CAR SHARING TIPS IN VANCOUVER 2019

Posted by on Jan 26, 2019 in Canada, Car Sharing, Sharing Economy | No Comments

Car sharing Is The New Black

Vancouver enters the year 2019 known as the car-sharing capital of North America with around 3000 vehicles in sharing networks. Therefore, one of the greatest perks of living in Vancouver in 2019 is the convenient access to a car sharing network which spread the use of a few vehicles between a number of drivers. The reality of car sharing has never been bigger with 4 major businesses taking over the city. If you need access to a car 24/7 but want to avoid all the car-related expenses, the solution has never been more simple.

Join a car-sharing organization to gain access to hundreds of vehicles that you can rent by the minute, hour, or day. Vehicles are conveniently located throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland region, and you can reserve a car online or by a smartphone app. A piece of cake! If you’re still not convinced, let me share the most common reasons why Vancouverites are giving up their own cars and joining car-sharing networks.

Benefits Of Joining Car Sharing Network In Vancouver In 2019

  1. Convenience – easy access around the city
  2. Cost efficiency – saving money on car maintenance, including gas and insurance
  3. Lower environmental impact – according to Vancity, car sharing has several environmental benefits over car ownership. Drivers using a car-share vehicle often consolidate multiple trips into one and drive less in general.
  4. Hassle-free parking – shared cars have dedicated parking spaces in private parking lots and on city streets which also include “resident only” and “no parking except with permit” areas.
  5. Flexibility – you can choose between a fleet of cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks. You can choose the ride that works best the purpose of the trip.

In 2019 there are 4 major businesses in Vancouver that offer the car-sharing services at a great cost. To sign up for the car-sharing programs, the drivers must meet certain criteria and regulations, which may vary from business to business. It’s easy and you can look up all the information on the website of each company. Let’s have a closer look at each business and what it has to offer.

Car Share Businesses In Vancouver 2019

EVO – “Share The Freedom”

Evo is the original four-door car sharing program. Pick up a car near you, keep it for as long as you want and end your trip by parking in any approved spot within the Home Zone. You only pay for the time you use.

What you need to know:

  • Research The “Home Zone” areas. The “Home Zone” includes most of Vancouver with free parking satellite zones at YVR, Grouse Mountain, Metrotown, and UBC, but it might get tricky at the times. My story is that the two of us decided to go for a hike on The Burnaby Mountain one day. We didn’t do our research and we ended up out of the Home Zone, renting the car for several hours as there was no going back at that point. Learn from my mistakes and plan ahead!
Car Share in Vancouver 2019, Source: Evo Car Share: Home Zone
  • Familiarize yourself with parking across the city. Evo allows you to park for free in any ‘Evo only’ parking spot on the street or within designated parking lots. You can also park for free in residential and permit only areas within the Home Zone. As I mentioned above, there are few exceptions and you can also find free parking satellite zones at YVR, Grouse Mountain, Metrotown, and UBC.
Car Share in Vancouver 2019, Source: Evo Car Share: Parking

            Evo’s Pros:

  • Bike and Snowboard/Ski Storage: Evo’s fleet of Toyota Prius Hybrids gives you enough space to transport your bikes, skis/snowboards or other gear by using the racks on the car roof or rear seat storage.  Unlike Car2Go, you will have enough space for your friends in a car, too.
  • Convenient Access: Evos are a popular mode of transportation and with the fleet of over 1250 hybrid cars, it’s inarguably the largest one in Vancouver. Therefore, your chances of finding a car near you whenever you need it are very high. I have been using Evo for a while now and I have never experienced an issue with locating an Evo car in my proximity.
  • One-way Drop Offs: You can drop off your Evo anywhere within the Home Zone once you’re done with it
  • Book Using Card (phone free booking): You can book any Evo that is not in use or booked by tapping the Evo Card. This works great in situations where your phone is dead or you have no phone signal.
  • Limited App Functionality Offline: This is great as you can book a car on your phone using Wifi at your home  and then use the card when you arrive at the car.
  • Waived Registration fee if you are a BCAA Member

             Evo’s Cons:

  • Cleanness: I find Evo cars a bit messier than Car2Go, they could use a bath more often.
  • Poor App Experience: crashes quite often and is slow to load
  • Limited Fleet: only one type of vehicle available which is good for most rides, but not all

Visit official Evo Car Share website to find out more about The Home Zone, the Parking or any other information you need.

CAR2GO – “Vancouver Is Proud To Share”

The white and blue (and cute) Smart cars located around every corner in Vancouver are almost iconic. Grab a car on a street, hop in and drive from point A to the point B. Drop the car anywhere in the Home Area with free parking in designated spots! The fleet includes smart fortwo cars and four-door Mercedes.

You can register for free here using my promo code and you get $10 drive time credit.

What you need to know:

  • Look up The “Home Area”. The “Home Area” includes most of Vancouver, North Vancouver, and Burnaby with parking (for an extra fee) at Horseshoe Bay, Grouse Mountain, and YVR.
Car Share in Vancouver 2019, Source: Car2Go Home Area
  • Familiarize yourself with parking across the city. You can park for free on streets in the Home Area or on the designated Car2Go parking spots.
Car Share in Vancouver 2019, Source: Car2Go Home Area

Car2Go’s Pros:

  • Great App: this is among the best app experiences in town. You can tell they invested in the technology side of things as the app loads quickly and rarely crashes.
  • Parking: The smart fortwo has a crazy-small turning radius and at just 8.8 ft in length, this car was made for street parking.
  • Convenient Access: The cars are usually easy to find within 5-10 minute walk anywhere in the Home Area.
  • Fancy Driving Experience: If you feel fancy, book yourself one of the Mercedes cars and drive in style. Like a boss.
  • One-way drop offs: You can drop off your Car2Go anywhere within the Home Zone once you’re done with it.

Car2Go’s Cons:

  • Charges: Car2go charges driver protection fee 1.00 + tax for the first 90 trips. If you use the service to get from point A to B often, 1.00 adds up.
  • Limited Space in Smart Cars: Smart fortwo cars are perfect for parking, but if you need room for your gear, this car might not be the best option for you.
  • No Offline Experience: You cannot book a Car2go without a smartphone and active internet connection. The offer no backup card or fob so without a phone you cannot book rides on their network. Plus the app doesn’t work offline at all.

Visit official Car2Go car-share website to find out more about The Home Zone, the Parking or anything else related to Car2Go services.

You can register for free here using my promo code and you get $10 drive time credit.

ZIPCAR – “Own The Trip, Not The Car”

Unlike Evo and Car2Go, ZipCars are a round-trip car-sharing service, meaning you have to return the car to the place you picked it up. Although it might seem convenient at first sight, you can count on a car to be at a certain spot and you can reserve it farther in advance. Zipcars come in all shapes and sizes – sedans, vans or luxury SUVs. Book by the hour or day. Unlock the car by tapping your Zipcard to the card reader on the windshield.

What you need to know:

  • ZipCars’ location: Remember, you need to return ZipCar to the same spot where you picked it up.
Car Share in Vancouver 2019,  Source: Zipcar Locations
  • 6 Simple Rules: Before you hit the road, familiarize yourself with the ZipCar’s car-sharing rules.
Car Share in Vancouver 2019,  Source: Zipcar 6 Simple Rules

            ZipCar’s Pros:

  • A Variety Of Cars: Vancouver fleet includes sedans, jeeps, luxury SUVs or vans so you can choose a car that suits your needs the best. Pick a car for a simple shopping errand or a day trip to Whistler.
  • The “Extra Value” Plan: If you know you will be using ZipCar car-sharing service quite frequently (f.e. daily commuting to work), you can sign up for the Extra Value plan. Pay a monthly fee (starting at $50/mo) and in return get that amount back in driving credit and receive a discount on driving rates.
  • The 30-Day Trial for New Members: As a new member, you can join ZipCar and try it out for 30 days. If you change your mind, ZipCar will refund your membership fee. Read more info here.

           ZipCar’s Cons:

  • Customer Service: ZipCar’s customer service might not be the best according to Yelp’s reviews.
  • Fill’er Up: You need to check the tank before and after your ride. Members are responsible for filling up the Zipcar and returning it with at least 1/4 tank of gas otherwise you might be penalized (gas is included in the membership and the gas cards are provided by ZipCar).

Visit official ZipCar website to sign up or to learn more about using the car-sharing services.

MODO – “Driven By People, Not Profits”

The last, but not least, is Modo with the most diverse car fleet. With over 700 sedans, sports cars, cargo vans, trucks and minivans across the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Okanagan, Modo is the only local member-owned carshare service. Modo, like ZipCar, offers a round-trip car-sharing service, so remember to return the vehicle to its designated spot.

What you need to know:

  • Modo’s Locations: Remember, you need to return Modo car to the same spot where you picked it up.
Car Share in Vancouver 2019,  Source: Modo Locations
  • Clean up on free driving time: If you’re not in a hurry and have an extra time at the end of your booking, have your Modo cleaned and as a reward, you’ll get one hour of drive time plus the cost of the car wash. Just submit your receipt to info@modo.coop, along with your member number.

Modo’s Pros:

  • Fleet Diversity: Modo’s fleet is the most diverse one in Vancouver and it’s divided into 3 categories – Daily Drives, Large & Loadable; and Oversized & Premium
  • Perks: If you become a Modo member, you will have access to various perks. Check out the the complete list  here.
  • Best Hourly Rate In The City (for members) – best reason to use the service in my opinion
  • Open Return Option: Modo recently introduced Open Return. This option gives you flexibility to use the car up to 24 hours without setting your return time in advance. Book Daily Drive or Premium vehicles and use them for as long as you need. When you’re done, simply end your booking and return the vehicle, and only pay for the time you have used, plus a $3 Open Return fee.
  • No Smartphone Required, Using FOB: You can use the FOB to unlock and lock the car. Does not require a smartphone.

Modo’s Cons:

  • Registration fee for Modo Plus Program: Even though the $500 is refundable if you decide to end your membership, it might not be affordable for everyone. Also, after you cancel your membership with Modo, you have to wait 90 days before $500 is returned to your account.

For more information about the Modo car-sharing services visit its official website.

I prepared a brief overview of the fees linked to car-sharing in Vancouver from 2019 so you have an idea of what to expect when applying for membership.

Car Sharing in Vancouver 2019: Rates & Fees Comparison

Register with Car2Go for free here using my promo code and you get $10 drive time credit.

Possible Issues With Car Sharing

Even though car-sharing has many fans in Vancouver in 2019, not everyone is fully satisfied with the services. One of the problems is how most cities outside of Vancouver don’t have car-sharing options and consumers are annoyed by the ‘wall’ at Boundary Road which ends the car-sharing zone. Other issues are getting a vehicle or parking at certain times, while some users with small children struggle with the lack of car seats. The system is not perfect, but the car-sharing network is a great alternative for Vancouver citizens to commute around the city in 2019 without having access to ride-hailing services, such as Lyft or Uber.

I hope my article helped you get an insight into car-sharing and how it works. Do your own research, find out what works for you best and remember to drive safe.

“Car-sharing in Vancouver 2019 is IN. All the cool kids are doing it. “

Leave a Reply

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial