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Aussie dad struggling to work after horror accident now makes $1,000 a week working just 15 hours

The Gold Coast dad said he is now enjoying a better quality of life and spends less time at work.

An Aussie dad who was unable to work following a car accident has shared how he rebuilt his income. And also cut his work hours down from 50 to just 15 per week.

Stuart Oliver was forced to quit his job as a painter and decorator for a ropes access company following a life-changing car accident two years ago. Oliver suffered “severe whiplash” after his car was rear ended and said it became too physically demanding for him to do his job.

“When I went back to work and tried to paint the ceilings it was just too much… I just couldn’t cut the mustard,” the Gold Coast dad told Yahoo Finance.

Stuart Oliver and family are pictured right.
Stuart Oliver was forced to quit is job and search for a less physically demanding job following a car accident. (Source: Supplied)

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“My body was letting me down. It was either struggle on in pain or find another job. So I made up my mind I was going to look for something else. But at the age of 59 you think to yourself, ‘Does anybody really want me?’”

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Oliver said he was earning around $60 an hour in his previous job but was working 50-hour weeks, which left him with little time to spend with his four daughters.

He had previously come across Turo, a peer-to-peer car sharing platform similar to Airbnb, when holidaying in Hawaii and saw it had expanded to Australia.

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Oliver had a spare car sitting at home, a Hyundai Accent sedan, and decided to list it on the platform to see if he could earn some extra income.

“That was the car I used to use for work and so I didn’t need it. So I thought I’d stick it on there because it was just sitting there and see how things go,” he said.

The now 60-year-old said he was able to earn around $300 per week renting out the one car. The job took him about five hours a week, including delivery and cleaning time.

Earning $1k a week from Turo in ‘win-win’ situation

Following the success of the rental, Oliver decided to purchase more cars to list on the platform and has now expanded his fleet to four cars. He said the money he earns from renting out the cars is helping to offset the purchase costs.

“The second car I bought, I’ve already made more money on that car now than I paid for it. I listed it in January 2023 and it is probably still worth $12,000. I paid $14,500 on it and I’ve made a lot more than that in the time it’s been on there. So it’s a win-win,” he said.

Stuart Oliver left in glasses, and right with a pressure cleaner.
Oliver previously worked 50 hour weeks and said while the new job pays less, he is able to have a better work-life balance. (Source: Supplied)

With four cars on the platform, Oliver said he is working an average of 15 hours a week and noted they now took less time each to deliver and clean. In total he is earning $1,000 a week.

“Some cars like the Nissan X-trail are a little bit more expensive to hire because it is a bigger car. But it is the little cars like the Hyundai Accent that seem to be the most popular because most of my rentals are from holiday makers and usually either couples or a group of young people,” he said.

Job offers better ‘quality of life’

While Oliver hasn’t matched his previous income, he said the extra money means his family is able to maintain the same lifestyle as they had before the accident. His wife is a midwife and has a remedial massage service.

The ability to work from home and work fewer hours are other perks of the new job, Oliver said.

“I was putting in a lot more hours in in my previous job and I was on about $60 an hour. So it is a lot less but it doesn’t matter,” he said.

“The money now is not the main [factor] it’s the quality of life that I need now. It’s brought me a great quality of life.

"It can be tiring. There are some weekends we want to do things as a family but I have deliveries to do. But I do find weekends where there isn't deliveries and I do like the fact that I'm not always at work."

According to the Turo, hosts can earn an average of $12,960 per year per car listed on the platform.

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