It is not feasible for many drivers to own a vehicle. It is not only the cost of the vehicle that is high, but also the cost of car insurance, maintenance, and even parking spots in urban areas that are high.
It can be difficult to justify the cost of a car even if you are able to afford one.
There is an increasing trend in car sharing, which makes it easier for you to reach your daily destinations at an affordable price.
Whether you have limited car usage needs or are traveling to a different city, car sharing can be an economical method of transportation.
You can still make short trips and commute comfortably and safely with this alternative to traditional car rentals and ridesharing apps.
You will learn about six of the best car sharing services in the United States in this article.
What Is A Car Share?
You can rent a car through a car share program at a convenient time and for a short period of time.
As opposed to car rental companies, including alternatives like Turo, they charge by the hour – sometimes even by the minute or mile – so you never have to pay for a full day that you don’t use.
The convenience of car sharing has never been greater
Many of them are app-based and feature self-serve technology, which allows you to check in and out quickly and efficiently.
You will no longer have to deal with pushy salespeople or long rental car lines.
It is often possible to start your car share trip with just a few taps.
6 Best Car Sharing Services
Shared cars can take many forms, but they all improve the rental experience and enable people to live car-free.
The following is a list of six of the most popular car sharing services in the United States.
One of the most well-known car-sharing services is Zipcar.
Through its website or mobile application, users can book nearby cars 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in cities and universities throughout the country and around the world.
All you need is a reservation and a “Zipcard” that allows you to unlock the vehicle of your choice.
The Zipcar platform offers a wide range of cars to meet your needs, from standard sedans to luxury SUVs.
The rental rates for these vehicles vary by city (they are usually between $9 and $10 per hour), but always include gas, insurance, and roadside assistance.
With your reservation, you will receive 180 miles per day and you will only be charged 45 cents per additional mile.
You must subscribe to Zipcar’s service in order to use its services. The service costs $7 per month or $70 per year (students at partnered universities may receive a discount).
Nevertheless, this gives you the flexibility to make a reservation from anywhere Zipcars are available – which includes over 400 cities in the United States alone.
You may be interested in Getaround if you are looking for competitive rates or a wider selection of automobiles.
This mobile app works as a peer-to-peer car-sharing service, which means you’ll have more options when it comes to vehicle models and rates.
Among the vehicles available are sedans, convertibles, pickup trucks, and cargo vans, for example.
You do not need a membership card to use Getaround.
Getaround vehicles in your area can be located and unlocked using your smartphone.
You should expect to pay a booking fee (at least $2 and usually under 10% of the total cost of your trip) regardless of which listing you choose.
Younger drivers will be charged an “under-25” fee for every trip they book.
The initial booking cost includes twenty miles per hour (or 200 miles per day). After that, you will be charged 50 cents per mile or $5 per mile for specialty vehicles.
After your trip, you will need to fill up on gasoline, but insurance and roadside assistance are included.
With Getaround, users can book on-demand in seven countries without having to pay an annual fee.
There are 12 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. where the company offers car-sharing services.
3. Enterprise CarShare
Known for its traditional car rental services, Enterprise has recently entered the car sharing market.
The Enterprise CarShare program connects drivers with its trusted fleet of newer, well-maintained vehicles, ranging from electric sedans to fuel-efficient SUVs to cargo vans to luxury vehicles.
Similarly to Zipcar members, Enterprise CarShare members unlock their vehicles and end trips by scanning their membership cards.
There is a great deal of variation in Enterprise CarShare rates based on the location.
Membership fees in the United States range from $5 to $50 per month, and hourly rates may begin at $5 to $10 per hour.
There may be a 25-45 cent per mile rate and you may be entitled to 200 free miles.
Compared to other apps, these fees are relatively reasonable, especially since they include gas, 24/7 customer service, and even physical damage coverage.
While the brand is most prominent in the United Kingdom, it is available in nine cities across eight states as well as at a number of universities and businesses throughout these markets.
There are also select locations in Canada where the product is available.
4. SHARE NOW
As a result of a merger between Daimler AG’s Car2Go and BMW Group’s DriveNow, SHARE NOW is a car-sharing network that operates in eight European countries and select U.S. cities.
The service is similar to a scooter-share service with free-floating vehicles that can be parked at legal on-street parking spaces in the service area.
There are slightly different parking rules for each country (such as when parking is at your own cost), so check for the restrictions in the country you would like to use SHARE NOW.
Parking at the streetside or in garages is ideal for both one-way and roundtrip commutes.
SHARE NOW also offers an extensive selection of vehicles.
It is possible to access models from reliable and highly coveted brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, MINI, and Smart at any time of the day.
There are currently some European cities with all-electric fleets.
Even renting by the minute is possible with SHARE NOW.
You can book by the day at a flat rate of $69.99, which starts at 24 cents per minute and $15.99 per hour.
Your mileage does affect your price, but you will receive free parking, gas, and insurance.
Joining SHARE NOW is free, and you will receive a credit of $10 upon registration.
The SHARE NOW offices in the United States are located in New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
5. GIG Car Share
Last but not least, there is GIG Car Share, an environmentally friendly car sharing service operated by the American Automobile Association.
Currently located in Sacramento and soon to expand to Seattle, the company is committed to helping people reduce their carbon footprint through the use of hybrid and electric vehicles as well as making a car-free lifestyle a reality.
Similar to SHARE NOW, GIG Car Share provides free-floating vehicles that can be picked up and dropped off just about anywhere.
Normally, cars are unlocked via smartphone, but you can also request a membership card if you wish to have a backup.
As a result, you will not be stuck if your service is intermittent.
The company’s rates include gas, insurance, and parking, which are currently set at 15 cents per minute (up to $15) and $15 per hour for both hybrid and electric vehicles.
Discounts are available to AAA members on rides.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is anticipated that more and more people in the United States and abroad will be able to purchase a vehicle as car sharing becomes more widely available.
Learn more about car shares and how they work by reading the FAQs below.
Can Uber Or Lyft Drivers Use Car Shares?
Since most car shares are intended for personal or non-commercial use only, they are not suitable for drivers of rideshare services.
Additionally, some car sharing companies add their own logos to their fleets, which violates Uber and Lyft’s cosmetic guidelines.
On the other hand, there are two excellent options for on-demand drivers.
In addition, Maven’s Maven Gig service offers drivers the opportunity to rent rideshare-approved vehicles.
As part of its Drive with Uber program, Getaround also partners with Uber to provide easy, reliable hourly (and weekly) rentals.
What Is The Minimum Age To Use Car Share Services?
There is a minimum age requirement for each car-sharing service.
As an example, Zipcar requires users to be at least 21 years of age (18 years of age for students at affiliated universities).
Be sure to read the terms and conditions before signing up for any car-sharing service to avoid wasting time or breaking the rules by accident.
Is Car Sharing A Cheap Option?
It depends on how you use your car.
The use of car shares may be extremely cost-effective for people who do not require a car frequently and for short distances or long periods. However, long-term car rentals and car ownership may be significantly cheaper for people who are on the road more frequently and for longer periods of time.
Drive With Confidence
It may seem as if your only option for transportation is to rely on taxis, rideshare apps, and public transportation if you do not own a vehicle.
Nevertheless, car shares are continuing to expand, offering an alternative to daily car rentals and allowing you to control when you stop and go.
Car sharing allows you to avoid major recurring costs such as automobile insurance and car payments by only paying for the time that you use your vehicle.