If you don't need a car on a daily basis and want to reduce your consumption and help the planet, car sharing is a viable option. In fact, researchers predict that 12 million people will belong to car sharing services by 2020. However, there are lots of services out there, and it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. The following five services offer great features and value and have awesome reviews.
Car2Go - Ideal for Hassle-Free Returns
According to the New York Times, Car2Go has positioned itself well in the car sharing market with one-way rentals and free parking that appeal to people who don't want to hassle with returning the vehicle after using it. Using a live map on their phone, users find a nearby car, use it for as long as needed, and leave it anywhere in the operating area when they are done. There's no need to worry about refueling the car, paying for parking, or returning it to a specific spot. Joining the service costs $5, and then you pay per minute for drive time. Car2Go is available in many major cities.
ZipCar - Most Likely to Be Where You Live
Forbes reports ZipCar is the oldest car sharing service on the planet, and according to the Wall Street Journal, it's also the largest. This means it's the most likely to exist where you happen to live. Users apply for membership and receive a "Zipcard" if they are approved. They can use that car to rent and operate a vehicle when they need it, paying by the day or the hour. Cars are located in specific places in most major cities, and users can view them on a live map. They must return the car to a dedicated parking spot when finished. There's a $25 application fee and monthly fees starting at about $7 per month; users also pay by the hour or day for a specific vehicle.
Turo - Great for Peer-to-Peer Rentals
An alternative to the company-owned fleets of large car-sharing clubs, Turo offers rentals from individual car owners. Think Uber but without a driver. The Washington Post calls it "AirBNB for cars" and notes the transaction of renting is especially easy and can be conducted via smartphone. Car owners join Turo and post their vehicles as available for rent, sometimes for as little as $10 per day. They may deliver the vehicle to the person renting it, often at an airport.
Maven - Awesome for High-Tech Features
General Motors' car sharing service, called Maven, is a worthy competitor for ZipCar, according to Business Insider. The service uses a fleet of modern GM vehicles with features designed to appeal to millennial drivers, including WiFi, XM radio, and a streamlined pricing process. The vehicle rental price varies based on the length of time, but everything is included - even gas. You can take the car on a longer road trip and extend your rental if you need to. You then return it to the same place you picked it up. Membership is free, and you can choose to rent by the hour or day from several major cities.
Enterprise Car Share - Great for Universities and Organizations
Called one of the best car sharing services by Clean Fleet Report, Enterprise Car Share has the backing and organization of Enterprise, a major car rental firm. To use it, you apply for membership, select a vehicle to rent for the hour, day, or overnight, and then use your phone to unlock it. The cars are located in various places throughout the participating cities, and you have to return the vehicle there when you're done using it. Many universities and other organizations have an association with Enterprise Car Share. Membership starts at about $40 a year but is less for associated organizations. Rentals start at under $10 an hour.
Share a Car When You Need One
If you live in a major city, a car sharing service is a great way to avoid the expense and hassle of owning your own vehicle. You can share a car when you need one, whether it's for a night on the town or a road trip to the country. The key to finding the right service for you is examining what each company does best.