Do you own a lawnmower? If so, how regularly do you use it?

We often buy our own tools, sport equipment and party dresses for that one special occasion or DIY project, only for them to gather dust in the cupboard or garage for the remaining 364 days of the year. With at least some of these items, it would make sense to share their use – and cost – with others.

The concept of a ‘sharing economy’ has blossomed over the last decade. Enabled by the internet, it sees communities of users renting and hiring goods and services, including accommodation, clothing, and even surfboards directly from each other. It’s also having a massive impact on the transport sector.

Services like Uber and ride-sharing (like car-pooling) are taking off globally and can provide an affordable and efficient alternative to car ownership and public transport.

The AA has partnered with Cityhop and Parkable with exclusive offers to connect Members with car-sharing, and to ease the burden of finding a carpark, and paying big bucks for it.  

AA Principal Advisor Infrastructure, Barney Irvine, says car-sharing is one of many tools that helps ease congestion in our city centres.

“As cities grow and parking costs spiral upwards, it’ll make less sense for inner-city residents to own cars,” he says. “It points to a future where car usage is more shared, and where more people look at transport and mobility as a service. They don’t care how they get from A to B, or who gets them there, they just want the most convenient and reasonably priced option.”

Cityhop is a car-share company operating vehicles in central Auckland and Wellington. Members only pay for the hours or day they book the car for, with Cityhop taking care of petrol, insurance, maintenance and cleaning. The vehicles are picked up, and returned to designated parking spots around the CBD, and users unlock them via a smart card.

Parkable connects those looking for parking with people or businesses with spare space. Owners list their space – anything from a driveway to a church parking lot – and charge an hourly fee to use it.

Barney says the concept is a great way to help ensure cities have enough affordable parking and to increase supply by better using existing resources rather than building new parking lots. While the future is headed toward more shared transport, it doesn’t mean we’ll see wholesale abandonment of vehicle ownership, Barney says.

“Most people will continue to own cars as they do today, but will mix and match car use with other ways of getting around.” AA Members receive a year’s Cityhop membership free and $15 towards their first rental, as well as a 30% discount on their first month of parking with Parkable and a $50 credit for listing their park for use.

See the AA's website for more. Offers are available for a limited time.

Written by the AA’s transport technology group, dedicated to bringing Members topical transport news.

Reported by Barney Irvine for our AA Directions Winter 2018 issue

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