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Why Perth could become the car-sharing capital of Australia

According to RAC data, cars in WA are on average parked 96 per cent of the time, with owners travelling less than 14,000 kilometres a year.

Despite car sales being down 10 per cent nationwide in the past year, the annual cost of running a car is on the rise, sitting at just under $12,000, the equivalent to $215 a week.

For infrequent drivers, selling their car and using car-sharing platforms instead could save them thousands of dollars each year while giving car owners the chance to offset costs.

The number of car-sharing platforms operating in Perth is steadily growing, with Uber and Ola offering short ride options, Car Next Door giving customers wheels for a few hours, and traditional rental car companies and Drive My Car tapping in to a longer-term market.

Perth’s current peer-to-peer car-sharing network is still inconsistent in certain suburbs due to the limited number of owners offering up their vehicles, but Mr Noone believed perceptions were slowly changing, making platforms like Drive My Car more appealing.

“It’s just like people who own real estate, they buy a two-bedroom apartment and they don’t want to just leave it there idle, they are very happy to rent it out to someone else,” he said.

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“That’s a more established market, it’s taking a few people a bit longer to come around to the idea of renting out their car but it’s definitely a trend that’s increasing.”

Mr Noone said older generations such as baby boomers still saw asset ownership as a means of financial security and a sign of success.

However, millennials and generation Z for example were embracing more flexible lifestyles and favouring use over ownership, he said.

“I think younger generations have more of an open view, allowing people to share their assets and them sharing other people’s assets,” he said.

“There will always be a small group of people who are really precious about their cars and would never let someone touch it but there’s other people who just see it as an asset, it’s an investment and they need to make smart decisions about that investment.

“And if that investment can return money for them, the majority of people think it’s just a smart thing to do.”

Car sharing is part of a global trend that’s here to stay.

By 2025-26, vehicle subscription programs are forecast to account for nearly 10 per cent of all new vehicles sales in US and Europe, with more than 16 million vehicles on the road.

As congestion across the Perth metropolitan area rises, and commuters set to spend 60 per cent of their time stuck in traffic by 2031, car sharing is predicted to quickly catch on.

The RAC data also showed a single share car could remove between nine and 13 private cars from the road, and therefore reduce congestion and CO² emissions.

It is also seen as a cost-effective option for car owners and users, and a convenient way to access relatively new cars without having to worry about parking, cleaning or fixing them.

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