Case study: How Hilary turned her Citroen into a community car

“Not sharing felt like having a banquet of food and eating all of it.”

Hilary is a Royal Mail postal worker living in St Pauls, Bristol. She has been renting out her Citroen Berlingo to members of her community with the help of Karshare.

Hilary describes her vehicle as “neither a van nor a car” – a perfectly sized 5-seater that has been a handy mode of transport for her three children and her dog, Bruce. When she first got it, she envisioned herself “packing up the bikes and the family and going for weekends away” but since Covid, her plans have changed. “I don’t use my car for commuting", she told Karshare. "I cycle or walk instead, I get ASDA deliveries so I don’t need to go to the shops and I wouldn’t dream of using my car to drive into town. If I was faced with the choice today, I probably wouldn’t have bought a car – I would just rent one instead.”

Karshare, to Hilary, “seemed ideal.” She knew her Berlingo worked great for her dog, her family, and for trips that required a lot of storage, and she thought, “how can I share what I’ve got with other people?” After coming across Karshare in a news article during lockdown, Hilary decided to list her car. “It made me so happy during Covid to think that I might be helping someone who couldn’t access a conventional rental car or needed a quick and local way of getting around. Karshare is so much more community-based than other rentals, I really felt like I was making a difference.”

At first, Hilary thought joining the platform “was going to be a hassle. But the Karshare website was so easy to use and the team talked me through the whole process from start to finish, I was on board right away. Since joining, Adam, Karshare’s Head of Customer Operations) has been my main contact. He is my go-to person for anything, I trust him entirely. I’ve never had anything happen that wasn’t sorted out immediately.”

When Hilary initially spoke to some friends about her new venture, they were concerned about insurance – a natural first response expressed by many who haven’t encountered car sharing before. “But I was totally confident”, Hilary said. “I knew that Karshare was a professional company that would take care of everything. If someone gets a ticket while driving my car or scratches it, I know it’s not my problem to deal with. My only responsibility is making sure my car is clean and working properly. In fact, I have so much more of an incentive now to keep my car clean, I really enjoy it!”

Despite having earned over £1000 by renting out her Citroen, Hilary says she never checks how much money comes in after a rental. Her motivation for joining was “never about the money.” Instead, she says, “not sharing my car felt like having a banquet of food and eating all of it myself. I just wanted to give people an opportunity to take advantage of a vehicle that I don’t really use. The extra income is bonus cash, a perk.”

Hilary is especially pleased by the recent developments that have taken place in the app. “It’s great to have it all right there on my phone. Because of the app, I don’t have to worry about renters coming and going, because I can see when they have picked up and dropped off the car, even when I’m not in.”

Previous renters have used her car to complete errands, travel with pets and children, move house or go on long weekend trips away. “I’m not too particular about my car so I don’t mind what anyone does with it, as long as it's legal and there’s no mess left behind!”

To Hilary, car sharing is “a way forward. I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t do it – socially it’s good, money-wise it’s good and it’s good for the environment. It’s been a godsend to me. I would recommend Karshare to everyone.”

To rent Hilary’s Citroen Berlingo from just £32 a day, click here.

If you are interested in sharing your vehicle, get in touch with the Karshare team here.