Car Sharing: Sustainable, Reliable, and Affordable

 

The vehicle has been the status symbol for accomplishments or success in most people’s lives.  Giving it up may seem a drastic move to help the environment.  But, is it really?

How can we reduce our expenses of vehicle ownership, while reducing our carbon footprint?  Car sharing has increased in popularity for its convenience, price, and social responsibility.

Car Sharing

 

Cost

RelayRides estimates that an average vehicle is used for only one hour per day, while it costs approximately $715 per month to maintain.  That equates to $24 per hour of use.  After all, do you really need to pay for your vehicle while it sits in the parking lot of your work?  Why not only pay for the use that you get out of the vehicle?

Emissions

Getaround estimates that every car shared takes 13 others off the road, reducing CO2 emissions by 500,000 tons per year.  UCarShare states that you can reduce your carbon footprint by 40% in CO2 emissions by car sharing.  Additionally, Frost & Sullivan Automotive Practice, found that those that car share drove 31% less than when they owned a vehicle.

Use this savings calculator to find out how much CO2 reduction you can make: https://www.ucarshare.com/secure/Calculator.aspx

How does saving money while saving the planet sound?  Being eco-friendly, while still driving a nice vehicle has its perks of accessibility over ownership.

 

Car Sharing Options

Peer to Peer

A community owns a fleet of vehicles and they match vehicle owners with vehicles that are available for other drivers to rent.  Some do not require you to be a vehicle owner to benefit.  Companies include RelayRides, WhipCar, Wheelz, and Getaround.

Business to Consumer

A company owns a fleet of vehicles and enables the sharing among members.  This includes auto manufacturers, rental brands, and car sharing companies.  Brands include BMW, Peugeot, Daimler, Hertz, U-Haul, WeCar, zipcar, STATTAUTO, GoGet, and MINT .

Not for Profit or Co-Op

An organization that simplifies car sharing, while the goal is to transform people’s driving habits over making a profit.  Organizations include CityCarShare, PhillyCarShare, and I-GO Chicago.

 

How Does It Work?

Some of these companies require a free membership, while others charge an annual membership fee.  They each have their online, phone, or phone app to request a specific vehicle, but they all have reasonable hourly rates, include insurance, maintenance, and some even include the gas and parking.

Imagine one day driving an electric vehicle for running errands, the next day a pick-up to help your friend move, and on the third day a convertible to relax on the beach.

Feel good about having an accessible vehicle at your convenience, while making a positive impact on the environment. Check out the opportunities that car sharing may provide you.

 

Car sharing resources:

car2go

CarSharing.net

CarSharing Association

City CarShare (Bay Area, California)

DriveNow

FutureOfCarSharing.com

GetaroundGetaround

GoGetGoGet (Australia only)

I-GoI-GO Car Sharing (Chicago, Illinois)

mintMint (New York City)

RelayRidesRelayRides

PhillyCareShare (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

STATTAUTOSTATTAUTO (only in German)

U Car Share (by U-Haul)

WeCar (by Enterprise)

WheelzWheelz

WhipCar WhipCar

zipcarzipcar

 

In the next article we’ll look at Zipcar, one of the car sharing services, in more detail.

Have you tried a car sharing service?  Which one did you use?  Did you have a good experience?

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