CityMash.com - With the success of companies like Uber, it’s no surprise that BC has looked to similar methods – the benefits are numerous, and include reducing carbon footprints by reducing the number of cars on the road, fostering local economies, and of course making it a lot easier to navigate Vancouver and the surrounding areas without having to rely on public transit.
And for many of us, it’s also a cheap and efficient alternative to paying an arm and a leg for our own car. We look at some of the most popular car sharing companies that have made a name for themselves in the Lower Mainland.
Car 2 Go
By far the most appealing, especially to Millennials, Car 2 Go currently has over 1200 vehicles and sets itself apart from competitors in a number of ways. First of all, you don’t need a reservation – if you get stuck after hours or miss the last bus home, their handy app can easily find you a Car 2 Go vehicle parked nearby.
The drop-and-go feature of their system allows their users the convenience of having access to a vehicle on the spur of the moment, and when you’ve arrived at your destination you simply drop the keys and off you go (as long as you park it in a designated service area, of course).
The other advantage of Car 2 Go is that it has a very low rate, with a $35 sign-up and then $0.41 for every minute (or $14.99 an hour) – perfect for those that just need to get from A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The next in line, Modo has been around for 1997 so they have some name value, and is a member owned co-op. As a result, it has a somewhat smaller fleet than Car 2 Go (about a third), but it does have a lower monthly charge of $5 and only an $8 registration fee.
Their hourly rates are also a bit friendlier at $8 per hour. What really caught our attention with Modo, however, is that they have a much broader selection of vehicles. While Car 2 Go focuses on Smart cars that are good for urban transit, Modo has everything from hybrids to SUVs and cargo vans, giving them a bigger customer base in terms of demographic. If you’re planning on heading up to Mount Seymour or need enough seats for your child’s birthday, Modo definitely seems better equipped.
Additionally, if you’re cemented in Vancouver it’s possible to opt-in as a Member (being a co-op, this means you’d own a stake in the company) for a $500 registration fee.
The registration fee of $35 for this car sharing service and the $0.41 per minute ($14.99 per hour) rates put it almost exactly on par with Car 2 Go. That said, BCAA members can actually waive this fee, so if you have insurance you’re already a step up.
Although Evo only have about 500 cars in their fleet at the moment, they pride themselves on being a ‘four door’ service, and are usually the top pick for groups – especially those planning excursions to Grouse Mountain as every sedan comes with ample room for skis and snowboards as well as bike racks.
The one downside: unlike the previous two we’ve mentioned, you’ll have a hard-time getting around with your furred friends as Evo isn’t pet friendly (as of yet). Leave the dogs at home.
Zipcar has recently made a splash in the car sharing industry as well, and as a subsidiary branch of Avis they also have name recognition.
Nevertheless, they do have one of the smallest fleets in Vancouver, so they’re not the most flexible company, especially when you find yourself scrambling to make an appointment or have an emergency. Their membership starts at $7 per month with a $20 registration fee, and a daily rate of $8, putting them firmly in the middle-ground.
One of the benefits of Zipcar, however, is that they have a specific University Deal for their users, which ensures that their student users will always be able to find a car on campus when they need one. Plus, they have iconic Volkswagen Beetles in their fleet, if that’s what you’re into.
Which car share services have you used and what’s been your experience like? Please share in the comments below…