CONVENIENT SHARING: New car sharing business Pop Cars comes to Byron Bay.
CONVENIENT SHARING: New car sharing business Pop Cars comes to Byron Bay. Contributed

Car share sustainability

POPCAR, the car sharing service committed to providing a more sustainable way for Australians to access cars when they need them, launched in Byron Bay on World Environment Day.

The launch of Popcar's car share program is the first of its kind in the Northern Rivers and it is a joint project with Byron Shire Council during which Popcar will provide 10 hybrid cars to the area for short-term use.

The initial 12-month share car pilot program will enable Byron Bay residents and holidaymakers a new alternative to car ownership.

Popcar provides its members with vehicles whenever they are needed, enabling Australians to only pay for the vehicles when they use the service.

As part of the partnership, the council will provide eight specific Popcar parking spaces in Byron Bay and two parking spaces in Mullumbimby to enable residents to pick up a car from a convenient location.

"We are thrilled to be launching our car share service for the first time and exclusively to the Byron Shire,” PopCar Director Anthony Welsh said.

"The program will enable locals and visitors to the region to have an alternative, cost effective and convenient way to access some of the latest cars to suit any occasion.”

Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said the pilot program would test the market to see if there was a long-term potential for a car sharing service in the shire.

"We know Byron residents keenly support sustainability initiatives and that's why we partnered with Popcar as they can offer hybrid cars to reduce congestion with lower emission cars,” he said.

Any licensed driver over the age of 18 can use the Popcar car share service which will take care of all running costs of the cars including registration, fuel, insurance and maintenance, so members of Popcar can book the car for whenever they need it and only pay for time they use the car.

The cars are available from one hour up to four days at a time. Cars offered in Byron are Toyota Corolla Hybrids with plans to later include Australia's first Toyota SUV hybrids.