5 Car Next Door
Will Davies (39), David Trumbull (39)
- Head office
Information technology and transport
Launched in 2012 by co-founders Will Davies and David Trumbell, Car Next Door set out to address the “sticky problem” of car over-population and over-use, and the effects on the environment and society as a whole.
Six years on, the business is seeing revenues of more than $3 million — a 383.88% increase on last year — landing it at number five on the Smart50 list.
The business was launched to help people move away from a one-person one-car mentality, while also allowing vehicle owners to become “micropreneurs”, Davies says.
Now, it also has a carbon offsetting program, meaning all emissions from borrowers are offset through an Australian reforestation project.
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Davies notes the life of an entrepreneur can be difficult, with many getting by without drawing a salary from the business.
“It’s easier if you believe in what you’re doing,” Davies says.
“I think that if we hadn’t honestly believed that what we were creating was going to be good for people and the planet, it would have been really tempting to give up in those early days.”
Equally, whenever you’re trying to launch a new concept, there are always people who will tell you it’s never going to work, he says.
Often, these are the people who care about you and don’t want to see you fail, Davies says. But even so, “if I had listened to all the people who said this would never work, it would never have worked”.
“You’ve got to back yourself, work hard and keep going.”
As a transport company, Car Next Door is operating in what Davies calls one of the fastest changing and disreputable industries. While the company is currently focused on growing, and potentially entering new markets, Davies also has bigger plans.
“Autonomous, electric and connected vehicles will change everything about the way this industry operates, and quickly,” he says.
“Our longer-term view is centred on the arrival of driverless cars and integrating this new technology into our business model.”