/// Baby, You Can Drive (Or Ride in) My Car

November 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital


If you’re still driving your own car, you might need to get up to speed. Car sharing and ride sharing have cruised into many cities around the world, especially as more people are going car-free to save money or live more environmentally friendly lifestyles. And smartphone apps are making it even easier to find available rental cars and rides. But before you can join in a chorus of car-sharing Kumbaya, you might want some basic information. In this week’s column, I’ll explain how car sharing and ride sharing work, how to find and access cars and how to address safety concerns. This could be helpful if you need wheels for just an hour or the day, want a ride from someone or want to offer a ride to someone. Just be prepared to pay for the convenience of quickly picking up a car and be aware of the possible awkwardness of riding with a stranger. Wheeling in Convenience A spin with some zip: Zipcar lets you pick from a variety of vehicles and choose a membership plan that fits your driving frequency. Renting a car no longer means going to an airport or rental office to get one. You might be able to find a car a few steps from your front door. This is especially common in cities where services like Zipcar, Car2Go and Enterprise (with its Enterprise CarShare program) let users pick up or drop off cars on streets or in parking garages. To start, you’ll need a membership with the company, which usually requires a fee, as well as some information like your driver’s license, age, moving violation history (if any) and payment information. The company will send you a membership card, which you wave over a small panel on the windshield to unlock the car and start tracking the time you began using it. Keys are inside and you’ll leave them there when you’re done. To lock the car, just swipe your card on the windshield reader again. In the case of Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare, cars must be picked up and returned to the same spot and reservations must be made via phone, website or mobile app. Car2Go uses a looser approach: It lets members pick up cars without a reservation (though you can make one) and it’s designed for one-way rides to anywhere within a designated Home Area

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Baby, You Can Drive (Or Ride in) My Car



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