Hi everyone, my name is Ben Collis and I’m the Community Manager for Karshare in Manchester. As a new Karshare employee, I figured it made sense for me to join the platform as a car owner – having first-hand experience of what it’s like to be a member of the car sharing community would help me answer any questions people may have and give me a greater understanding of how to get the most out of being on the platform. Like everyone who joins, I did consider what it would mean to not always have access to my car, but ultimately I knew that I didn’t use it every day – and the idea of some extra income was a welcome one, especially after the difficult year we’ve had.
Setting up my profile
Once you’ve decided to join Karshare, the sign-up process is very simple. Before anyone can book your car, you need to create a profile with Karshare. There is clear guidance on what sections need to be filled in, including a description of your car and the all-important photos. My Toyota Aygo had been recently cleaned and I picked a rare sunny day in May to take photos of it, so my profile turned out great. I wanted to make it look as appealing as possible for potential renters and stand out on the app. I also booked in my car for a service to ensure it was in good working order before onboarding it to the platform.
Installing the keyless technology
Once my spare key had been sent off to be paired with our keyless technology, I got an email from our engineers with possible dates and times for an installation. I booked in Paul, one of the engineers, to come to my house the following week – the whole process was super speedy. In the interim, your spare key and the tech box is sent back to your home address, ready for the install. On the day of my installation, Paul arrived and all he required from me was the box, my spare key and access to the vehicle (so it’s important you or someone else is available to open the car for him). The installation process was completed within the hour, my keys handed back and my car ready to rent out.
My first month on the platform
My car has now been bookable on Karshare for 3 weeks. I have had 3 rental bookings completed, each of which lasted 4 days. My first renter took it from Monday – Friday and I had another renter picking the car up that same Friday afternoon, so I quickly gave it a once over to make sure it was clean and it had some fuel in it for the next renter. I made sure to wipe down the surfaces with our Covid-safe sanitiser – and it was ready to go out again! The last rental took place over the Bank Holiday weekend and thanks to Karshare’s Smart Pricing system I made even more money on that particular rental. To have earned £300 in just 3 weeks is absolutely amazing for an additional income.
To think that my car would have just been sitting on the driveway doing nothing these last few weeks... instead I’ve earnt a fantastic amount of money and helped people out with affordable car hire – I can’t imagine why anyone not using their car every day would not join Karshare?
Getting the most out of Karshare
In order for my car to be as attractive as possible for potential renters, I set my price within the parameters suggested by Karshare. Currently you can rent my Toyota Aygo for £32 per day – much cheaper than standard car hire. My settings are really flexible so you can book it for an hour or for up to 2 weeks, with only 1 hour prep time – which allows for almost instant booking. My fourth rental is booked for next week for just 1 day, so I’ve had a nice mixture of bookings. If I have something planned and I know that I will want my car, I just block it out on the system – it’s all really simple. With only 1 booking coming up in the next couple of weeks, I have also posted a link to my car on my social media accounts to share it with a wider audience. Even if my friends or followers don’t need a car, they may know someone who does – there is clearly a demand for cheaper, accessible cars in Manchester. Karshare also has some helpful tips and tricks to promote your car, so it’s always worth keeping an eye on those.
In the coming weeks I will be sure to take advantage of the new referral system, which was recently introduced. New renters can use my unique link to get £20 off their first rental without it affecting my earnings. I’m excited to see how this will increase my rentals!
If you have a vehicle that sits unused most of the time, I would highly recommend adding it to the Karshare platform. If you’re in the Manchester area, I would be more than happy to stop by and walk you through the app – you can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or start the onboarding process here.