Car Sharing is Caring, Part IV – to be treated with caution…

This morning I got up too late, as it happens from time to time, especially in winter. My Tram was gone and I already felt bad being late for uni-lecture. I quickly looked up the next best public transportation to get as fast as possible to university. 49min. So I would be late almost half an hour. Not acceptable. I looked for alternatives. Suddenly, an idea came to mind: If I could make it to the S-Bahn somehow, I would save 11 minutes. Car2Go was my solution. Luckily there was a Car2Go car parked close to my place.

Get in and drive off anywhere, anytime. – Car2Go slogan

This catchy slogan is only one out of many reasons why Daimler’s Car2Go is expected to have around 0,5 million members with then over 10 000 vehicles by the end of 2013. Daimler Financial Services’ CEO declares that he is expecting approximately 15 million members in europe alone, by 2020. By looking at the slogan – the value proposition to their customers are undeniably clear, are they not?

Spontaneity

Participants of Car2Go easily can pick up a car and drop it off throughout many parts of a growing numbers of cities worldwide. Speaking from personal experience I totally support the convenient feeling of being a Car2Go member. Look up in your app where the next car is located, reserve it for free (15min), get your card ready and start to drive. Quick and easy. Often enough you end up in bad weather conditions or with problems with public transportation – oftentimes Car sharing is the easiest solution. Car2Go utilizes Smarts, having space for the driver and one other person on the vehicle. Because of their small size, Smarts are really practial to drive and park. To crown it all, after you are done with driving, you can leave the car almost anywhere – as long as it is a legal parking lot.

Experience spontaneity on wheels. – http://www.car2go.com

Why Car Sharing is highly demanded

In addition to all obvious reasons, there is also psychological motivation behind all this. Sharing is caring, it is a natural human behavior.  Humans also tend to strive for independence, which is definitely offered by renting your own car. Most young people cannot afford their own car, and in fact, they do not need to  in bigger cities. For most of the time you are fine with public transportation; financing a car is a poor idea economically and owning a car is a waste, ecologically. Having a look at the costs, Car2Go’s prices seems to be quite affordable especially when considering they include fuel and insurance. A hot deal, no doubt.

Hidden costs?

There are not necessarily any hidden costs, but since listed prices do not include taxes, “new” members spend more money on Car2Go than they originally expected. The idea of Car2Go is amazing but there is much room for improvement, if you believe the people on www.yelp.com. Some of the main occurring problems are:

  • accessibility of cars
  • problems with refilling the fuel (service card)
  • parking / charging problems with electric cars
  • problems with ending the rent (unexpected additional fees)

All in all one can say that people should not see Car2Go as replacement of public transportation, nor as a replacement of their own car, but more like a “nice to have”: a service to solve spontaneous time/transportation issues. Using it frequently leads to spending quite an amount of money. Nevertheless, one should not forget about the access to the convenient experience and the flexibility Car2Go members have one should strongly consider.

Last but not least, if you have any questions – the Car2Go Video Turtorial!

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