You choose your car's distance rate: 13c, 25c, 31c, 37c or 45c per kilometre to cover fuel and other running costs from sharing your car. 8c per kilometre is added and paid to Mobility Mutual for damage and loss cover for the borrower.
You can set both time rates and distance rates for your car.
The distance rate is intended to cover your car’s running costs for driving during Borrowers' bookings: fuel, tyres and servicing.
Our community has all sorts of different cars, from zippy little city cars to big workhorse vans. To reflect the range of running costs, there are five distance rates to choose from for your car. Whichever rate you choose, 8c/km is paid by the borrower directly to Mobility Mutual for damage and loss cover and you keep the remainder to cover your running costs.
|Paid to Mobility Mutual
Running costs explained
'Running costs' are the costs that vary with the distance your car travels:
These are separate from 'standing costs', which are the costs you pay even if your car sits in the garage, such as registration, insurance, finance costs and depreciation.
If you’re doing your research online, you'll see that some guides use the term ‘running costs’ to include all of the costs of owning and operating a car (including standing costs), so it’s important to check what costs they are referring to.
Working out your car's running costs
There are a few ways to understand your car’s running costs per kilometre:
- If you love spreadsheets, you can record all of your car’s actual costs over a year and then divide the total by the number of kilometres driven.
- If number-crunching isn't your idea of a good time, you can get a pretty good estimate by checking out similar cars in a car running cost guide online, such as the RACQ’s annual running cost guide. We like this one because of its detailed breakdown of costs.
- If you just want a ballpark idea, see RAC's running cost guide for 2023 (PDF)
Running costs can vary widely, even among cars of the same type and for the same car over time, depending on things like fuel prices, driving conditions, maintenance, the car’s age, transmission and engine type and the price you pay for tyres and servicing.
This means that your car’s actual running costs will vary over time, and won’t exactly match the distance rate.
Choosing the right distance rate for your car
This is perfect for cars with low running costs - typically smaller, lighter cars with good fuel efficiency.
Low per-kilometre rates will appeal to borrowers who want to take longer trips. While the distance rate may be lower, you may earn more overall as your car picks up more multi-day bookings and time earnings.
These mid-tiers are a good choice for a wide range of cars, as most typical passenger cars' running costs will be less than 25 cents per kilometre.
These higher tiers are generally more suited to larger and more fuel-hungry cars, like vans, large SUVs or people movers.
Some small cars may also suit the higher distance tier - for example, a small sporty convertible that requires ultra-premium fuel or has high servicing costs.
Running costs and fuel price changes
Your car’s actual running costs will vary from week to week depending on fuel prices. The distance rate you receive from an individual trip may be slightly higher or lower than the costs. But over several months or a year, it should balance out so that your overall distance earnings are reflective of your overall running costs.
Even a large rise in fuel prices has a relatively small impact on per-kilometre running costs. For example, when the price rises from $1.30 to $1.60 per litre, the cost per kilometre for a small or medium car would only rise by about 2 cents per kilometre. Over time, it’s expected that a period when fuel costs a couple of cents more per kilometre will be balanced by a period when it’s cheaper.
In addition, the distances driven by borrowers are typically quite short - the average distance driven by borrowers is around 80 kilometres per day. For vans, the average is under 50 kilometres per day. If your running costs are down by a couple of cents due to low fuel prices, you could pick up an extra $2 per 100km, and likewise, if fuel prices spike and the costs go up, you may end up with a couple of dollars less per trip.
Car size doesn't always matter
You don't have to choose a distance rate based on the size of your car. Size is only one factor affecting running costs, so feel free to choose the distance rate that you prefer. You may also choose a rate that's lower or higher than your car’s actual running costs.
You may like to experiment with both time and distance pricing to find what works best for your car and your own personal and earning goals. You can take a look at other cars in your area, or of a similar type elsewhere, to get a sense of pricing in the market.