$10k a year for ‘doing nothing’
A FEW years ago, Sydney man Andy Corcoran bought himself a second work van.
But when his property maintenance business went through a quiet period shortly afterwards, Mr Corcoran soon regretted the purchase.
"I thought 'Oh my God, what am I going to do about the monthly [repayments]?'" Mr Corcoran said.
But luckily for Mr Corcoran, an acquaintance had just started working at peer-to-peer car rental service Car Next Door, so he decided to sign up.
Four years on, he's never looked back after earning around $40,000 on the side, on top of his regular income.
"I got maybe half a dozen bookings in the first couple of months then all of a sudden it just snowballed - now the van can be out for one or two hours or one or two days at a time, especially over the Christmas holiday period, when it can be booked out," he said. "It's generally there for rent 24/7 and if I ever need it, I just book it out for myself and take it.
"It's a really cool way of using a vehicle when you don't need it for yourself."
Mr Corcoran gets an automatic message when his van has been booked by a new customer, and at the moment he's getting more than 20 bookings a month.
He said there was "very little involvement" needed from him, with clients booking online, accessing the keys by punching a PIN into a storage box and then returning the vehicle again at the end of the process.
In fact, all Mr Corcoran has to do is clean and maintain the vehicle, and make sure there's some fuel in the tank for clients.
"I have very little to do with it so it's a great way of using the vehicle and getting good revenue," he said.
He said his biggest customers were apartment dwellers who used the van to move their belongings, as well as people using it for business purposes.
Others rent it for holidays over the summer period.
"It's a great scheme because you really don't need your vehicle 24 hours a day. Most people only work Monday to Friday so on the weekends your vehicle can work for you," he said. "Weekends and evenings are often dead time anyway when your vehicle is doing nothing - most people only work for around eight hours a day - so it's great to know there's another way of earning a buck or two."
Mr Corcoran said he expected the popularity of car sharing services to keep growing, and said he would consider buying another vehicle in future if the demand remained steady.