Carpooling, advertising space, package delivery or third-party rental, a passenger car can bring in more than it costs.
Too often considered a cash cow, the motorist is all too aware in these times of yellow vests: his car costs him expensive, too expensive! Yet with a little imagination, this car can also bring him back… little.
Carpool with BlaBlaCar
“I had a lot of expenses and I looked for all the means to make my trips profitable”: for two years, Claire Bard, 29, has been systematically carrying passengers when she takes her car to the South. The young woman, who works in communication in Paris, travels to Paris-Aix (750 km) at least once a month to return to her home region. Instead of travelling alone and thus bearing the costs alone, it offers three seats in its vehicle on the carpooling platform BlaBlaCar. Everyone pays around € 50 or € 60, which can be as much as € 300 to € 400 for a round trip when the car is full, enough to cover a large part of the petrol and motorway costs. “When I do it a little bit in advance, it happens,” she explains.
Mobile advertising space
While the rise in fuel prices in November provoked the anger of the yellow vests, several start-ups in the collaborative economy are competing to offer their solutions to the purchasing power problems of motorists. Six months ago, Bard discovered that she could still cover the cost of her car with advertising stickers from different brands offered by the young itsmycar. “I make an average of 20 to 30 euros a month,” she says. Created in 2016, itsmycar claims in France 12,000 people ready to become an ambassador of one of its 40 brand customers by displaying an ad on their vehicle for several weeks. The online registration is open to anyone who has a car provided it is ” clean and in good condition “, explains founder Sarah Prevot.
For those who use their car every day to go to work, sharing daily trips can be very cost-effective. On the BlaBlaLines app, “we have 400,000 people registered since March” 2018, says Nicolas Brusson, co-founder of BlaBlaCar, which claims to be the world leader in long-distance carpooling and launched last year on commuting. According to him, ” it’s accelerating right now ; there is an obvious fuel effect “since the movement of the yellow vests that put the issue of purchasing power at the heart of the news, and” many people say, it’s not possible, it costs me too much “.
Drivers who agree to pick up passengers on the road to work typically make trips of 20 to 40 km, according to Mr Brusson. A trip can bring in 3 euros. Twice a day, four days a week, and four weeks a month, this can earn nearly 100 euros a month… “It’s money coming in with almost no incremental effort,” he says, as people are making the trip anyway. In addition, carpooling reduces the number of cars and road pollution. In addition to passengers, motorists occasionally carry packages. The jwebi startup connects travellers and senders who can negotiate the price of the transaction depending on the route, value and dimensions of the object.
Rent a car
But the vehicle can also return when it is not used, if it is made available to others. This is what the private rental platform Drivy offers. It is aimed in particular at city dwellers with a utilitarian design of their private car, ready to give the wheel to an unknown to better enter into their expenses. In Lyon or Paris, a new small city car can rent 30 euros a day during the week, and 45 euros on the weekend, explains Paulin Dementhon, the managing director. Given that 30% is paid to Drivy for management, insurance and support costs, renting the car 10 days a month brings about 200 euros to its owner.
4 000 to 6 000 euros per year to compensate
“The annual cost of a car is EUR 4 000 to EUR 6 000, which is huge, especially since it is used on average only 5% of the time,” says Mr Dementhon, who also highlights the environmental aspect. In Paris, 30% of the urban space is occupied by cars which in 70% of cases make less than one trip per week. With carsharing, “we could save 20% urban space,” he says.