Why CarShare? It’s like rental, but better!

By Ashley Keenan

I bet you’ve heard of carsharing in some form or another over the past few years. You might have even wondered to yourself quietly, “Well how is that different than renting?” but didn’t want to ask. If you have been wondering “should I use rental or carshare” in the past – it’s time to take a deeper look!

There is no debating it; we are fundamentally different than the traditional car rental system. Carsharing is like renting but with more perks; sure you get access to a vehicle with both, but carsharing has greater ease of access, free gas, comprehensive insurance, and advancements in technology that allow you to book and drive with the touch of a button.

The emerging popularity of the sharing economy has created an opportunity for people to branch out and not use one vehicle for all things. One of the first things I noticed when I decided to give up my vehicle was that in order to get all things done in a timely and economic manner I needed to use multiple types of transportation, including both rental options and carshare. However, as time passed there was so much more than just the base cost that was factoring in to my decision making process.

It’s about more than just money (seriously!)

It is a common experience in renting, especially on a long weekend, where there is no longer the vehicle you requested, a huge line and significant wait time when arriving at the rental agency. Sure this usually means a free upgrade but also extra gas fees and higher deductibles. That old saying that time is money holds true, especially when you are trying to adhere to a schedule. For some people, being able to access a car and return it on your schedule, not based on set business hours, can be indispensable.

We are more comparable than you think

Often members will note that I am always talking about ‘that sweet spot’ in pricing – based on a few factors such as age, time, distance and convenience, carsharing is often in line with rental prices. In fact, we recently lowered our per kilometre rate for longer trips! If you have considered carsharing in the past but price was a barrier, it’s time to give it a second look.

Factors to consider when making your choice

  • Gas – This can affect prices significantly depending on your vehicle size, time of year, and distance traveled
  • Time – Are you around during business hours, how important is ease of access, do you need a vehicle for 24 hours or less?
  • Insurance Requirements – Damage waivers cost $19.99-23.99/day depending on the rental company
  • Age – 18-21 year olds cannot rent at most agencies, those who are 21-25 are subject to a young drive fee of $15/day
  • Distance – Rentals have the perk of included kms for long distance trips, Community CarShare only charges for the kms you actually need
  • Seasonal increases – While our rates are the same year round, rental agencies change prices during peak times
  • Winter tires – 100% of Community CarShare vehicles have Winter tires installed during the Winter months.

At Community CarShare we are all about making sustainable choices based on transparent information; we realize there is no ‘one size fits all’ for everyone but with us you can count on a level of service, consistency, reliability and innovation that will keep you coming back.

Convenience – You want instant access and ability to self-serve pick up and drop off You need a vehicle for exact 24 hour increments.
Larger vehicles at compact prices – You want a bigger vehicles like a SUV, van or pick up truck You are ineligible for insurance or already have your own
Your needs don’t fit into 24 hour divisible time frames (you might just need an hour or two, or one and a half days, etc.) You have CLDI on your credit card and don’t need to purchase a damage waiver
You are under 18-25 You want to be picked up and driven home
 You want to support a local organization with a small staff and strong ties to our community

Helping to ending mental health stigma, one step at a time

By Janet MacLeod, Executive Director

A culture of stigma around mental health issues is not something you will find amongst Community CarShare’s staff team. Instead, we embrace talking about our mental health, and recognize it’s just as important a consideration as physical health to employee wellbeing. This evolution of a supportive mental health culture started out with one small step many years ago (‘sick’ days became ‘wellness’ days), but that was before I was even able to talk openly about my own mental illness.

I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when I was 17, but I’ve had symptoms since I was 11. At the time, I had no idea that the random (and sometimes disturbing) things rolling through my thoughts was actually a mental health issue, however after learning about OCD during a high school class, I put two and two together. It wasn’t until I was in crisis and couldn’t focus on my homework one night that I talked to my parents and went to see the doctor.

The public mental health conversation thankfully has changed significantly over the past fifteen years, and that shift has helped me to no longer feel shame about having a mental illness, and getting to a place where I can now talk about it openly, and use my experiences to help others.

Part of this work is participating in events such as Lutherwood’s Steps for Kids, which my colleague Heather Bigelow and I are walking in on Sunday, May 7. Heather first signed up for the event when she was looking for ways to support local mental health programs, and she immediately got me involved too. Our team is called Sharing is Caring, and coincidentally, another colleague had already been in touch with Lutherwood about having Community CarShare sponsor the event.

For Heather, her journey around mental illness also began as a teenager, when she lost a friend to suicide. As suicide is the second leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of 10 and 24, not to mention all the other ways mental illness impacts the lives of young people, the importance of work that organizations such as Lutherwood do towards ending stigma and providing support for young people has never been more clear.

To support Lutherwood and team Sharing is Caring, please consider making a donation.