Car sharing is an interesting concept that is catching on in many areas of the world today, but mostly in major cities. Essentially, car sharing relies on modern technologies to allow multiple people to use the same vehicles. The theory behind car sharing is that you only need to use a car for a small amount of time each day, or maybe not even on a daily basis. That means you don't need to own your own vehicle. Instead, you could use a shared vehicle that other people need at a different time of the day from you. Car sharing enables many people to all benefit from the transportation offered by one vehicle, which is good for the environment and often better for your wallet, too.
Getting Started with Car Sharing
If you live in a location that supports car sharing, you can quickly start using a local service offered to share a car for the trips when you really need one. Usually, if you want to share cars, you will have to sign up for a membership with a service such as Zip Cars. Once you do that, you'll get a special card and a tool that lets you see where all the different vehicles are parked in your area.
There are many share cars in your area, and you can choose any available to drive around. Simply use the app to reserve a car, then walk or take public transit over to it and use your card to unlock it. You can drive the car wherever you need it and then just return it to its original location to stop using it. The car-sharing service covers things like gas for you, so you don't have to worry about it, and you pay for the total distance you traveled and how long you had the car. The car comes covered by insurance already, and as long as you meet the requirements demanded by the company, such as having a valid driver's license and being old enough, you can borrow any of the vehicles available whenever you need them.
Car sharing is very similar to renting a car; only you don't have to talk with a rental agent when making the transaction. This means you can borrow a vehicle in the middle of the night if you need one, and you can borrow a car for just 10 minutes if that's all the time you need. You'll spend less money using the car, which can make it more affordable than getting a rental for a full day just to complete a quick errand.
What To Do If Car Sharing Isn't Available
If you live in a more rural location, chances are good that carsharing isn't available in your area. You may be one of the people asking, "What is carsharing?" because it isn't common or offered at all in your area. If that's the case, you'll have to rely on public transportation, Uber, Lyft or Taxi services, or you will have to own a vehicle of your own to get around. Sharing a car is optimal if you only drive occasionally, but if the option isn't available in your area, you could still get by using something like an Uber when you need one. Just be sure you compare the costs of using an Uber throughout the month to actually owning a vehicle so you know which option is right for you.
How Car Sharing is Better for the Planet
Car sharing is a good thing for the planet for a few different reasons. The most obvious is that it allows many people to use fewer vehicles to get around. A typical car sharing service enables as few as six people and as many as 20 people to use a single vehicle to go where they need to go regularly. This is vastly different from owning a vehicle where only a few people, or maybe a single person, uses the vehicle all the time.
Another benefit of car sharing is that the services typically choose cars like Priuses and other new vehicles that use less fuel, benefit from fewer emissions, and are less harmful to the planet overall. It's highly unlikely that users will be driving around trucks or SUVs using these services unless they absolutely need them.
Finally, these services encourage people to drive less than owning vehicles does. If you use a service such as Zip Car, you pay less money if you use the service less. If you own a vehicle, you have the same fixed costs each month whether you drive or not. The costs associated with actually driving aren't that great, so deciding to take an extra trip or two isn't a big deal. People that own a vehicle drive far more frequently than those that use a car sharing service, which is bad for the environment overall.
How to Start a Car Company
Now that you understand car sharing, you might be thinking about starting your own car company. To make that happen, you will need advanced tracking technology, excellent insurance, several vehicles, an app, and quite a bit more. If you are not sure you have the items you need to start, you can team up with a service such as Getaround. This company enables you to start offering car sharing services in one of 800 different cities with your own vehicles. When you work with this company, you'll get excellent insurance and access to a network of interested customers that want to borrow vehicles. It's a service that makes starting offering car sharing simple and easy.
As someone that's using car sharing, you don't have to think about what sort of vehicle you're purchasing or whether you are getting a good long-term value for your money any longer. When making a purchase, you would have to look at things like the condition of the vehicle and a vehicle history report. When sharing a vehicle, you only have to think about where it's located, how much space it offers, and how long you need it for. You will consider the short-term costs of using a vehicle rather than the long-term costs of owning one.
Car sharing is the way of the future in many parts of the world, and it should help reduce the number of vehicles in cities substantially. It's a nice improvement for the environment, and the service can help you save money too, if you only need a car occasionally.