After the year we have just been through, it will come as no surprise that UK residents are looking for new ways to generate income and navigate this uncertain world of work. According to the Office for National Statistics, the unemployment rate in January was at 5% – the highest figure in five years, with 1.7 million people unemployed. Since the start of the pandemic, Google searches for “easy ways to make money from home” have skyrocketed by 500% and more and more people are turning to freelance work and one-off gigs to stay afloat.
Fortunately, the evolution of the sharing economy has made it increasingly easier for individuals to create additional income streams – without having to leave their homes. Defined as an economic system in which assets or services are shared between people via the internet, the sharing economy is a powerful tool to take advantage of already existing assets, like a spare room, which can be simply transformed into a steady stream of passive income.
Take Airbnb for example: the leading accommodation marketplace generated £502 million in economic activity in the UK in 2014 and grew its active listings to over 223,000 in 2018 with 8.4 million guests in one year. That’s a lot of money generated by people making better use of what they already own. Airbnb’s study found that over 60% of hosts in the UK used their income to pay bills they would otherwise struggle to pay by renting out rooms within their primary residence.
But these rooms aren’t the only thing that can bring in extra money. Cars and vans are highly valuable assets in the UK which can be rented out to others through peer-to-peer car sharing schemes like Karshare. The demand for vehicles is high: a year ago, in April 2020, the number of cars on UK roads surpassed 40 million for the first time, with UK households having an average of 1.2 cars.
Surprisingly, though, these vehicles are used just 4% of the time. By renting them out, they can be put to better use and help reduce the demand for new cars to be added to our streets. Car owners who share their vehicle on Karshare can earn up to £550 every month, helping to offset the ongoing costs of car ownership. With fully comprehensive insurance and renter behaviour tracking, owners can have peace of mind at all times whenever their car is taken out for a spin. Karshare’s pioneering technology also ensures that every rental can happen at the click of a button – owners do not have to meet with renters to drop off their car keys, the entire process takes place via the Karshare App.
Peer-to-peer car sharing can make for an effective side hustle, without having to lift a finger. Owners like Julian Burr have made over £1400 from rentals so far and with more and more renters coming on board in Karshare’s operating cities Bristol, Manchester and Coventry, the demand for more vehicles is only growing.