How Ant and Beth’s car dependency changed over lockdown
Like many others when Ant and Beth bought a new car for commuting to work, they were unaware of how their daily need for a car was about to be shaken up by lockdown. “We ideally wanted to get an electric car, but because we live in a terrace house we couldn’t get some form of electric charging point. So hybrid was the best option for us really! Beth was just starting a new job and needed the car to drive around the country, but then our jobs changed over lockdown and we weren’t really using the car an awful lot.”
Ant and Beth now both work for tech startups in Bristol city centre where they say “both of the offices are central in town, so we either cycle, take the bus or walk in. There’s also no parking at Beth’s work.” After hearing about Karshare through a friend who doesn’t own a car herself and uses Karshare to rent, Ant and Beth decided to check it out - “We had a look and we were quite impressed with it all!”
“The time from signing up, to getting our car fitted was very fast and it was really smooth. I was worried at first about how the car might be affected by having the box put inside of it, but you don’t notice it’s there at all.”
“We’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many rentals we’ve had so far. We needed to use the car for personal reasons over the past month so we set it as unavailable, but before that we’d be getting at least one rental a week, if not more. Now, what we make from people renting is pretty much paying off the car every month.” Since sharing their car with other Bristol residents, they’ve earned over £500 from rentals.
“We’ve not needed to promote the car at all and we’re happy with the stream of bookings that we’re getting through having it on the Karshare platform alone.”
Ant says that “it’s the best example of passive income, because apart from filling up the tank and keeping it clean it’s really no effort”, which reminded Beth that they “also used to be terrible at keeping the car tidy, it always had coffee cups and stuff like that in, but now we make sure to clear the car so it’s actually helped us be more tidy!”
With car sharing seeming to slot nicely into their daily routine, we wanted to know more about whether any other habits have changed since opening their car up to their community.
“One thing it’s really changed is that we’re a bit more conscious of when the car’s available. So you know, on a normal week you might think ‘ooh I’ll nip to the shop’ or do some errands and things like that. Whereas, we’ve gotten to a point where if the car’s booked out for four days, we’ll assign one day that week to be our ‘errands day’ and get all of our jobs done in once. It’s helped us be more efficient!”
“We’re not doing as many frivolous journeys where you just pop to the shops. We’ve been a lot more mindful about how we use the car.”
We know that sharing your car can cause concerns around insurance and damages, but Beth isn’t too concerned about the safety of their car - “I don’t really worry too much about accidents and things, because I feel like if you’re borrowing a car you’re not going to be running it ragged and I don’t believe that people would rent a car with the intention to cause damage.” - It’s also worth reminding you at this point that Karshare’s insurance would cover the costs of any damage (up to £50,000) and provide a courtesy car if needed as well!
“If people have cars that they’re not using all the time or if covid’s changed their working from home situation, I’d definitely recommend it.”