Canberra brothers behind PKUP get you home in your car
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Canberra brothers behind PKUP get you home in your car

It's a Friday night. You have been chatting away with co-workers while having a few at the local before you remember you've got your car with you.

It's a common pickle, but one Gungahlin brothers Joshua and Oscar Gonzalez are well-practiced at sorting out.

PKUP founders Joshua and Oscar Gonzalez have launched a start-up to get Canberrans and their cars home safely.

PKUP founders Joshua and Oscar Gonzalez have launched a start-up to get Canberrans and their cars home safely.Credit:Jay Cronan

The ANU students began PKUP four months ago and offer a pair of hands to drive Canberrans and their cars home.

Joshua, a 20-year-old economics and engineering student, said it had been an adjustment launching the 24-hour service, but he felt it was necessary to offer full accessibility to compete in the on-demand economy.

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PKUP founders Oscar and Joshua Gonzalez have launched a start-up to get Canberrans and their cars home safely.

PKUP founders Oscar and Joshua Gonzalez have launched a start-up to get Canberrans and their cars home safely.Credit:Jay Cronan

"Anyone at any time can ring on the spot," he said. "As soon as someone hangs up the phone we try and be at the location within half an hour."

Since launching, the duo has developed customer discounts for people travelling to certain postcodes in partnership with several northside venues including Siren Bar and Restaurant, the Lighthouse Pub, the George Harcourt, Gungahlin Lakes Club, the District in Crace and Frankies at Forde.

An ACT government spokeswoman said there had been rapid expansion and innovation creating new ways for Canberrans to get from A to B, and the government supported this.

However, designated driver services operated prior to the introduction of landmark ridesharing laws regulating Uber, goCatch and other services in the ACT.

Along with PKUP, the government was aware of Prestige Dial a Driver and We Drive offering similar services in Canberra.

The government was keeping an eye on the growth of these businesses operating in a grey zone outside regulated taxis or rideshare business models.

"The service is a private interaction, which is covered by private insurance arrangements and specified commercial terms and conditions," the spokeswoman said.

"CTP insurance would apply as per any registered vehicle. Consumer law requirements would also be applicable with the provision of a service."

Any concerns about the operation of such services could be forwarded to Access Canberra, the spokeswoman said.

Joshua said customers could be reassured by his business' insurance coverage.

It covered their driver and all passengers in the customer's car, property or third party damage.

In the event a customer's car was damaged during a trip PKUP would pay up to $3000 toward the customer's excess.

The brothers work as a driving pair but said during high-demand times they had a second pair working across the city too.

Their website allows customers to see the trip cost estimates before booking online.

Oscar said safety was one of the prime reasons the ACT born and bred brothers undertook the venture.

"I think customers like that we are local to Canberra and know the place really well," he said.

"We are really passionate about offering this service. It is good for the community and gives people another option of getting home safely."

Georgina is a reporter for The Canberra Times

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