Car bookings

Expensive fuel makes carpooling an option

The last thing mom wants to be Gabby Apollo is to be stuck at home.

But in a big city like Melbourne, the challenge is being able to afford the mobility it needs to keep living.

With skyrocketing utility bills and food prices and the cost of owning and maintaining a car for the average suburban household as high as $18,500 per year, this is a major question.

Especially with fuel that is worth over $2 a liter.

Sign up for a 21 day FREE trial and get Crikey straight to your inbox

The alternative – navigating public transport with strollers and little ones in tow – is hardly appealing.

Enter KINTO, a subscription service in partnership with Toyota that allows customers to “share” cars with other users without having to own a vehicle.

They are accessible by the hour or by the day, and many of them are available 24/7 and can be called from a smartphone. There are also no membership or registration fees.

The rental option also includes insurance and a fuel package.

KINTO managing director Mark Ramsay said bookings in Queensland had increased by nearly 600%.

Things didn’t spread as quickly in New South Wales, where business jumped 140%. In Victoria, it’s doubled.

“With travel returning, urban areas, locals in particular are hiring … for short-term and long-term use,” he said.

“Fuel prices are definitely on the rise again and for us it’s all about keeping that price as stable as possible.

“People are going out a bit more, they’re selling their car or considering buying another vehicle and trying some.”

In the meantime, Mr Ramsay said car owners should search for fuel using a price comparison app and opt for regular pre-check instead of opting for premium all the time.

Dumping the family car of extra weight and properly inflating the tires can also cut costs.

Ms. Apollo has been using KINTO for over two years.

“I mainly hire when I’m running errands in the Mornington Peninsula or the city of Melbourne,” she said.

“I don’t own a car right now and I’m saving up to $1,000 a month.

“I would save about $70 on gas a week.”