Are you new to Australia? Planning to stay a while? We’re guessing you can’t wait to get out and explore your new city, but you’re not yet ready to commit to something like buying a car.

You’re not alone. Recently we asked our expat members to share their experiences with us, to help new expats make an easy, affordable and convenient transition and explore their new surrounds.

GoGet Brisbane Skyline

Here’s what some of our members had to say:

Why did you choose to use carshare rather than personal car ownership or public transport?

– I was part of a car-sharing programme in Italy, my country of origin, and loved the convenience of not having to worry about owning my own car. When I then moved to Sydney and found out about GoGet, I had to get on board with it. – Katrin

– It doesn’t make sense to purchase a car when I don’t think I will be in Sydney for more than a few years. – Holly

– I bought a car my second year in Australia thinking it would allow me the freedom to explore beyond the confines of public transport networks. Big mistake. Aside from the financial outlay – rego, insurance and petrol (!) – parking was a nightmare where I lived. Sometimes I didn’t use the car because I would have lost my hard-won street park, and would have ended up parking blocks away and walking home late at night alone. I sold my car after trialling GoGet for one month and now feel like I’m doing my part to cut down on parking congestion, and environmental impact! – Jennifer

What do you use carshare for?

– Visiting people on the weekend or during the week in other suburbs popping to the supermarket, or to the hairdressers. – Cat

– Visits to farflung destinations not serviced by public transport, errands that involve Bunnings or Ikea, moving or helping friends move (ute). When GoGet used to have Mini Coopers, I would rent them to take my friends in who were visiting Australia from overseas. They were so cool! – Jennifer

– I use carshare predominantly for my job as a freelance photographer. I also use it for shopping, moving furniture, day trips and weekends away. – Jessica

How often do you use carshare?

– Not all that often as it turns out – between public transit & cabs, you can save a lot on parking; but it’s good to know it’s there whenever I need my own wheels. – Robert

– Not enough, but we’re looking to make the most of it in 2014. Hopefully getting away every 6 weeks or so. – Josh

– Once or twice a week on average, I would guess. – Serje

How does the carshare experience, in your opinion, differ from Australian carshare users?

– I never had to make the decision as to whether to sell an existing car and go car share-only, so it was easier in that sense; moving to a city where it was well established made the decision simple for me. – Robert

– It gives us the opportunity to get out of Sydney and explore the ‘real Australia’ as all my native colleagues keep telling me I’m missing out on. – Josh

– Expats have a smaller network to rely on when things go wrong. Whereas Australians can call a family member at 3am, expats are typically on their own. Carshare offers peace of mind that you can get places on your own in an emergency. – Jennifer

– We don’t have to commit money to a personal car since we may not stay in Australia more than a couple of years. – Eleanor

– I’ve been using GoGet since 2006, I saw the company grow. – Jowett

What are the major benefits you experience through the use of carshare?

– Cost, flexibility, lack of commitment to a personal car and ease of going swimming at the beach (plastic card you can stash in your swimmers not a fancy electronic key to hide in the sand). – Eleanor

– Lower cost, being able to use different kinds of cars, availability of pods all over the city, able to visit my friends quickly and efficiently instead of spending all day on the bus, being able to be spontaneous, a cost-effective way to get to the airport to pick people up or drop them off, being able to have my own private space once in a while in this crowded city, being able to sing at the top of my lungs driving down the street and not bothering anybody, getting to go through the drive-thru, not feeling so isolated, not feeling as trapped inside the Inner West [Sydney]. – Katie

– Cost, peace of mind, freedom, mobility… and it’s greener. I love to live more and own less. And I save probably $3k per year, if not more. – Monique

Do these benefits help you to feel at home, explore or immerse yourself into your adopted city?

– It makes me feel cosmopolitan – how cool is it, I live in Sydney and have access to cars across the whole city. My friends in Italy are green with envy! – Katrin

– I think having access to a GoGet empowers you and makes you feel a little less foreign. – Holly

– Yes, signing up to car sharing shortly before arriving in AUS was certainly much easier and quicker than finding, buying, registering an own car. – Monique

Do you have any advice for other expats who may like to switch to carshare?

– Do it – you never know one day you might want to go back to your country of origin and if you own a car, you will have to go through the hassle of selling it. By joining GoGet you’ll have peace of mind and freedom. – Katrin

– Tally up the total cost of car ownership in Australia (which is quite different to car ownership costs elsewhere) and you’ll see the savings that carshare offers even though at times the hourly or daily cost seems high. – Jennifer

– Do the math and decide for yourself if it works for you. And don’t forget you might be able to rent out you own parking space. – Monique

– Do it, it saves a tonne of money and is easy to use – you won’t regret it! – Eleanor

Have you experienced any problems/issues with carshare that other foreign nationals should be aware of?

– Confusion over different models of car e.g. windscreen wipers and indicators being on different sides of the wheel. – Eleanor

– Nothing in particular. Just get used to driving on the left side of the road. – Monique

A quick pointer; we’d like to help you avoid those irritating parking fines. In Australia, you may only parallel park in the same direction as the flow of traffic. Thank us later!

Thank you to all our expat members who responded to our questionnaire and agreed to share their experiences on our blog.