Case study: How Julian turned his unused van into a valuable income stream

Julian Burr is a 42 year old DJ from Hanham in Bristol. Married with four children, he owns a Vauxhall Vivaro van, which he has been renting out as part of Karshare’s community car sharing scheme.

“I first heard about Karshare through a Facebook advert”, he told us. “In non-Covid times, I operate a DJ business and this has had to stop since the first lockdown in March. My van has been redundant since then and Karshare was a great opportunity to make some income from it, instead of it sitting idle.” Julian and his family have two other vehicles which they use to get around in Bristol, but the van “is not being used for anything right now.”

Karshare enables people to rent out their vehicles to other people nearby to earn extra money and repurpose their assets. Like an Airbnb for cars, our platform uses keyless technology to allow renters to easily access booked vehicles without the need for a face to face handover with the owner. The hassle-free booking process not only ensures that drivers can be on their way in no time, it also takes advantage of vehicles that are already parked on the streets, unlocking a huge fleet of cars that is typically unused 96% of the time.

Since joining the Karshare platform in October 2020, Julian has made his van available to rent 24/7. Once his DJ-ing business is allowed to resume, he expects to hire the van out from Sundays to Thursdays. “While it is too early to say what the hiring patterns will be like after lockdown, it is really encouraging to have already had 10 rentals in just 2 months.”

His initial concerns around car sharing were quickly diminished after speaking to the Karshare team. “The checks around the scheme are robust and the drivers are all thoroughly vetted before they’re allowed to book a vehicle. Plus, the app and management system make it easy for people to hire out their vehicles without any effort.”

Karshare works with an extensive partner ecosystem which ensures owners can hire out their car with confidence. Every vehicle is covered by comprehensive insurance and RAC breakdown cover and the team is on standby 365 days a year to assist with any trouble. The introduction of our driver telematics has also ensured that owners can be safe in the knowledge their vehicle is being tracked at all times while renters are monitored on their performance, encouraging them to drive safely.

Like other owners on the Karshare platform, Julian has earned over £370 a month from hiring out his van thus far, “and it’s growing.” The extra money has helped him supplement lost income due to Covid and he envisions this to be a regular secondary income stream in 2021.

In the move to net zero, it is crucial to drastically reduce the number of cars on UK roads and car sharing can be a key player in achieving this goal. Sustainable transport depends on repurposing the assets already owned and taking advantage of the fast growing sharing economy. The cyclical nature of car sharing means that both owners and renters can benefit from it: by making money, supporting communities, protecting the planet and gaining easy access to travel options close by.

If you too have a vehicle that you would like to share on the Karshare platform, click here.