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Flourishing Things: Carshare

Car sharing companies have increased in popularity in the past few years as people are looking for alternative methods of transportation that don’t break the bank. Public transportation may not always be the best way to get around, as it may be unsuited to carrying heavy items or travel to out of the way destinations. On the other hand, buying and owning a car has drawbacks for the environment and is very costly with insurance, maintenance and gas. Car sharing lets you have the best of both worlds. Car sharing is a form of car rental which is cheaper and more convenient than traditional methods, and carshare members have dramatically lower fossil fuel emissions as they only drive when necessary. If you need a car for a couple of hours to pick up a relative from the airport, transport materials, or for infrequent trips, car sharing is a great option!

    How does it work? Many car sharing organizations operate in similar ways. Users are able to purchase a monthly or annual membership that best suits their needs. With a membership, users are able to use the vehicle of their choice which can be found in a designated parking spot. Cars are able to be shared at all hours of the day, unlike traditional car rentals. Members usually receive a card or fob that allows the cars to be locked and unlocked, while the keys remain in the car at all times. Membership costs cover the cost of gas and insurance, so users don’t need to worry about using their own money if the gas tank needs to be refilled for the next user. 

    Car sharing is a great way to reduce your dependence on cars, as the amount you pay directly correlates with your usage. While owning a car and paying for its maintenance and insurance may give you incentive to use it more often, car sharing reduces the amount of unnecessary driving. As a result, your wallet and the environment will thank you! However, carsharing usually requires a certain level of urban density to be viable, so if you are wondering why there isn’t one in your suburban neighbourhood, it may be due to not enough members in your neighbourhood, however, it may be worth exploring. Popular car sharing companies include Zipcar which is located in North America and the United Kingdom, Communauto which is located in a number of Canadian cities as well as Paris, and Car2go which is focused in European cities. Check out car sharing organizations near you!

Zip Car

List of Carsharing Organizations

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