• 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|
For more comprehensive information about car clubs in the UK, visit Carplus.
in Europe and the UK: