Car Next Door, a car-sharing service which allows people to hire out their own car or use someone else's for a fee, reported this spike in car listings on its platform during April to October 2020. 

That's the equivalent of an extra 12,000 people signing up to its platform every month.

There are 135,148 borrowers on the platform and 4018 cars.

Exactly one year ago (Oct 2019), that figure was 88,000, a growth of more than 50% since then. 

The number of trips taken also doubled in Victoria and Queensland. 

In the market for a new car? The table below features car loans with some of the lowest fixed interest rates on the market.

Lender

FixedNew1 yearMore details
Approval within 24 hoursEarly payout available
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
Approval within 24 hoursEarly payout available

New Car Loan - Special (Fixed)

  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
FixedNew1 yearMore details
Approval within 24 hours
  • Save the planet. Save thousands on your car loan.
  • Get a discounted rate if you buy electric
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
Approval within 24 hours

Green Car Loan Fixed

  • Save the planet. Save thousands on your car loan.
  • Get a discounted rate if you buy electric
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
FixedNew2 yearsMore details

New Vehicle Fast Loan Low Rate

    FixedNew99 yearsMore details
    Loan amounts from $2k to $75k
    • Available for any new motorised vehicle
    • No ongoing or early exit fees
    • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
    • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
    Loan amounts from $2k to $75k

    New Car Loan

    • Available for any new motorised vehicle
    • No ongoing or early exit fees
    • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
    • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
    VariableNew1 yearMore details

    New / Demo Car Loan (Variable)

      FixedNew1 yearMore details

      New / Demo Car Loan (Fixed)

        FixedNew, Used99 yearsMore details

        New or Used Car Loan Special

          FixedNew, Used7 yearsMore details
          No ongoing fees
          No ongoing fees

          Plenti Car Loan (Refinance)

            FixedNew, Used99 yearsMore details

            Unsecured Car Loan Excellent Credit

              FixedNew5 yearsMore details

              Fixed Car Loan (New)

                FixedNew, Used7 yearsMore details

                Secured Car Loan

                  VariableNew, Used10 yearsMore details

                  Car Loan

                    FixedNew, Used99 yearsMore details

                    Car Loan

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                      The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans for the relevant amounts and terms are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for unsecured personal loans are applicable for unsecured loans only. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

                      Monthly repayment figures are estimates only, exclude fees and are based on the advertised rate for the term and for the loan amount entered. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes. Rates correct as of May 26, 2024. View disclaimer.

                      Car Next Door CEO and founder Will Davies said interest in car-sharing apps has never been higher, which he says is due to people looking for a way to cut down on their expenses if they'd been hit hard by the pandemic. 

                      “I think the combination of job losses, and reduced working hours, as well as ongoing work from home arrangements means that having multiple cars for one household or even a car per person is becoming a less justifiable expense," Mr Davies said. 

                      “Taking in rego, insurance, fuel, maintenance and tolls, it costs around $8,500 a year to own a car. Many households are feeling the financial squeeze."

                      WillDavies

                      Car Next Door's Will Davies. Image supplied. 

                      That $8,500 figure is roughly what various reports show, such as The Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) Transport Affordability Index or the RACQ Running Costs Report. 

                      According to these reports, paying for fuel, registration, insurance, maintenance, car loan repayments, and depreciation can lead to some cars costing in excess of $10,000 per year, depending on their size. 

                      For those who started working from home, for example, there may be less of a need to pay the cost of owning a car anymore. 

                      “There’s also a lot less driving," Mr Davies said.                                          

                      “We’re finding that a lot of people are making changes in their car ownership and are either looking to sell or rent out their car when they’re not using it.” 

                      Can such a service save you money? 

                      Some car subscription or sharing services cover all the usual costs of car ownership like insurance

                      Late last year, the co-founder of another car-sharing service Carbar told Savings.com.au these platforms can save drivers from all the hidden costs of car ownership.

                      “Is subscription a solution for everyone? No. There are still instances where owning a car may be a better alternative," Mr Des Hang said at the time.

                      “But in an era where sourcing car finance is tougher than ever before, and cars are set to depreciate faster than ever before, we’re glad that we’re able to provide a new solution to market that skirts both of these issues.”

                      One Car Next Door user, Spencer Kirk, from Redfern in Sydney, reported saving thousands of dollars in one year after selling his car that was costing him $7,000 per year to sit on his driveway. 
                      After switching to Car Next Door to rent a car, he said his spending came down to $150 a month, or $1,800 in a year. 

                      Are people turning away from car loans? 

                      Although there are some signs of positivity in the car market, October 2020 marked 31 consecutive months of declining car sales.

                      The biggest decline was as high as 48.5% in April, an unusually high figure driven by coronavirus restrictions.

                      But this is a reflection of a broader downturn in the market, and credit demand for buying cars through a car loan has also fallen sharply. 

                      Equifax’s latest Quarterly Consumer Credit Demand Index for the September 2020 quarter showed car loan applications were down more than 15% compared to the same quarter in 2019. 

                      However, this is expected to be a temporary trend that will disappear once government stimulus measures end. 

                      "As government stimulus starts to pull back, we anticipate personal loans may experience a revival, particularly among sub-prime borrowers who may not be eligible for other kinds of financing," Equifax General Manager Advisory and Solutions Kevin James said. 

                      autoloan

                      Source: Equifax

                      Mr Davies expects car sharing growth to continue for the forseeable future. 

                      “We are expecting to see even more growth as soon as the lockdown restrictions are lifted and people start moving even more freely," he told Savings.com.au. 

                      “Once the QLD borders are open up to greater Sydney and Victoria, we expect to see even more bookings, especially in and around Brisbane and the Gold Coast, which are always popular hotspots in the warmer months.

                      “Likewise in Victoria – most of the car journeys over the last few months have been shorter bookings due to the lockdown and lots of cars being hired by people wanting to avoid public transport.

                      “We’re already seeing lots of longer tips being taken in and around Victoria.”