What Is Car Sharing? What You Need to Know

The average new car in the United States sold for a whopping $46,404 in January 2022. While that’s $839 less than the previous month’s average, 46 grand is still hefty.

So if you’ve been thinking of buying a new ride, you might want to re-think your plans. Instead, consider going with car sharing.

What is car sharing, exactly, though? How does it even work, and why should you opt for it?

This guide answers all those questions, so be sure to keep reading.

What Is Car Sharing?

Car sharing is a rental service allowing you to drive a specific vehicle whenever. However, it differs from traditional car rental in that it’s often by mileage and time usage. By contrast, standard car rental services usually bill by the day.

Car sharing, although designed for short travels, also differs from ride-sharing. With the former, you drive the vehicle yourself. With the latter, someone else chauffeurs you and takes you from point A to point B.

How Does It Work?

Car sharing platforms often have vehicles parked in airports, campuses, and designated spots. Members can then pick up their rental units from those locations.

Renters then return the cars, usually at the pick-up location. However, some companies also designate other return spots.

Car share platforms require membership, so it’s a must to sign up with them first. You have to be a licensed driver, too, as you’re going to drive, after all.

Once you’re a member, you can reserve a car online or by phone. Depending on the company, you may have access to various vehicle types, makes, and models. Choose the one you prefer, and select your pricing plan; it may be per mile plus by the minute, hour, or day.

What Factors Should You Consider?

Car sharing is location-specific, so look for platforms servicing your area. For example, if you live in Los Angeles, your options include carSHAiR, Transfr, and Getaround, to name a few.

Next, consider the shared vehicles’ exact pick-up and parking locations. You want to go with the closest one, as you don’t want to walk hundreds of meters, especially not if you’re running late.

Why Use Car Sharing Services?

Car sharing is more practical than owning a vehicle if you don’t need a full-time ride. It also helps you save on vehicle registration, taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs.

Moreover, plans include parking fees and gas. The latter is especially noteworthy, as gas prices are surging and averaging $4 a gallon.

You can also choose a different rental car depending on what you need to accomplish. For example, you can reserve a sedan if you only need to make a quick trip to the grocery. If you’re going on a road trip with family or friends, though, then you can rent an SUV or a pick-up truck.

Start Saving With Car Sharing

There you have it, the guide answering your question, “what is car sharing?” Now you know that it’s like traditional car rental, but a more flexible one at that. You’ve also learned that it can save you from the financial burden of car ownership, which is now almost $10,000 a year.

So, do yourself a favor and consider switching to car sharing.

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