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