With the huge cost of maintaining a car especially, if you plan on cutting expenses for yourself including the one that comes with car maintenance, you may decide to opt for car sharing.
It is also an opportunity for car owners who are not using their car to make some extra cash by registering with a car-share company such as Turo or GetAround.
People have their reasons for using car-sharing companies. Sometimes, it’s because they want to earn some extra cash as a part of a side hustle, they don’t get to use their car often or they can’t handle the financial responsibilities that come with it.
Whatever is the reason, it is important to know what it is all about, how it works, how expensive it is, do you have to pay for gas or Insurance? All these important questions surround car-sharing.
What is a car-sharing company?
A car-sharing company is a company that designs its car business more like a peer-to-peer business to be convenient for people who want to rent a car or cars for a short period of time, and they get to pay for their usage based on how long a car is used and the distance covered.
How is it different from car rentals?
Although car-sharing is a part of car rental, there is little difference from traditional car rental.
Car share is designed for people who don’t own a car but want to get access to a car at any hour of the day. And it is also designed for car owners who are ready to release their car out for such services to make some earnings.
Since these cars are spread around town in reserved parking spaces, there are chances that such parking is close to where you live, making it easier.
In traditional car rentals, the owners of the car are often private individuals themselves but in car-sharing, the facilitator is different from the car owner.
How does car sharing work?
Now, no matter your reasons for the need to request a car-sharing service, you need to know how it works.
Here is a quick one:
First, you need to find out which car-sharing company operates in your environment. Once that is sorted out, look out for their terms and condition. If you meet their requirement and you are fine with it, then you can proceed.
Next is to know where the car or cars is/are parked and how to reserve them. There is always variation among car-sharing services on how they unlock a car. Locate them by going to their website which includes details of the reserved car and the location as well.
Once that is done, you can proceed to reserve a car online or by phone. Usually, the car is unlocked with a membership card. Try to bring it back to the same parking spot in one piece, that will do. Pretty simple!
There are car-sharing companies that offer amazing services both to those who want to rent a car and car owners too depending on what you want.
Here are 7 Best Car Sharing Companies You Need to Know
For customers looking forward to a cheap rental vehicle, TURO should be considered. Users can choose car model, location, or TURO host as well. TURO mandates its users to use the cars as if they were theirs.
To share a car on TURO, you must meet the following requirements:
- Persons under 25 age will have to pay an additional fee
- Customers need to show at least 2 years of currently licensed driving history
- Since they do not operate out of a specific agency, users must meet the car owner personally for pick up
- It provides customers with over 800 car models to pick from.
- The sign up is user-friendly
- The price fee depends on what car a user wants, however, the flat rate is $40 per day.
- Additional fees such as additional miles, parking tickets, and cleaning fees can be added to the fee.
- There are also insurance policies
Available Locations: Check out if Turo is available in your location.
Pricing: cost ranges from $20 to $100 depending on vehicle type.
Gas: Drivers are expected to pay for gas and will have to replace the gas they use.
Insurance: Turo provides third-party liability insurance to Turo hosts
Rental time: Daily rentals only
Zipcar offers hourly and daily car-sharing services with membership programs that include gas, insurance with the location of the cars, self-service car pickup, and drop-off.
The ZipCar app, which can be downloaded on iOS and Google Play Store, makes it quite easy and faster to share a car.
How it works:
- Create an account
- Provide your credit card and driver’s license
- It requires a one-time fee to join of $25
- It charges as low as $6 per hour depending on your location
- Every reservation includes 180 miles per day.
ZipCar has lots of cars parks in different locations as listed on their website and app. Once a reservation is done, the user goes to the location of the vehicle and use either the app or ZipCard to unlock the car. It is fast and doesn’t require paperwork once your account is set up.
Available Locations: Check out if ZipCar is available in your location.
Pricing: Zipcar charges $9 per month or $90 per year membership fee. There is a one-time non-refundable $25 application fee.
Prices of most of its vehicles are charged based on hourly and daily rates which vary by day of the week, type of vehicle, and location.
Gas: It membership fee includes free gas for all trips
Insurance: It also offers secondary insurance for all trips which is included in its membership fee.
Rental time: Hourly and Daily rentals only
3. Share Now:
This car-sharing platform offers users the opportunity of sharing a wide range of available cars at different destinations. It has a considerably cheaper price.
Share Now’s bills include gas, insurance, winter tires, and others. It does not require any paperwork. However, refueling will cost you an extra sum. It offers only Smart, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Mini vehicles on a one-way point-to-point rental.
Share Now cars are available 24/7 so you don’t have to plan ahead of time.
The car-sharing company was formed from the merger of car2go, Reach Now, and DriveNow in 2018, and pulled out of the North American market in 2020 to focus on the European market, a move that makes it the biggest Car-sharing company in Europe.
How it works:
- Set up the app
- Locate a car near you using the app
- Make a reservation
- When you locate the car, click on “start” in the app
- Unlock the car
- Use your face ID or enter your 4-digit PIN
- Start your trip
- Once you arrive at your destination, you end the trip via the app
Pricing: Share Now does not charge any subscription fee. Prices of most of its vehicles are charged based on minutely, hourly and daily rates which vary by the type of vehicle, and location.
Insurance and Gas: Their rates are all-inclusive hence it includes basic insurance and gas.
Rental time: Minutely, Hourly, Daily, and Monthly rentals each with its own rates.
GetAround is an online peer-to-peer car-sharing service that provides people who want to rent out cars to users.
It provides insurance that covers the car’s owner while it’s in use and provides a 24/7 access hotline for both the car owner and the customer renting it.
Here is how it works:
- People willing to share their car pay $99 for Getaround to install a device that can help to unlock the vehicle through the smartphone app.
- Cars are rented for $5 per hour or even higher while Getaround keeps 40%. The vehicle must be 10years old or newer and Getaround guarantees the owner $1,000 in the first three months.
Available Locations: Check out if GetAround is available in your location.
Pricing: Rentals cost around $5 – $8/hour and above, and there is no membership fee to be paid, however, they charge a booking fee that is 3% of the trip price.
Each Guest under the age of 25 will be charged an Under 25 Fee to cover the increased cost of insuring Guests under the age of 25. Here are the underage fee GetAround charges based on age:
- Age 19: 75% of the trip price
- Age 20: 45% of the trip price
- Age 21: 25% of the trip price
- Age 22: 15% of the trip price
- Age 23: 10% of the trip price
- Age 24: 5% of the trip price
Prices of most of its vehicles are charged based on hourly and daily rates which vary by type of vehicle, and location.
Gas: You are expected to pay for gas and must return the car with as much gas as you picked it up with.
Insurance: Insurance is included in the rental cost.
Rental time: Hourly and Daily rentals
5. Enterprise CarShare:
Enterprise CarShare offers an automated way to rent a car by the hour, day, or even overnight. As its name suggests, it is designed for enterprises (not individuals) to enjoy the benefits of carsharing.
Enterprise CarSharing allows authorized employees access to on-site vehicles anytime they need them. Whether it’s business travel, picking up clients from the airport, or hauling a delivery, they provide the right vehicle for the job.
It offers its services to businesses and government agencies, especially in the US, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
How it work:
- Set up an account. Once approved you will receive your membership card in the mail
- You proceed to make a reservation by signing in, selecting the vehicle you want, and how long you will need it
- Unlock and go using your card.
- Return the car at the end of your trip
Available Locations: Check out if Enterprise CarShare is available in your location.
Pricing: It charges an application and yearly membership fees with pricing varying depending on location.
Prices of most of its vehicles are charged based on hourly and daily rates which vary by day type of vehicle, and location. Enterprise costs around $8 per hour and $70 per day.
Rental time: Hourly and Daily rentals
HyreCar is a car-sharing service for Uber and Lyft drivers, it allows car owners to rent their cars out to drivers looking to use it for Uber, LYFT, or other reputable delivery service platforms.
HyreCar offers daily, weekly, and monthly services for riders.
Here is how it works:
- Download the app and create an account with your email
- Enter your location, choose your pick up date, search for locally owned cars
- Confirm your order for the desired car. Once approved, the owner receives the three documents required to upload your rideshare which include vehicle registration, ID inspection, and insurance
- Meet the owner for agreement on time and location
- Next, you can turn up your rideshare and delivery driver apps and start earning
- At the end of your rental, replace the gas you lose and meet the owner to drop off the key in good condition.
7. Gig Car Share:
Aside from Gig Car being affordable, it is the newest electric way to ride. No matter the duration all you need is to make a reservation.
One special thing about Gig Car is that there’s no need to return the car to the same spot where it was picked. Just drive anywhere in the US and end it at a “Home Zone”. The fuel, insurance, and parking are all included.
How it works:
- Download the app and sign up
- Find the available Gig near you using the app
- Unlock it, then start your ride
- For multiple stops, use the app to hold onto your Gig when it’s between stops.
- End your ride at a home zone
This is one ride-sharing service that connects people who want to share rides with people who need a ride. The app can be installed on your phone. You request a ride, send the location, see what it will cost and what drivers are nearby.
How it works:
- You need to set up an account on their website or use the Uber app on your smartphone
- Using your mobile number
- Using the built-in-location tracking capability you can send your location to a driver.
- You have to provide a credit card for billing
- Tipping is voluntary and it has to be cash.
- It gives information on who your driver is once he accepts your request
Once you arrive at your destination and the driver marks it trip as completed. Your card will be changed and you will receive a payment confirmation via email and that ends your ride.
Uber is safe as it performs background check, vehicle inspections and require driver insurance. And it provides users with the ability to take along a wheelchair
Lyft is one of the most popular ride share apps that operates mostly in the United States and Canada just like Uber with little difference. It provides ride-sharing services with professional drivers. Users can order a ride from their smartphone.
Here is how it works
- Set up an account
- Search for your destination and your drop-off location.
- Select your preferred ride
- Confirm your pickup location then go ahead and request a ride
The LYFT app automatically set up your current address as the pickup location once you’ve enabled GPS location in your phone setting. Ask the driver to end the ride when you want to make a stop.
Then request a new ride when you are ready to go to your next destination.