Car Next Door co-founder and CEO Will Davies
Automotive giant Hyundai has doubled down on its support for vehicle -sharing marketplace Car Next Door, which lets people rent out the cars, investing another $6.2m in the venture in the hope that more people will buy more of the South Korean manufacturer’s products to rent out.
Hyundai has now put $8 million into the venture in the 12 months, having joined Caltex in a $2 million raise last year. The company’s other backers include Investible and Steve Baxter.
Hyundai is building its vehicles as “rental ready” for Car Next Door, via an app, Auto Link, which lets renters borrow them without keys.
Hyundai Motor Company Australia CEO JW Lee said the collaboration with Car Next Door expands the the options for Hyundai owners.
“This is the future of connected green cars, where the ability to car share is built into the hard-wiring of the car making it easy for one car to be used by multiple people,” he said.
“This capability has been pre-installed and seamlessly integrated into Hyundai cars, making it easy for Hyundai owners to earn extra money from their car when they are not using it via Car Next Door’s innovative sharing platform.”
Hyundai vehicle with Auto Link Premium can also be shared with neighbours with the click of a button, and the technology can be retrofitted to existing vehicles in minutes.
Car Next Door, which operates in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra and Perth, is the market leader, with 150,000 members, which has more than doubled in 12 months. It claims to have paid $16 million to the owners of 3000 cars listed. Car rental costs are from $5/hour or $25/day, plus 21 to 45 cents per km.
CEO and co-founder Will Davies said his startup takes advantage of the 96% of the time that the average Australian car sits idle and the lastest investment will go towards an Australia-wide expansion of the subscription service.
Hyundai is not the only car manufacturer moving into the space, with Honda recently launching its own service, Drivible, amid a flood of car subscription offerings in 2019, including Carbar, HelloCars, Carly and Blinker, the pivot for online car dealership HelloCars.