Hyundai Australia has announced an investment in car-sharing-rental start-up Car Next Door with the aim of helping Hyundai owners make money from their vehicle.

FROM THE END OF 2019, Hyundai car buyers will be able to buy and rent out their vehicle via Car Next Door and earn, on average, between $3000-$7500/year. Caltex is also an investor with the start-up raising millions of dollars since its launch in 2013.

Many of the most recently released Hyundai models already have Auto Link enabled which allows owners to connect their phone to their car and receive information about their car, like servicing, etc and tips on how to drive more efficiently.

According to Hyundai, it’s tweaking the Auto Link app to offer Car Next Door integration and this functionality, it claims, will be available from the end of next year. “It will allow them to access and drive other Car Next Door-registered vehicles with their phones, negating the need for a traditional key,” Hyundai said in a statement.

“By the end of 2019, Australians will be able to buy a Hyundai car with the built-in ability to seamlessly and easily rent it out and earn extra money,” said Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Operating Officer, Scott Grant.

“This capability will be pre-installed and integrated into a new version of Hyundai’s Auto Link unit, making it a simple matter to earn extra funds via Car Next Door’s innovative car sharing platform.

“We think it will be a great extra option for Hyundai owners and we are proud to partner with Car Next Door in this fantastic innovation.”

Car Next Door CEO and co-founder Will Davies welcomed the collaboration: “Fuel prices, economic pressures and rapid changes in vehicle technology are all supporting the development of connected cars and the sharing economy – so you can have a car when you need one, but when you’re not using it, the vehicle is out there making you money. Owners can then factor this income into their regular repayments.”

But, with our editorial hat on, there are a couple of questions that need answering, like the line that says the app will ‘negate the need for a traditional key’ and this is a question we’ve put to Hyundai Australia. There’s also the tax implications of renting out your car that need to be considered…the sharing (but, let’s be realistic, it’s renting) economy is changing just about everything.

UPDATED: Practical Motoring has spoken with both Hyundai and Car Next Door. In terms of security around your phone replacing a ‘traditonal key’ it will be a lot like the same system used when you link your phone to your credit card and tap it instead of your card. The finer details are still being worked out and Hyundai will advise as we get closer to the 2019 launch of the enhanced Auto Link functionality.

In response to Practical Motoring’s question to Car Next Door around insurance and tax, a company spokesperson said, “When an owner joins the network, their comprehensive insurance is replaced with Car Next Door fleet insurance. Damage to cars is very rare – roughly 1% of all bookings involve any kind of damage – however, if a borrower damages an owner’s car, Car Next Door sorts it all out, arranging for the car to be picked up, taken for repairs, fixed and delivered back to the owner. The borrower and our insurer pay for the repairs, so the owner is not out of pocket.

When it comes to tax, like with Airbnb and other share economy businesses, the car owner is required to include earnings as taxable income.”

Question: Have you signed up to a car-sharing-rental scheme like Car Next Door? Would you?


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