Car2Go: Using This Budget-Friendly Car-Sharing Service When You Travel
Have you ever seen a Car2Go? I live in Los Angeles (in 2014) and the city doesn’t have this car sharing service here but when I was in Vancouver last fall, I saw my friends use it. I was so curious, I had to try it myself.
From the Car2Go website:
A car2go is always a pleasure to drive: just take it, drive it, park it. Simple and straightforward. You can always find a vehicle in your area. Open it with the app after signing up. You go from A to B, park your car2go again and that’s that. It’s fun, saves money and helps the environment.
Car2Go is a car-sharing service but it is not like ZipCar where you have to return the car back to the same parking spot. With ZipCar you’re charged an hourly rate but with Car2go, you are charged per minute (at post time it’s $0.41/minute in North America).
It’s like a mashup between a ZipCar and a taxi service except you’re driving. You first have to sign up to become a member and then download the app or get a membership card which is what you use to open up the car instead of keys. Then you drive to where you need to go and park it. Voila! That’s it.
When I arrived in Vancouver my friend Karey used it. We were heading to another bar to meet up with friends and she wanted to go home. Rather than pop into a cab which would have cost her about $20 to cross the downtown area (only 10 minutes away), she took a car2go. She estimated the cost to be about $5 to get home. Pretty awesome savings if I say so myself!
Sometimes you see a car parked in a spot like this, sometimes it’s just on the street
You go up to a car and see if it’s available
Open up the car with your member card and then you’ll see the screen like so:
It will ask you some basic questions and then you start it up and drive away
Car2Go is a great service and I have since used it in Portland, Calgary, and Toronto since my initial trial in Vancouver, Canada. I have seen the cars in cities like Dusseldorf and Madrid also.
This type of service sadly wouldn’t work in cities like New York or Los Angeles where driving and parking can be a nightmare. It is handy for people who travel and want to save a bit of money on taxi or ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft. You wouldn’t drive one of their cars for several hours or even overnight. The shorter the ride the better!
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Is Car2go in your city and have you tried out the service?
**Disclaimer: Many thanks to Car2Go for the complimentary trial. As always, all opinions are my own.**