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Car sharing - an alternative to owning or renting

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Car sharing - an alternative to owning or renting

A great way to reducing parking spaces in the city

================================

 

"You don't drive 24/7 - So why should you pay for it?"

This system is catching on in the US and elsewhere.

 

Zipcar Advert - with a Geeky guy to show how easy it is

From:

 

Robin Chase - on starting Zipcar

From:

 

Car sharing or Carsharing (in the UK known as car clubs) is a model of car rental where people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour. They are attractive to customers who make only occasional use of a vehicle, as well as others who would like occasional access to a vehicle of a different type than they use day-to-day. The organization renting the cars may be a commercial business or the users may be organized as a democratically controlled company, public agency, cooperative, ad hoc grouping. Today there are more than one thousand cities in the world where people can carshare.

 

The term "carsharing" is also used for carpooling or ride sharing in some places.

 

/more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_sharing

 

Zipcar is the world's largest car sharing and car club service. It is an alternative to traditional car rental and car ownership

 

= = = = =

LINKS:

Zipcar website ------ :: http://www.zipcar.com

Car sharing network :: http://www.carsharing.net

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Great for the city !

Maybe some of those extensive parking garages can be shrunk, if this system were introduced more widely,

and combined with things like bicycle rentals.

 

Car sharing or Carsharing (in the UK known as car clubs) is a model of car rental where people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour. ...

/more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_sharing

Carsharing differs from traditional car rentals in the following ways:

 

+ Carsharing is not limited by office hours

+ Reservation, pickup, and return is all self-service

+ Vehicles can be rented by the minute, by the hour, as well as by the day

+ Users are members and have been pre-approved to drive (background driving checks have been performed and a payment mechanism has been established)

+ Vehicle locations are distributed throughout the service area, and often located for access by public transport.

+ Insurance and fuel costs are included in the rates.

 

Vehicles are not serviced (cleaning fueling) after each use, although certain programs such as Car2Go continuously clean and fuel their fleet

Some carshare operations (CSOs) cooperate with local car rental firms to offer best value to their customers (in particular in situations where classic rental may be the cheaper option.)

 

Urban car sharing is often promoted as an alternative to owning a car where public transit, walking, and cycling can be used most of the time and a car is only necessary for out-of-town trips, moving large items, or special occasions. It can also be an alternative to owning multiple cars for households with more than one driver. A long-term study of City CarShare members by Robert Cervero, Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, found that 30 percent of households that joined sold a car; others delayed purchasing one. Transit use, bicycling, and walking also increased among members

. . .

Car sharing can also help reduce congestion and pollution. Replacing private automobiles with shared ones directly reduces demand for parking spaces. The fact that only a certain number of cars can be in use at any one time may reduce traffic congestion at peak times. Even more important for congestion, the strong metering of costs provides a cost incentive to drive less. With owned automobiles many expenses are sunk costs and thus independent of how much the car is driven (such as original purchase, insurance, registration and some maintenance).

 

/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_sharing

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Who is doing it ... near you :

 

The 1980s and first half of the 1990s was a "coming of age" period for carsharing, with continued slow growth, mainly of smaller non-profit systems, many in Switzerland and Germany, but also on a smaller scale in Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States. The real watershed in the development of the sector came in the 1990s with such larger and more structured projects as:

 

+ StattAuto in Germany

+ the two precursors of Mobility CarSharing in Switzerland

+ Bilkollektivet in Norway[10]

+ Greenwheels in the Netherlands.

 

Follow up developments include:

 

+ CommunAuto,[11] then Co-operative Auto Network[12] and later AutoShare in Canada

+ Flexcar (now merged with Zipcar) in Portland, Oregon

+ Zipcar in Boston

+ WhizzGo in England

+ CityCarClub in England and Scotland

+ GoGet in Australia[13] followed by Smartdrivers in mid 2007[14]

+ Car2Go, first in Ulm, Germany in October 2008[15] then Austin, Texas in May 2010[16]

+ GoCar in Ireland

+ CarShareHFX in Halifax, Nova Scotia in late 2008

 

By mid 2010 the largest service in the world was Zipcar with 400,000 members, 4,400 locations and 9,000 vehicles, representing 80% of the U.S market share[17][18] and half of all car-sharers worldwide

 

/more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_sharing

== ==

 

More locations ::

Car sharing network :: http://www.carsharing.net

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I first saw this awhile ago when it was being trialed. Cool stuff! Personally I don't have a car mainly because we can get by without one most of the time. When you do need one (eg sick kid needs to go to a doctor and can't walk, torrential rain and wind) you REALLY need one. The other thing I have noticed is that if we can't walk to an activity within 40 mins, we avoid it altogether which is quite restrictive unless you live right in the middle of things.

 

For awhile I shared a car which wasn't bad as we were both fair in what we estimated our costs to be. Zipcar would be ideal for us but they aren't here yet.

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We have no car. Everything is nearby and well-connected. If we really need one (usually for big shopping), we rent one for 3 days, or more, usually at a cost around EUR 90-100/3 days. The cars are usually brand new, fully insured, and I get to determine what size I want. If a car is needed really quickly, it is one with a driver (= Taxi). I look out of the window and see thousands of cars sitting around all day long. Tell me what you want, but this is NOT efficient. Last time I needed a car (and rented one) was possibly end of November. The other day, my wife was running late for an appointment, so she took a taxi. I don't have to deal with inspections, winter tires, chavs scratching it, or it just losing value.

 

I'll possibly buy a cheap Hummer once Peak Oil hits for good. :P Just for the fun of driving it through town when no one else does anymore. :lol:

 

EDIT: I should look into car sharing, wanted to sign up for a scheme already. But our renting or taxi scheme works so well, there was no need so far.

 

EDIT2: Every morning when I walk to my office, and walk past all the cars sitting on the side walk, I think to myself how happy I am that I don't have to own one of these inefficient money pits! :lol: I makes me feel really free. And the good thing is, if I want one for a weekend, I can rent a Smart, a Jag/Merc, or a van -- whatever I want, and it will be the newest model!

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"You don't drive 24/7 - So why should you pay for it?"

I would say: "You don't drive 24/7 - so why pay for it 24/7?"

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We have no car. Everything is nearby and well-connected. ...

I'll possibly buy a cheap Hummer once Peak Oil hits for good. :P Just for the fun of driving it through town when no one else does anymore. :lol:

 

EDIT2: Every morning when I walk to my office, and walk past all the cars sitting on the side walk, I think to myself how happy I am that I don't have to own one of these inefficient money pits! :lol: I makes me feel really free.

Spoken like a true contrarian, GF.

 

So here we have a nice part of the "Future Global Dream" : Car Sharing, rather than Car Owning.

 

Bit by bit, we will get to a nice "balanced Dream"

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I was a member of Zipcar when I lived in Manhattan a couple of years ago. Contrasting the experience with ownership proves what benefit it provides. I used to have to trawl round in my old Jeep Cherokee for a 'free' space on public roads - what a waste of quality time. Not to mention the beating the poor old Jeep used to take at the hands of fellow parkers and garbage trucks. Coming back to a new dent or scratch was frustrating. Zipcars were located in a number of local parking garages - never to far away - depending on what model/use car or pickup you required. Without insurance or 'gas' costs to consider - your biggest worry was the city traffic and how long you exactly needed to rent the vehicle. Obviously getting stuck in a jam going through one of the city tunnels, for example, was something that even Elliot wave would struggle to predict. The cars even had the automated toll readers for greater ease of passage through the numerous tolls, which saves a lot of time queuing and even gave a small discount on the charge. The anxious part of the rental is that they do fine you if you are even a little late returning - just to make sure you avoid that possibility - and delay the next rentor. So I guess you err on the extra 1/2 hour rental to be safe - just a small cost concern.

Now I am back in the leafy environs of the UK I recently imported a first generation Honda Insight from Japan. Such an interesting car developed by Honda at least 12 years ago but gives me 65 MPG in real world driving. Not some lab stat but just driving conservatively. My cost of motoring will be very low as I believe it should be fairly depreciation proof, costing a fraction of what it did to purchase new.

 

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...The other thing I have noticed is that if we can't walk to an activity within 40 mins, we avoid it altogether which is quite restrictive unless you live right in the middle of things. ...

That's a good point.

I can see people either:

+ Living in rural environments, and traveling long distances less, as they did in the past, or

+ Living in cities, and using Car sharing schemes.

 

The advantage of this development would be : Less Space wasted on redundant parking facilities

 

This post from TT above makes the point clearly:

I was a member of Zipcar when I lived in Manhattan a couple of years ago. Contrasting the experience with ownership proves what benefit it provides. I used to have to trawl round in my old Jeep Cherokee for a 'free' space on public roads - what a waste of quality time. Not to mention the beating the poor old Jeep used to take at the hands of fellow parkers and garbage trucks. Coming back to a new dent or scratch was frustrating. Zipcars were located in a number of local parking garages - never too far away

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do you use anything 24/7?

do you actually have any belongings at all or do you just rent everything from an ownership class?

TRUE.

If we live in smaller spaces, say in Urban flats (like those in HK), we may be happy to rent more things,

since we may not be able to afford the space to store everything we may need "someday"

 

In HK, I spend much of my day using a computer terminal in the Clubhouse.

As an owner-or-tenant here, it is free for me to use, and it gets me out of my small and crowded flat

for a few hours into a different environment.

 

We can also rent facilities like a music room, a Karioke room, a "mansion" for entertaining, a ballroom,

a wine cellar, and a cigar room.

 

The facilities here were quite exceptional when we moved in about two years ago. I think the clubhouse

was voted in the top 5 for all of Hong Kong then. But they are becoming much more common. The

sharing of these types of spaces is economically sensible, when land is expensive as in HK.

 

In this case, we "rent from ourselves" (all the owners of the development) at a reasonable price, so I

do not feel like I am disadvantaged in any way.

= = =

 

Concierge Service - per Community Website

======

Our Concierge Team is ready to deliver professional service to satisfy your needs. The Concierge service includes the followings:

(Please note that service charges apply to certain items.)

 

– House Keeping Service

– Laundry Service

– Relocation Service

– Home Insurance Information

– Transportation and Weather Enquiry

– Mailing Service

– Sale of Stamps and Envelop

– Trolley Lending

– Mobile Phone Battery Charging Service

– Handy equipment lending

– Octopus add value service

– Storage Service

– Free Notepaper & Memo Pad

– Photocopying & Printing Service

– Local Facsimile & E-mail Service

– Flower Ordering Service

– Hotel Reservation/ Theme Park Ticket Ordering Services

– Limousine Transfer Service

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do you use anything 24/7?

 

do you actually have any belongings at all or do you just rent everything from an ownership class?

Bubb's comments on this are very interesting. I know people who literally minimize their physical belongings, also to stay as mobile as possible. Sharing function rooms indeed makes a lot of sense.

 

I do own "stuff", but I feel somewhat ambivalent about it. On the one hand, sometimes, I'd like to get rid of almost all of it. On the other hand, I am having a hard time exactly doing that - I guess there is kind of a hoarder mentality hidden somewhere. Maybe you coulkd use it somewhen for something ... :)

 

Anyway, a car simply makes no sense for us at the moment. Neither does a house. But all of this might change in the future for various reasons, although, I would prefer to keep car ownership out of my life permanently.

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Bubb's comments on this are very interesting. I know people who literally minimize their physical belongings, also to stay as mobile as possible. Sharing function rooms indeed makes a lot of sense.

 

I do own "stuff", but I feel somewhat ambivalent about it. On the one hand, sometimes, I'd like to get rid of almost all of it. On the other hand, I am having a hard time exactly doing that - I guess there is kind of a hoarder mentality hidden somewhere. Maybe you coulkd use it somewhen for something ... :)

 

Anyway, a car simply makes no sense for us at the moment. Neither does a house. But all of this might change in the future for various reasons, although, I would prefer to keep car ownership out of my life permanently.

When I moved from London to HK, I decided to get rid of maybe 80-90% of what I owned.

I became accustomed to living with less possessions, and it was liberating.

 

At the same time, much of my efforts over the past through years (at least in terms of typing) are buried

and connected within this website. In some ways, GEI satisfies whatever "hoarder mentality" I may have.

 

The good thing is, I can go online anywhere, and this "collection" can be there with me.

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Re: car clubs.

 

My brother uses a UK car club and rates it highly. Not so much for the financial aspect (he ain't skint) but more for the convenience of not having to own a car. Which in the UK is a significant paperwork and organisational hassle. I suspect that the usefulness of the concept varies hugely with the efficiency of each local car club provider.

 

Re: non-ownership of stuff (point 1).

 

In some ways, big chunks of the population are already non-owners of stuff - they just don't realise it. Interest only mortgages became very popular recently as did buying big items such as cars on lease agreements. All of the disadvantages of ownership in each case and none of the advantages of hiring!

 

Re: non-ownership of stuff (point 2).

 

I think there's a gender divide at play here. Men are far less likely to feel the need to own and hoard things. But, women seem to find security in the permanence of ownership - particularly of a house they can live in for ever. But also cars; despite being relatively rural, I went for many years meeting my transport needs with just a bicycle and the phone number of a reliable taxi company. My wife, OTOH, is hugely attached to having a car with her at all times - despite recognising that it is not even the most reliable means of getting from A to B within a known timeframe.

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I have just returned a car that I had rented over the weekend, Friday 11:00 to Monday 11:00. I paid less than EUR 100 for this, the rental place is a fairly short bus ride from where I live and also from my work place. The car I got (a Merc, C 220 TDI autom. estate) was brand new, with all extras, kind of a sporty version (you know, shiny alloy wheels yaddyadda), I can't imagine this car goes for less than EUR 45,000 retail (even more in the UK, of course). I am not sure how much horse power I had there, but all I know is that all the fancy BMWs at the traffic lights were still standing when I was already 50 meters ahead in my, admittedly, fancy Merc. Owning this car, I can't imagine you'd on average pay less than EUR 1,500 on insurance, tax and service a year (and that may be a gross underestimation).

 

Let's say you own the car for 15 years with close to zero replacement value at the end. That makes 45,000 + 10x1,500 = 60,000 Euros.

 

Now, with the EUR 100 I paid for the weekend I got lucky, the normal rate would have been around EUR 150. Meaning I can rent this car for 400 weekends to get to EUR 60,000. Say, I do this every 2nd weekend, because I don't need it during the week and also not every weekend, makes 400/26=15.4 years of using this car every second weekend.

 

BUT when I rent it, I get a brand new car every time, even in year 15, while the bought car will be a clunker by then, AND I don't have to tie up EUR 45,000 in a depreciating "asset" (time value of money).

 

EDIT: With these kind of car rentals around, I haven't even started looking into car sharing yet, despite us having lived here for a year now.

 

EDIT2: Oh, and we took it to a park too (for a walk), and got it muddy. But who's gonna clean it? Exactly!

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Spoken like a true contrarian, GF.

 

So here we have a nice part of the "Future Global Dream" : Car Sharing, rather than Car Owning.

 

Bit by bit, we will get to a nice "balanced Dream"

 

That's right, car ownership is truly a burden.

 

It's time to get all of this right and squared away. I hate cars and I loathe driving, but even more I detest owning any vehicle other than a small scooter. Here in Thailand the choices are stark. Diesel pick-ups and not that fuel efficient yet brutally overpriced petrol cars, these people are stuck in the 20th century. They effectively ban imports with their pathetic, immature, ridiculous protectionist tariffs, thus we can't get the small diesel vans and cars like the Corsavan 1.3 CDTi or the Citroen Nemo 1.3 TDi which do around 80mpg. Yet they subsidize diesel again! (they are thick here though, anyone who thinks this country is going anywhere are just plain wrong, includes you Marc Faber).

 

I like this site . . .

 

Green Cars

 

It's all that's needed in most cases, for most people. No need for gas guzzling 'look at me' pigs. Aim for small, light, 80mpg, car or van.

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... Here in Thailand the choices are stark. ... (they are thick here though, anyone who thinks this country is going anywhere are just plain wrong, includes you Marc Faber).

Interesting comment, thanks.

 

... No need for gas guzzling 'look at me' pigs. Aim for small, light, 80mpg, car or van.

Generally, I agree. But when I rent a luxury rocket, I don't feel bad about it, in fact, I quite enjoy it. Because I don't let the car sit most of the time*, but rent it when I need it.

 

*In fact, this is a lie! Even on a weekend where I rent a car since I want to use one (and, for instance, this last weekend I used it on all days, for large shopping, pleasure trips etc.), the rented car still sits around for most of the time. We possibly drove a total of 200 miles. I mean, think about it!

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Interesting comment, thanks.

 

 

Generally, I agree. But when I rent a luxury rocket, I don't feel bad about it, in fact, I quite enjoy it. Because I don't let the car sit most of the time*, but rent it when I need it.

 

*In fact, this is a lie! Even on a weekend where I rent a car since I want to use one (and for instance this last weekend I used it on all days, for large shopping, pleasure trips etc.), the car sits around for most of the time!! I mean, think about it!

 

Same principle as the gas guzzling superbikes, it's not as though they're used much. Not that much impact.

 

Those Corsa 1.3 diesels and the Ford Fiesta Econetic will pull up to 88mpg! I mean why accept anything less? If, back in Blighty, I'd either have a Corsavan or a Citroen Nemo.

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My diesel corsa averages 60 mpg, in about 10 years when I replace it I hope my newer vehicle will average 100 mpg. If I didn;t go fishing so often (and enjoy it so much) I wouldn't mind getting rid of the car for good and use my 400cc motorbike thataverages about 46 mpg. I suspect strapping my fishing gear to the motorbike would probably fall foul of some UK traffic laws. <_<

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