What is car-sharing and how does it work?

Car-sharing gives you the opportunity to choose the right vehicle for every type of journey.

An average private car is used about an hour daily for driving and stays parked for 23 hours. Many private cars are used even less, but people like to own a car, because it could come handy. This approach doesn’t represent an effective utilization of cars or public space.

Car-sharing offers to users a whole range of vehicles, which can be used at any time without the necessity to own one. The cars are parked in designated parking spaces in car-sharing stations, located throughout the city. Customers of car-sharing can book a car at any time (day or night), in advance or for that very moment, by telephone or over the Internet. The customer then picks the booked vehicle up at the set time and assigned location. After finishing his/her business, they return the car back to the same place where they picked it up. Invoices for car-sharing utilization are issued monthly and are based on the number of hours of use and number of driven kilometers.

Car-sharing step by step

  • become a customer of the car-sharing system (associated with payment of a moderate monthly registration fee)
  • get a personal customer card and PIN
  • book your car either on-line or by telephone
  • pick your booked car up at a car-sharing station at the set time. Use your smart card and enter your PIN (similar to getting cash from an ATM machine)
  • unlock the car … and leave!
  • after the booked time has passed, return the car to the same space on the car-sharing station
  • return the keys to the “key manager” (cabinet for storing of the keys)
  • receive and pay an invoice for car-sharing services once a month

How much does it all cost?

If we take as an example the cambio service in Bremen, where the customers of this service pay a basic monthly fee between 3-30 EUR. The amount of the basic fee depends on how often you use the car-sharing vehicles. Frequent users pay a higher monthly fee, but a lower kilometer rate. Occasional users pay a lower monthly fee, but a higher kilometer rate. Fees associated with direct car utilization range from 1.70 EUR/hour to 20 EUR/day, plus a fee for driven kilometers from 0.20 EUR/km (depends on the size of vehicle). Fuel costs and vehicle insurance are already included in rates, thus the total cost for each journey is totally transparent. (see example cambio in Bremen: http://www.cambio/eu/)

Who is car-sharing scheme for?

Every vehicle from car-sharing scheme removes 4 to 10 vehicles from the road traffic – freeing space for other uses.

Car-sharing scheme – car-sharing is most suitable for people who in their daily activities travel by public transport, ride a bicycle or walk, but from-time-to-time need a car to transport larger purchases or need to go somewhere, where the utilization of public transport or riding a bicycle is not a suitable solution. This means that car-sharing customers can for each of their journey choose the most appropriate means of transport. This may be either a bus, train, taxi or a bicycle, or a minivan for nine people, a truck or a limousine from the car-sharing vehicle fleet.

What is the best about car-sharing?

Car-sharing brings benefits for the city and its residents.

  • It is a modern service that helps reducing the number of cars in the city. Thus it contributes to solving problems associated with parking, allows easier access to cars in case of need and improves the environment in the city.

Car-sharing brings benefits to its users

  • Maintenance and cleaning of vehicles is done by the operator. The customers don’t need to worry about them.
  • Car ownership is becoming more expensive. For those who don’t need a car for daily commuting to work, car-sharing can be a much better – and cheaper – alternative.
  • Except for a small monthly fee, the customer pays only for the time the car is actually used.
  • Different types of vehicles are available – small and large – that means exactly the type of vehicle you currently need.
  • Maintenance of vehicles is done by the car-sharing operator.
  • Refueling is done via a fuel card (costs associated with refueling are already included in the rates for the use of the car-sharing vehicles).

Car-sharing complements the public transport

  • Many European cities offer combined season tickets for public transport and car-sharing. Such combination offers independence – not a car owner … but in case of need a car is always available.

Car-sharing even promotes the utilization of taxi services

  • People who don’t own a car will much more likely occasionally use a taxi service.

Click here to watch a short video about how car-sharing works (in Czech language):http://www.momo-cs.eu/index.php?obj=page&id=145&unid=96769842cbb0de06bceb195c3962312b. .