Dr Rebecca Michael from the RACQ predicted the new services could be launched in Australia ‘any time now’. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning
Dr Rebecca Michael from the RACQ predicted the new services could be launched in Australia ‘any time now’. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning

Big change coming to car ownership

CAR manufacturers will soon offer motorists Spotify-style services in which they pay a monthly subscription to access a range of vehicles instead of owning their own, according to the RACQ.

The peak motoring body's head of public policy, Dr Rebecca Michael, told a parliamentary inquiry into transport technology yesterday the "Spotification" of vehicles was already popular overseas.

Under the system, customers pay a monthly subscription directly to a manufacturer for access to a range of vehicles on demand, with all running costs covered.

"It's a shift from ownership to access," Dr Michael said.

"When you look at the running costs of vehicles, particularly in those more densely populated systems overseas in Europe that have good-quality public transport, it doesn't make financial sense to actually own a vehicle, however you might want to access one for a weekend trip."

Dr Michael told The Courier-Mail luxury manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche were leading the rollout of the services overseas.

She said they were different to car sharing, and she predicted they could be launched in Australia "any time now".

The Transport and Public Works Committee inquiry also heard a plea for governments to bolster funding for roads as the growth of electric vehicle ownership threatened the tax take from the fuel excise.

Dr Michael said Queensland's share of funding from the excise plunged by $400 million last year.

"What we would like to see is some form of equitable system where a $150,000 Tesla owner is paying for their fair share of the network the same as someone is paying for a $5000 vehicle," she said. "At the moment, they don't."

 



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