Global ride-hailing firm Uber this week announced that it had acquired Car Next Door, an Australian company first launched in Sydney in 2012.
Car Next Door is a car-sharing platform which offers access to cars for renters, whilst providing revenue to car owners, turning any car into a shared car. The service operates Australia-wide, with vehicles listed in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth, Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston, and Newcastle.
Uber wish to offer Australians an easy, affordable, and convenient alternative to private car ownership. By adding Car Next Door to Uber’s suite of products, the firm hope to bolster its ability to do just that by giving Uber riders an option for trips that are less suited to rideshare, such as running errands or a day trip away.
The deal builds on Uber’s ongoing investments in electric vehicles, micromobility, and public transport to reduce over-reliance on the private vehicle and help achieve greener, more liveable cities.
Post-acquisition, Car Next Door will report into Uber’s Australian team, but will otherwise operate independently.
Dom Taylor, General Manager of Uber Australia and New Zealand, said: “This year marks 10 years since both Uber and Car Next Door launched in Australia. A lot has changed in that time but one thing has stayed constant: a shared vision that we need to make transport not just safe, convenient, and affordable – but also sustainable.
“Over the last decade, Uber has created shared rides options like Uber Pool, invested $800 million globally to drive electric vehicle uptake, and integrated micromobility, and public transport options into the Uber app. What our app users haven’t had though, is the option for those mid-range and longer-distance trips. This deal will change that, and mean that the Uber platform can be a reliable and convenient alternative to the choice to own a car.” Will Davies, CEO and Co-Founder of Car Next Door, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Car Next Door to achieve our mission of ‘freeing people and the planet from the one person one car mentality’ years before we otherwise could have. By working with Uber we can scale up our ambitions and look to move Australians away from the over-reliance on the private car which is damaging our planet and making our cities less liveable.
“We know that many of our members are already combining carshare and rideshare with shared bikes and scooters, walking and public transport for a mobility mix that suits their lifestyle. We’re hearing from more and more people that they no longer feel the need to own a car, because getting transport on demand saves them money and hassle. In the 10 years since Uber and we launched in Australia, attitudes to car ownership have really started to shift. We see this deal as a big step towards making car-free or car-light living accessible to more people in more places and freeing up space for people, not parking.”