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Will this new tech start-up manage to make airport parking fees a thing of the past?

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Travelling can sometimes be a grueling experience when everyone one you deal with is always out to make an extra buck. This is especially true for airport car parks. In fact parking fees are one of the biggest profit boosters for Australian airports with Sydney and Melbourne Airports ranking as the second and third most expensive in the world.

Melbourne airport alone makes over $85 million a year in Airport parking fees. Customers can expect to pay up to $135 for just seven days’ parking. That’s $135 to have your vehicle sit unsecured out in the elements.

The profits were so huge that an increasing number of off site parking operators have sprung up over the years such as Jetaway and Andrews airport parking to try and pry away some of the profits by offering more competitive rates and better vehicle security.

But that’s still your car sitting there filling up space while you pay for the pleasure and the airports & off site operators rake in all the profits.

Does the solution lie in the sharing economy?

Enter Steve Johnson and Christian Schaefer. Two young budding entrepreneurs who’ve be friends since primary school and have decided to take on the big guys with their new start-up, Carhood.

Carhood started in Steve and Christian’s front yard and is a car sharing service that aims to change the airport parking industry. Carhood joins the sharing economy trend by offering customers free airport parking and a free car wash in return for their vehicle being rented to others travelling in to one of their locations.

Think Airbnb for cars! While you are away your car is made available to someone else who is travelling. If your car is rented you make 25 per cent of the rental earnings and if not, well you’ve just saved a truck load of money on airport parking fees. For an extended trip 30 days or greater Carhood will guarantee you $250 even if the car isn’t rented.

The benefits also flow onto renters as a larger range of vehicle types become available for a fraction of the cost of a traditional rental company. In fact Carhood guarantees to be 25 per cent cheaper than the big four rental companies on similar vehicles.

The sharing economy has grown exponentially over the past few years, thanks in part to companies like Uber and AirBnB. Does renting out our homes however mean we are ready to rent out our cars?

So far, Carhood is operating in Melbourne and Brisbane with plans to launch Sydney before the year is out. Airport parking fees may be about to come a thing of the past.

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