The last thing mum to be Gabby Apollo wants to contemplate is being stuck at home.

But in a big city such as Melbourne, the challenge is being able to afford the mobility she needs to get on with life.

With utility bills and food prices rising out of hand and the cost of owning and maintaining a car for an average suburban household as much as $18,500 a year, it’s a major ask.

Especially with fuel worth more than $2 a litre.

The alternative – navigating public transport with strollers and little ones in tow – is hardly attractive.

Enter KINTO, a subscription service partnered to Toyota that allows customers to “share” cars with other users without actually having to own a vehicle.

They can be accessed by the hour or day, with many available 24/7 and able to be called up from a smartphone. There’s no membership or sign up fees either.

The rental option also includes insurance and a flat rate on fuel.

KINTO general manager Mark Ramsay says bookings in Queensland are up almost 600 per cent.

Things haven’t caught on as quickly in NSW, where business has jumped 140 per cent. In Victoria it’s doubled.

“With the return of travel, urban areas, locals in particular are hiring … for short- and long-term use,” he said.

“The fuel prices is certainly on an increase in trend again and for us it’s to keep that price as stable as we can.

“People are getting out a bit more, they’re selling off their car or thinking of buying another vehicle and trying some out.”

Emptying the family car of extra weight and inflating tyres properly can also reduce costs.

Ms Apollo has been using KINTO for more than two years.

“I mainly hire when I’m running errands around Mornington Peninsula or Melbourne city,” she said.

“I don’t own a car at the moment and I’m saving up to $1000 a month.

“I would be saving about $70 on petrol a week.”

Extracted in full from: Costly fuel makes car sharing an option | The Examiner | Launceston, TAS

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