Car-sharing has revolutionized our lives. Find out why.

We now have a car-share car parked right outside our home AND another one right down the street! It’s almost like having our own car with none of the upkeep, responsibility or commitment.

Now that we’ve used it a few times (and fallen in love), we’re here to answer your questions.

Q. How does it differ from a traditional car rental?
Car-share apps make renting a car almost as easy as getting into your own car and driving away. Cars are scattered throughout residential neighborhoods, so you may have one a short walk away. You book the rental on your app, and it sends you a code to open the car. That’s it. No need to schlep to a car rental agency, interact with humans, or fill up the gas tank when you’re done (unless the tank is near empty, and then fill-up is easy since the company automatically pays for the gas). Each company has a slightly different arrangement, but generally you pay by the hour and by the kilometer. This makes it easy to rent the car for as little as an hour to quickly run an errand. Some companies like CityCar forbid use of the car on Shabbat (and don’t charge for Shabbat) while others are available all days of the week. Make sure you understand the rules of your particular company before renting.

Q. Does it save us money?
That’s a good question. Like many things, it depends what you’re comparing it to. It is more expensive than public transportation, so now that we’ve been using it about once a month or so, we spend slightly more on transportation than we did before. But as we are busy people and our time is valuable, we find the times we do use it incredibly worthwhile.

Since COVID and the work from home era, many people let their cars sit idle for days at a time since they no longer commute. Depending on your needs and habits, using a car share a few times a month can definitely be cheaper than owning a car.

Q. How do we make it work with little kids and car seats?
We have a COSCO brand car seat and booster seat that have good safety reviews and are recommended for people who don’t have cars since they are lightweight and easy to install. We keep them at home and bring them down to the car when we use it.

Q. Are there any downsides to car-sharing? It sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch?
Unlike owning a car, which you have to pay for whether you use it or not, many (but not all) car-sharing programs have no monthly fee and only charge you for what you use. This means that your car-related expenses can range from zero (if you don’t use it at all in a given month) to thousands (if you use it to drive for many kilometers over several hours several times a week). Having access to a car can be addictive and if you are not careful, costs can easily add up. Additionally, most of the cars in these programs are compact with a small trunk. If you have a large family or want to schlep a lot of stuff, you may not have room.

Have you tried using a car-sharing platform? What was your experience? If not, what other questions do you have?


2 responses to “Car-sharing has revolutionized our lives. Find out why.”

  1. Rachel Avatar

    This sounds like a great idea… I wish it were available in this part of the world!


  2. Molly | Transatlantic Notes Avatar

    This is a fascinating idea and one that seems to tackle a problem and need pretty well. Where I live (Ohio, USA) there is no option but to have a car because of the distances often covered, the really poor public transportation and the lack of public walkways. I would definitely be interested in something like this if our need was for temporary or occasional use. Great post!


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