Frequently Asked Questions

Wow this sounds great! I want easy, affordable and environmentally sustainable access to a variety of vehicles. Sign me up now!

Joining Community CarShare

How do I join?

We make joining easy! For our computer savvy new members simply apply online. For those who would like a little more assistance just give us a call at 1-855-742-7399 and apply over the phone. You will need your driver’s license and a credit card handy. No credit card? No problem! We also accept VISA Debit, and have pre-payment account options for cash/cheque.

How much does it cost?

A full breakdown of costs can be found on our rates page. But the long and short of it is there is a one-time set up fee of $30 and a $10 member loan to get started,  a monthly fee ranging from $8-$40, and cost per booking.

What are the eligibility requirements?

In order to meet our insurance requirements members must:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have a valid G2 or G class Ontario license (or another province’s equivalent)
  • Have a minimum of 2 years of time being a licensed driver
  • Have no ‘at-fault’ accidents in the past 3 years
  • Have no more that 2 ‘minor’ violations such as speeding or talking on a handheld device
  • Have no criminal driving convictions

If you have any questions about your eligibility feel free to reach out prior to applying; our staff is happy to help!

Can out of province or international licenses apply?

Absolutely! We accept out of province and international licenses as long as they meet our eligibility requirements. Just apply as normal and a staff member will reach out personally to share the process of acquiring a driver’s record specific to your area.

Can I open an account with multiple members?

Absolutely; in fact, we recommend it! There is only one monthly fee per membership and only one member loan required. What does that mean? It only costs $30 to sign up another member of your household on your account. You can share the driving, interchange bookings and be more flexible for last minute changes.

How do I select a rate plan?

Selecting a rate plan can sometimes feel like a big commitment, but it’s not! You can change rate plans to suit your driving needs – even if they vary season to season. There is even an option to put your rate plan on hold if you are away for a few months. If you want help picking which rate plan is right for you just give us a call or send us an email. Our general rule of thumb though is if you are driving more than 12 hours a month the Regular rate plan is more cost effective for you.

What’s included in my membership?

There are a lot of perks to being a member of Community CarShare! All bundled in the cost of membership is:

  • Gas
  • Insurance
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Regular Detailing and Maintenance
  • Winter tires installed November-April
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Access to a variety of vehicle types and sizes at no extra cost

Not to mention we are 100% self-serve access so there are no lines, vehicle variability or wait times. Just pick it up and go!

Membership and Billing

What is unique about Community CarShare?

We often are asked how we are different from our competition or a rental company. The answer is simple; we are a community based, non-profit, co-operative which focuses on giving back to our members. As a member of Community CarShare, you are also an owner of the organization. Other operators in Southern Ontario are privately-owned for-profit companies, where you don’t get to participate in the governance of the organization. As a member of Community CarShare, you have the right to participate directly in the democratic control of the organization, through voting at the Annual General Meeting, or by volunteering to sit on the board of directors or any of its committees.

How do I make changes to my membership?

Update your membership within minutes with our handy form. You can request putting your membership on hold, changing your rate plan or ending your membership at anytime. You will receive an email confirmation when your request has been processed.

What are my responsibilities as a member?

As a member you are responsible for adhering to Community CarShare’s rules and by-laws as stated in our member information booklet. CarSharing is just that, sharing! So it’s important that we all work together to keep everything running smoothly.

I am a member who makes a booking. Can anyone drive the vehicle during my trip?

Any approved member of Community CarShare can drive on your booking if you would like. This can be a member of your household account or another member entirely; just be sure to book the trip on the account you wish to be billed on.

However you cannot allow non-members to drive as they are not covered by our insurance. It’s easy to add a member to your account if you need another set of hands on the trip – just be sure to add them before they sit behind the wheel. Allowing a non-member to drive is a violation of our terms of use and will result in the suspension of driving privileges.

What if I lose or damage my smartcard?

Don’t worry we’ve got you covered! If it’s lost or damaged just give us a call or send us an email and we will get you a new one out in the mail. If you have a booking coming up we can share with you how to acquire a new card in a pinch. Either way we will be able to get you driving again in no time.

How am I billed?

There are two components of billing when you are a member; a monthly membership fee and a pay per use rate. Your bookings are billed 1-3 days after completion directly to your method of payment. Your monthly fees are billed via an invoice once the current month has concluded. For example you would receive your December invoice the first week of January. Invoices also itemize all the trips you’ve taken in the previous month.

How do I get reimbursed for gas?

Members have access to gas cards during bookings for Petro-Canada and Esso. If you fill up outside one of these stations all you need to do is snap a photo and send it to info @ communitycarshare.ca and a credit will be placed on your account. Be sure to include your member number and booking ID!

What fees or fines should I be aware of?

We definitely recommend checking out a full list of our fines and credits in Appendix A of our member manual. But let us overview a few common fines that can be easily avoided:

  • Late Fee – unlike a rental people can book the same car back to back so it is important to bring it back on time
  • Low Gas – we ask all members to leave the vehicles with a minimum of 1/4 tank of gas at the end of their booking for the next member
  • Inconvenience – If you keep a member waiting for a car or leave them with low gas you will pass on monetary compensation to the member affected
  • Dead Battery – Remember to turn off all the internal lights and remove the keys from the ignition to avoid draining the battery
  • Replacement SmartCard – if it malfunctions we replace it for free, but if you lost it or damage it the replacement cost is $15
  • 24/7 Booking Service – if you book with a booking agent there is a $3 call charge

Insurance and Roadside Assistance

How does insurance work?

When you are an approved member of Community CarShare you are covered by our insurance while driving our vehicles. Our policy includes collision and comprehensive coverage and $2 million in third party liability. In the event of an accident where a member is  determined at fault there is a $500 deductible for the claim.

You must be insurable to be eligible to drive co-op’s vehicles, as per the Driver Attestation in your Membership Agreement, and the Driver Attestation must be declared annually by each driver. For the full scoop on insurance check out our member information booklet.

Can I purchase extra protection?

We are happy to offer a variety of Damage Pool options that renew annually for a little ‘extra protection’ for our members. You can:

  • Reduce your damage fee to $0 (from $500), or reduce repair costs by up to $1000 – via $60 annual fee.
  • Reduce your damage fee via eligible credit card (CLDI). Another benefit to signing a Collison Damage Waiver, as described above, is a $0 damage fee for claims made through your credit card claims process.
  • Opt in to both options – Sign the credit card waiver for a $0 damage fee in the event of an insurance claim, and pay the $60 annual fee to have non-claimed repair costs up to $1000 covered by the co-op

What exactly is CLDI coverage?

When enrolling in auto payments you are asked if you have CLDI, or collision loss damage insurance. This is when your credit card provider offers collision insurance through your card and can reduce your deductible in the case of an accident. Be sure to check with your credit card company if you are unsure about your coverage and take note that some companies consider rental insurance and carsharing insurance under different categories.

Please note that CLDI coverage does not extend to cargo vans or pickup trucks, so if you are using those vehicle types, you are still covered under the co-op’s collision policy for those trips.

What is the damage fee and when does it apply to me?

The damage fee is a $500 deductible that is applied to members who are in an at-fault accident that results in an insurance claim. If you are not enrolled in the damage pool or do not have CLDI coverage and are deemed at-fault by the insurance company you will be required to pay the $500 damage fee.

Am I covered for roadside assistance?

Absolutely! Whether it’s a flat tire, you run out of gas, or something out of the blue occurs we have roadside assistance available 24/7. Information for roadside can be found in the glove box of each vehicle or call our reservation line for assistance.

What do I do if an accident occurs?

First, take a deep breath and make sure you and the other party are safe. After that give our reservation line a call and let them know there has been an accident. They will connect you with an on-call staff person who will give you all the details on what steps you need to take before leaving the scene, within the next 24 hours, and going forward if arranging a tow is necessary.

Bookings

How do I make bookings on a vehicle?

You can make a booking in a variety of ways:

  • On our website
  • Through our mobile site
  • By calling our 24/7 booking hotline – number located on the back of your Smart Card
  • Calling a staff person during office hours at 1-855-742-7399

How long in advance do I need to book?

We work on a first come, first serve basis so if you need a specific date, time and location it is best to book in advance. However we closely monitor our driver ratio so that there is always something available for our members. Bookings can be made as little as 15 minutes in advance.

You can also make reoccurring bookings, for example if you need to book the car every Wednesday from 7pm-9pm.

Do you have an app?

If you would like to make a booking on your smart phone you can visit reservations.communitycarshare.ca and bookmark it to your home screen. There is a mobile version of the website that will automatically load on a mobile device but also allows you to toggle to the desktop site if needed.

How long am I able to have a car?

You can book a vehicle for as little as 30 minutes to as long as 4 consecutive days through our booking system. Trips longer than 4 days require calling the office in order to set up; please note that bookings longer than 4 days are subject to a deposit.

Can I use CarShare for one-way trips?

Carsharing is designed for round-trip use, where you start and end at the same point. That means you need to return the car to the location where you pick it up, and pay for all the time you have the car, even if you’re not driving during several hours of your reservation. For this reason, carsharing is not an ideal solution for people who need to make a daily commute more than twice a week.

What do I do if I let something behind in the car?

We have found that the best way to retrieve lost items is to simply go back to the car and grab them. Make yourself a 30-minute booking when its convenient for you, as our system will recognize this as a lost and found booking, and it will automatically be voided. This way you can retrieve your item at a convenient time and location for you at no cost!

If you are left something valuable in the car and cannot make it back to vehicle in a timely manner please call the office and make other arrangements.

How do I extend my booking?

You can extend your booking in a variety of ways:

  • Online
  • Our booking hotline
  • On the unit in the vehicle by the review mirror

This way no matter where you are you can update your booking if you are running late or would just like it a little longer.

What if I get a ticket during a booking?

All members are responsible for paying their own tickets for parking or moving violations. If the tickets are unpaid and Community CarShare must resolve them members are subject to a $40 administrative fee in addition to the cost of the ticket.

What do I do if someone is parked in the reserved spot?

While we have signs indicating that our parking spots are reserved for Community CarShare vehicles occasionally they do still get taken. If this happens at the end of your booking please find the closest, legal, not metered parking spot to park in. Once parked be sure to let us know where the car is so we can pass on its location to the next member.

How do I book a Quantum vehicle?

For this premium service, reservations made for Quantum vehicles cost an extra $7.50 per trip on all rate plans.

You are able to request any of our vehicle types (Matrix, Corolla, Prius C, Caravan, RAV4, Tacoma pickup truck, or Transit Connect cargo van) at any of our Quantum Stations in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Elmira.

Select your date and time like usual. To allow for staff to relocate vehicles, reservations must be made with 24 hours advance notice. With less than 24 hours’ notice, you may still extend the time of an existing reservation if the vehicle is available.

To search for availability of a Quantum vehicle on our website, choose the Quantum list from the drop-down menu on the New Booking page.  You will see a list of all vehicle types you can reserve as vehicle numbers 002 through 008. Click “Book It” next to the vehicle type you want.new-booking

After you click “Book it”, you’ll see a confirmation screen like the one below. On this page, choose your Quantum Station from the drop down list. This ensures that the car will be waiting for you at the correct station. Please see the map for station details.

For Quantum bookings, this is considered the request confirmation screen. It is important to note that you are making a reservation request, but do not have an actual reservation until staff review your request and see if we have that vehicle type available. We will grant your request if possible, at which point you’ll receive a “Change Confirmation” email with the information for the specific vehicle that will be delivered to you. We will contact you if your requested vehicle type is unavailable, and work to find an alternate solution.

You may also input special requests for the vehicle type you would like, such as pet-friendly or a car with a 407 transponder. Please write these requests in the “Your notes” section on the confirmation screen. We will accommodate them whenever possible.

request-confirmation

When you make a reservation request, you will receive a “Booking Confirmation” email. Consider this a confirmation of your request. When your request is processed, you will receive a “Change Confirmation” email with the specific information regarding the vehicle that will be delivered to your Quantum Station, such as the colour and license plate. This is when you know your reservation has been confirmed.

Our Fleet

Do the types of vehicles vary in price?

Absolutely not! One of the perks of being a member is access to a variety of vehicles in all different sizes at the same price. This allows flexibility in your bookings – you can take a Prius C for groceries and the next week take a Tacoma pick-up truck to haul furniture all for the same hourly rate. It’s like having nine different vehicles for the price of one!

Do your vehicles have winter tires?

Yes they do! Safety is important to us so all the vehicles in our fleet get their all-seasons changed to winter tires in the Fall, generally in November.

Are your vehicles pet friendly?

Our fleet is a combination of pet friendly and pet-free vehicles. It is important that in the pet friendly vehicles our members clean up after their animals. It is also important that we respect our pet-free vehicles for members with allergies. To check which vehicles work best for your needs simply select ‘pet free’ or ‘pet friendly’ in your ‘required features’ when making a booking.

Can you smoke in Community CarShare vehicles?

Smoking is prohibited in all Community CarShare vehicles; it’s not just courteous – it is the law in Ontario. If you smell smoke contact staff immediately so we can have a discussion with the responsible party. Smoking in vehicles comes with a hefty $100 fine – just don’t do it!

Can I take your vehicles on toll routes and over the border?

Of course! Toll routes are billed to Community CarShare and applied to your account. You can find cars with 407 transponders in them to lower the toll fees under ‘required features’ when making a booking.

You are also free to take our vehicles across the border; you are insured in both Canada and the US. Be mindful of border crossing rules and do a sweep of the vehicle just to make sure there are no items you are unaware of left behind by another member.

What do I do if I see damage on a vehicle?

We always recommend doing a circle check at the beginning of a booking to see if there are any scrapes, scratches or dents that we should be aware of. If there is something you would like to report, snap us a picture and send it to info @ communitycarshare.ca 

What do I do if my vehicle is dirty or without gas?

Always let us know! You can add feedback about cleanliness, damage, or gas issues directly to your booking under ‘vehicle notes’ or give us a call at 1-855-742-7399 to tell a staff member directly.