I met Graeme, hiyacar’s CEO and co-founder, just over 2 years ago in San Francisco. Hiyacar was just starting out and I was CPO at Liftshare (the largest carpooling network in the UK). We had been invited to be part of the UK Trade & Investment sharing economy mission, and shared an Airbnb for a few days. We talked about business books and he was passionate about ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’. It had been on my to read list ever since, but I didn’t get to it until I joined the hiyacar team. It made so much sense to me that I recommended it to my partner, and together we are exploring how we can put its principles into practice in our day to day lives…
‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ is a book about financial freedom. Its author, Robert T. Kiyosaki, argues that financial literacy is not taught at school and that, as a result, we don’t understand how money works. That’s why we think, for example, that our greatest assets are our house and our car. But that is simply not true: our house and our car are enormous liabilities — think how much of your income goes on paying your mortgage, car loan and insurance. Kiyosaki believes this is why we get stuck in the ‘Rat Race’: get up, go to work, pay bills, pay taxes; get up, go to work, pay bills, pay taxes. The more we earn, the more we spend.
Understanding the difference between assets and liabilities is key to his approach. Look at the difference between cash-flow pattern of a rich dad and a poor dad in this diagram.
Rich people acquire assets, whilst poor and middle class acquire liabilities that they think are assets. How do we get out of the Rat Race? By keeping expenses low, reducing liabilities and building a base of assets. By putting our money to work for us and not the contrary.
‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ has really influenced hiyacar’s core values. Hiyacar is all about financial freedom too. Hiyacar understands that owning a car costs the earth and renting a car is a nightmare. The average car in London is idle for 23 hours per day, but the average running costs are £4,500 a year. Hiyacar turns your car into an asset, making money when you aren’t using it by sharing it with your local community. And they’ve made it even easier to do by developing QuickStart keyless technology: drivers can easily open the car and go via our Android and iOS apps (which we’re updating very soon, watch this space).
QuickStart is revolutionary technology that is changing the peer to peer car rental industry, forever. Technology that by the way makes hiyacar unique in the UK, and with no doubt, in my opinion, the best car rental scheme in London. Most importantly, it allows you to easily put your car to work for you. If Airbnb lets you monetise your spare room, hiyacar does the same for cars.
If you don’t own a car, hiyacar gives you the freedom to use a car when you need it, with over 1,000 cars in London — there’s one in almost every neighborhood. This way, you can transform a potential liability (and infra-utilised and not monetised car) into a mere (low) expense.
I invite you to read ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ (I bought the mass market paperback edition on Amazon for less than 6 quid), and to start getting out of the ‘Rat Race’ by joining hiyacar. It’s the smarter way to own a car.