Popcar’s popularity surges as Australians turn to car sharing during changing times
The world is different today than it was six months ago. And Australians are also living their lives differently. They aren’t commuting anymore. They aren’t travelling far from home. And they are focused on saving rather than spending.
Because of these changes, many people have simply stopped buying new cars. And those that want to buy a new car have rapidly decreasing options as car dealerships face stock shortages. In fact, April 2020 showed a drop in new car sales of 48.5%, the biggest decline in the last 30 years. Instead of new cars, potential car buyers are looking for alternatives.
According to car research site, Car Advice, Australian buyers are flooding the used car market trying to find a more affordable option, which is actually causing prices to soar. Reports state that used car prices have risen by up to 30% since April 2020. This is making buying used cars difficult as well.
So, many Australians are desperate for another option to suit their budgets, and peer-to-peer car sharing has quickly moved to the top of the list.
Popcar, Australia’s car sharing industry disruptor, has always been committed to providing a more sustainable and easy way for Australians to move around. But COVID-19 has also seen Australians embrace it as an affordable alternative to buying a car, and a safe alternative to public transportation as they try to navigate our changing times.
Anthony Welsh, Director of Popcar says, ‘COVID has been a difficult time for Australians and the world, but we’re extremely proud that we’ve been able to offer a safe and easy-to-use way for people to keeping getting around. There’s no reason to risk hopping on a crowded bus or train when you can just grab a Popcar. It’s one less thing that our customers have to worry about.’
Popcar customers certainly seem to agree. Popcar has experienced a 140% growth in new users in Sydney since March of this year. There was a spike in Melbourne users during March, however this has since shifted due to the stage four lockdown in Victoria. Vehicle utilisation is also up by 42% since COVID-19 hit. This surge in popularity is directly related to the fears and concerns that Australians have had to deal with since COVID has hit our shores.
‘Incomes are falling and unemployment is rising. People have legitimate economic and health worries. Using a car sharing service like Popcar means less concern about possible contagion, and less worries about coming up with the money to buy a personal vehicle,’ Anthony says.
Popcar’s surge in popularity can also be attributed to how easy it is to join, book and get a car when and how you need one, especially compared to traditional rental car agencies.
Anthony says, ‘Our customers come to us because they don’t want to be queuing in long lines at rental agencies. They want the ease of online registration, booking and contactless pick up.’
Popcar offers the perfect social distancing car service. Customers become a member by jumping online or calling Popcar directly. Members book their car through an app. And once the car is booked, they access it by simply tapping their membership card on the windscreen reader to unlock and use the vehicle.
‘When we launched Popcar in 2016 it was out of a desire to bring a more sustainable way of getting around to Australians. We couldn’t imagine the world the way it is now. But of course, Popcar is an excellent response to the changing world, allowing people to get out and about, despite lockdown conditions. We’re proud of that,’ says Anthony.