Proposal for a feature story on the current situation of peer-to-peer car sharing in Australia

Photo: The peer-to-peer car sharing in the community is a novel model compared to traditional car rental. (Yanan Yin)

1. Topic and angle

Bike sharing in Australia has developed in full swing recently. What about car sharing? By January 2017, more than 200,000 Australians have become registered users for Australian carsharing operators, such as GoGet, Car Next Door, Flexicar and others (news.com.au, 2018). However, this amount accounts for less than one per cent of Australia’s total population of 24 million.

Photo: There are many kerbside park spaces in Sydney which can show the support from the local governments for car sharing. (Yanan Yin)

The model of car sharing in Australia was “just an extension of the rental model now” and it “isn’t practical”, Scott Browning, from Quickar, said. Ten years ago, Australia was ahead of the world in car sharing, but now it lagged behind some countries and needed to explore new models (Bainbridge, 2017).

What Car Next Door does is to promote neighborhood-to-neighborhood car-sharing. People who are unwilling to buy a car can rent a car in the community at a reasonable price, while private car owners can rent their vehicles on this platform to earn some money.

It is a novel model, which seems to achieve a win-win result. But how many car owners want to share their cars with other drivers? In 2018, Car Next Door had more than 60,000 members, but it did not disclose the number of shared vehicles on its site (carnextdoor.com.au).

The existing media coverage of car sharing is mainly about the developing achievements and trends in the whole market. We need more details about the new model p2p to learn its development status. Only if we can mobilize most of the idle cars, real car sharing can be realized.

Photo: The nearby car searching interface on Car Next Door. (Screenshot)

Can P2P model bring Australia back to its peak in car sharing? So I will explore the development status of the P2P car sharing model in a feature story, focus on users’ acceptance of it. How is the P2P car-sharing model developing? How are the operating conditions of Car Next Door and other operators using this model? How many members and vehicles do they have now? What is the biggest difficulty in developing this model? Are car owners willing to “share” their cars? And so on.

2. Publication

The website of Sydney Morning Herald.

The target audience is the citizens concerned about urban traffic, especially those who care about environment protection and are interested in sharing cars.

3. Sources of information

A. Face-to-face or telephone interview

1) Private car owners: Antony Hill, Catherine, Lucy Chan, Marcel, etc.

2) Car owners who rent cars on car sharing platforms: Anita, Chris, etc.

3) The operating staff in car sharing companies

Peer-to-peer car share for short term bookings

Car Next Door

Email address: info@carnextdoor.com.au

Phone: Sydney     (02) 8035 8000

Long-term peer-to-peer car rental

Drive My Car

General call: 1300 980 706

4) Expert in the motor industry

Australian Automobile Association

Media Enquiries

Jake Smith

Mobile: 0403 466 153

Email: media@aaa.asn.au

B.Materials and documents online

Car sharing related content on the City of Sydney Council’s site

Carsharing: Sydney snapshot. The Committee for Sydney.

Car Next Door’s mission

4. Ideas for multimedia, hypertext and interactivity

Make a 2-minute short video to show the interview highlights.

Add a car sharing map and insert interviewees’ photos, words and audio at certain spots.

Attach a small survey at the end, allowing the audience to vote and learning whether they would like to “share” their cars.

 

References

Amy Bainbridge. (2017) Car-sharing: Young people driving upheaval of Australia’s new industry, report says. Published on ABC News, 28 Mar 2017. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-28/car-ownership-changing-at-27breakneck-speeds27/8393082

Car share: Aussies making thousands renting out their cars. Posted on news.com.au at 4:03 PM, Feb. 22, 2018. Available at: https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/other-industries/car-share-aussies-making-thousands-renting-out-their-cars/news-story/287bfbffccde9a4543540a651f12203f

The Conversation. “Australians don’t share”: Why car sharing had a slow start Down Under, and how that’s changing. Published on October 29, 2018. Available at: https://www.smartcompany.com.au/industries/transport-logistics/why-australian-car-sharing-slow-start-changing/

 

About Yanan Yin 4 Articles
Current postgraduate student of the University of Sydney, doing the Master of Strategic Public Relations.

1 Comment

  1. Hi, Yanan.

    You have done an abundant research on the topic, and I think the car sharing system is a great topic for further in-depth investigation. However, I can hardly see its news value since there is nothing new or changed significantly. Choose an angle may help to reveal the news value. Personally speaking, I think it is a good idea to connect the car sharing and the environment issues as climate change is a heated topic in the federal election these days, and car sharing is helpful in reducing air pollution and green-house effect.

    As a reader, I think I might have little knowledge about P2P model on car sharing. So it would be better if you can explain how P2P model works for car sharing first in your feature story. How many companies are in this field in Australia? are there any successful cases before or in other countries? Why do they “lag behind some countries” as you said?
    Moreover, if you are focusing on the users’ acceptance of car sharing, a questionnaire or a research with big data base may have more credibility.

    There are a few relevant researches and reports done before: https://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1515893/ATRF2018_Paper_85_Unpacking-impacts-of-car-sharing.pdf
    https://www.greensharecar.com.au/files/car-sharing-in-australia-v4.1.pdf

    I hope these suggestions can help and look forward to your feature story.

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