something different – whether that’s jumping on a scooter or cycling. It has made us reconsider how we get around and discover all the other, eco-friendly ways of travelling in Bristol.
When talking about the logistics around car sharing and any concerns around the scheme, Ian said that his car “has always come back in a good state – people seem to treat it with respect, and if there have been any issues, the Karshare team has dealt with them instantly and to a great level of satisfaction. I don’t worry about it at all when the car is hired out.”
Looking to the future, Ian hopes that the return to normality and out of lockdown will mean even more renters will come on board to hire out his Ford. “We had a two-day hire this week, which has been great. There was no way I was going to be using the car anyway and now we can head to a beer garden and enjoy a nice meal with the money we earned from the rental. Win, win!”