Car share pilot program

‘Car sharing’ is a concept that has taken the world by storm and is operating in more than 600 cities. Since its inception in Australia 15 years ago, there are now more than 66,000 car share users accessing 1,200 vehicles.

Council is initiating a 12-month car share pilot in the Byron Shire later in the year (2019).  The purpose of the pilot is to test the market and feasibility of offering a car-sharing service here in our Shire.

At its Planning meeting in February 2019, Council selected Popcar as the car share operator to occupy 10 designated car share bays in the Shire. Any licensed driver 18 years or older can sign up to become a member of Popcar and utilise the share cars whenever they need to. Popcar will take care of all the ancillary costs of each vehicle, including registration, insurance, maintenance and petrol. Members can book the car whenever they need it and pay based on how much they use the car.

The bays are expected to be marked and signage installed in the coming months, with the share cars expected to be available in June.

For further information on how to sign up, access the share cars and pricing, please visit Popcars website or phone 1300 707 227. If you have any further questions regarding the car share pilot, please contact Council Planner Sam Tarrant.

Watch this quick graphic video, created by the City of Port Phillip Council in Victoria, for a quick (1 minute) summary of the concept of car sharing.

Thanks to the City of Port Phillip for sharing this video.


Key benefits of Car Sharing:

  • Access: Cars can be hired for hours or day/s, on demand, as needed.  This makes car sharing a great option for people who need a car (or a second or third car) on occasions, just a few times a week or sporadically.
  • Affordability: Provides an alternative and potentially more affordable vehicle option for residents.
  • Reduced environmental footprint:  For every car-share vehicle used, 10 vehicles are taken off the road and so car sharing could help Council in its aim to reduce emissions.
  • Reduced traffic on the road: Good for the environment, produces less congested town centres and is better for the long-term health and wellbeing of residents.
  • Alignment with autonomous future of driving and on-demand services that are growing around the world, while car production is slowing.  

Traditional car sharing is defined as an arrangement in which a number of vehicles, collectively owned by an organisation, are made available to the organisation’s members via a membership system and small rental usage fees.  It is a model of 24/7 car rental where different people are able to use the same car, but at different times using increasingly sophisticated booking systems and real-time technology platforms.  

Reserving a car is usually done via an app, online or over the phone. Once logged in, users can see the locations of all available car sharing vehicles available. Access to the cars is keyless. Users normally use their smartphones or are given an access code.  Inside the car, you will find the key and you’ll be ready to go.  This means users can collect and return the car without having to visit a rental office. 

The concept of car sharing is attractive to various types of customers such as those who cannot afford to buy and maintain a car (or just view cars as a poor investment), people who want to reduce their car use and carbon footprint, people who only need occasional access to a vehicle, workers making use of a car pool and others who would like occasional access to a vehicle of a different type than they use day-to-day (such as a utility or a van). 


Byron Bay

Map of car share bays in Byron


Mullumbimby Car Share bays map