• Benefits of Car Sharing
• How it Works
• Where to Find
'If you live in a city,
you don't need to own a car.'
William Clay Ford Jr., Chaiman,
Ford Motor Company
Looking for a cheaper way to drive around town? Do you have a small car and occasionally need a larger one? Do you live in a city and don't drive enough to justify the expense of owning, licensing, insuring and parking a car?
sharing is an energy-saving idea whose time has come!
North Americans are starting to see the benefits of
"no car ownership hassles" which many Europeans have already known. Car
share programs are in place in many European cities, serving more than 150,000
members. These programs are now springing up across North America.
|Convenient - a car when you need one; some programs have various
models to suit your changing needs. Some motorists also use carshare as a 'second car'.
Practical - reduces number of cars in the city. Reduces car usage of individuals by as much as 50%.
Environmental - improves air quality. Each car share vehicle replaces 4 to 8 privately held cars.
Low cost - pay only for the hours you drive; a fraction of the cost of owning a car; is cheaper than owning a car if you need a car for fewer than 7500 miles(12,000 km)/year.
Carefree - no maintenance; no servicing; no parking hassles; no cleaning
does Car Sharing compare to car rental? Car rentals cost between $40 and $50 a day, plus more charges for mileage
Car sharing is less expensive because you can rent by the hour, you have
reserved parking locations, there are no line-ups or papers to fill out
and no pick-up or drop-off constraints. Availability of vehicles, however,
is not guaranteed to match your time requirements.
|How it Works|
Reserve by phone or online; 1 hour minimum up to 2 months
in advance (Some
services require as little as one minute’s advance notice, and members
can reserve vehicles as far as one year in advance. Consult individual websites
Unlock the car with your personal card or key
Return to a specified carshare location before your reservation time expires
Leave car as clean as you found it
The carshare company owns and insures all its cars, which are parked at convenient locations around town. You can pick up a car, with some carshare programs, drop it off at any carshare location when you're finished. (Other carshare programs do not allow members to take one-way trips with the vehicles, because the next member who has reserved that vehicle is expecting it to be returned to its starting location.) You pay only for the hours you've had the car. Gas, oil and car maintenance are paid by the company; members are issued a company credit card for these costs. If the car is already booked, members either have to take an alternate car, or wait until the car they usually drive is available.
The only rule is to get the car back on time. Carshares charge a late fee, usually around $20, and drivers who are consistently late lose their membership.
Cost: Annual memberships range from $25 to $100 a year. Some carshare programs require a security deposit in the $200-$500 range. Other programs have no security deposit requirement; consult individual websites for details. Usage fees range from less than $2 an hour to $9 an hour.
|Where to Find|
ZipCar - currently serving Boston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland OR, Los Angeles, Washington DC.(metro), San Diego, Atlanta, Ann Arbor MI, Arlington, Fairfax County and Alexandria VA, Baltimore and Greenbelt MD, Chicago, Chapel Hill NC, Gainsville FL, Hoboken NJ, Minn./St. Paul, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Princeton NJ, with plans to expand to over 30 cities across the U.S.
City CarShare - serving San Francisco and the greater Bay area with a fleet of over 200 cars. Cars have automatic transmissions. www.sfcarshare.org. As a City CarShare member, you get driving privileges in other cities, such as Philadelphia, Austin, Madison, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Syndey (AU) and Melbourne (AU).
Mint - operates a large fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles in many loactions throughtout greater Manhattan, and one location in Brooklyn Heights.
eGo CarShare - Boulder city-wide carshare program. eGo CarShare (formerly Boulder Car Share) now stations vehicles throughout the Denver - Boulder area.
I-Go - serving the greater Chicago area.
Hourcar - serving Minneapolis and St. Paul MN with a fleet of Toyota Prius hybrids and Toyota Yaris cars.
Philly Car Share - serving the greater Philadelphia region with Priuses, Minis, BMWs, Elements, pickups, and more.
Austin Car Share - serving the downtown Austin, Hyde Park and Univ. of Texas areas with Scion xA's and Toyota Tacomas.
Buffalo Car Share - serving the greater Buffalo area.
Community Car - serving Madison WI with high gas mileage and hybrid vehicles.
U Car Share - currently in Portland, OR. Portland, ME, Berkeley, CA. and Madison, WI.
Car Share Vermont - serving the greater Burlington area and University of Vermont campus.
Ithaca Car Share - 13 vehicles serving downtown Ithaca, two college campuses, and at EcoVillage.
We Car - over 30 locations, usually on or near school campuses. CA: Biola Univ in La Miranda, St. Mary's College in SF. FL: Univ. South Florida in Tampa. HI: State of Hawaii. LA: Loyola Univ, Tulane Univ. MN: Carleton College. MS: Univ of Missouri-Columbia, Washington Univ, St.Louis Downtown. NJ: Rowan Univ, Princeton Univ. NC: State of North Carolina. OR: OSU at Corvallis, Univ of Oregon at Eugene. OK: Univ of Oklahoma. PA: Lehigh Univ at Bethlehem. TN: Lipscomb Univ, Downtown Nashville.
For more comprehensive information about car clubs in the UK, visit Carplus.
in Europe and the UK: