How do you go about choosing which car sharing service is the perfect fit for you?
Are you toying with the idea of going carless? Do you live in a city that has a great public transportation system? Do you own a car and rarely drive it? No matter the answer, I'm sure you still need occassional car services to visit your family or run to the grocery store. Not to worry, there are short-term car rental services that will allow you to share a vehicle. Making an informed decision is the first and most important step. Simply looking through the hourly/daily rates and picking from there isn't always the most resourceful. Following these guidelines can help you make a smart decision.
1. Check Availability In Your Area
Depending on your location, certain car sharing services won't be available. Generally, most car sharing and ride-hauling services are only available in larger cities. For example, St. Louis, Missouri, only has three Zipcar hubs. Price discrepancy, as well as vehicle makes and models are different in each city. In St. Louis, you can rent a Ford Focus Hatchback for 9$ an hour and 69$ a day. A Ford Focus Sedan is 7.50$ an hour and 69$ a day.
Los Angeles, California on the other hand has 20 main Zipcar hubs. The Zipcars in Los Angeles range anywhere from 12.25$ an hour to 7.50$ an hour. For a BMW X1 the cost is 11.25$ an hour and 89$ per day. A Honda Fit is priced at 8.50$ an hour and 69$ a day.
Whichever company you decided to ride with -Zipcar, Car2Go or Enterprise CarShare- make sure to check their website and see if they do indeed operate in your area.
2. Which Fits Your Needs
How long do you think you'll need the car? Will you be running errands around town? Or are you more of a road-trip person?
If you aren't a fan of ride-hauling services, such as Uber and Lyft, you may want to look closer into Car2Go. Once you reach your destination with Car2Go, you can either end your trip or have a stopover and continue driving. If you are ending your drive, you have to return the vehicle to its home area and park in an approved spot. During a stopover you use the vehicle just as you would a personal car. It should be noted that throughout the stopover, your trip time is still accumulating.
Enterprise CarShare is always another option. All it takes is four easy steps: Join, Reserve, Unlock & Go and Return. There’s an annual membership fee and one-time application fee. (The rates vary by city, location and time.) As does Zipcar, Enterprise CarShare partners with Universities and Businesses. If you're a college student or know a college student who could benefit from the University Enterprise CarShare program, the fees are waived, which means you will be saving money!
Source: Enterprise CarShare
Source: AutoMotoTV, Youtube Channel
3. Make A Decision
Based on the car sharing services availabilty/price and your exact needs, you are now able to make an educated decision on which is the perfect fit! After reading this article you may have decided to keep your car. There is also a posibility that you have decided that you'll continue to use mass transit and ride-hauling companies like Uber and Lyft. Either way, the number one priority, is that you choose the service that will benefit you the most. Doing your research is essential in any process. Good luck!
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