What Is Car Sharing and How Does It Work?

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What Is Car Sharing and How Does It Work?

We’re facing many problems related to environment protection these days. The issue is extremely difficult to combat since countries around the world don’t share the same opinion regarding possible solutions. It seems that politics is playing a major role in what is truly a global problem. That is why individual countries, companies and even individuals; need to step in and change certain habits in order to protect our planet.

Many believe that the investments needed in such actions are too high for struggling economies; but, what they fail to realize is the fact that our health is priceless. Also, doing the right things that help our planet often means that we’re actually saving money, rather than spending it. Let’s take the concept of car sharing for example. What is car sharing and how it works?

What is car sharing?

This is a term that has been around for a while now; which refers to a billion-dollar industry that reduces vehicle impact. It’s actually a car rental system that, unlike traditional hire programs, suits people who only need to use a vehicle for a short period of time, like an hour or two. This brings about many benefits: 

It’s cheaper than owning a (second) car. You don’t have to pay a large amount upfront to buy a car; or spend any money on maintenance, repairs or parking over the years. Regular users simply want access to a vehicle at any time of the day or night; and prefer a car located close to their home, hotel or office; instead of those parked at airports or far-away inner-city locations.

Benefits to the environment

Carsharing has many benefits to the environment, as well, especially when many different people use one vehicle. To begin with, this means that fewer cars need to be manufactured, i.e., fewer resources are used, which is one of the selling points of the companies offering the car-share service. Fewer cars are on the road emitting pollution (air and noise); less gas is used (and we know that gas supplies are limited). 

In addition, when more people carshare, there isn’t such a great need for parking infrastructure and road expansion. Which means more space and resources could be used on the creation of urban green spaces; for example. Finally, people who don’t own a car are also more likely to take up cycling or walking to nearby places. Which is a great bonus in terms of their health. 

What to look for?

What Is Car Sharing and How Does It Work?

When choosing the company that offers this service; you should first be aware that there may not be many of them close to where you live or work. Regardless of the number of companies do some research; to find out what kind of fees are involved and how close a suitable car is to you. Also, carefully read the terms and conditions of a carsharing agreement. Most of them require you to be at least 21 and have a valid driver’s license with a clear record.

You should be able to fill out an online registration form and select a plan. These plans are typically based on the number of hours per months you want to have access to a vehicle. Included in the plan and/or how many miles you need to drive. Normally, gas costs and insurance are included in the plan you select; you might be required to top up the gas using a supplied fuel card if the level falls below a certain point.

What’s next?

When you’ve signed up, you can use the company’s website or app to see where available cars are parked. Some carsharing companies will even tell you where the closest car is. Once you’ve selected the car; you can reserve it for your preferred time via a smartphone, your computer or, sometimes, over the phone. 

When you get to the car; you need to use your membership card with its electronic chip to unlock the doors. Or you might need to access a specific app on your phone. You will receive instructions on where to find the keys. Either hidden in the car, a lockbox or some other spot or you might have to pick them up from the car owner. Usually, you’re required to return the car to the same parking space where you picked it up from.

As you can see, this is not a complicated procedure and you shouldn’t have any problems trying out this service, provided you are interested. It’s convenience and the fact that you don’t have to spend money and time on buying and maintaining your own car are probably good enough reasons for most of us to resort to this type of service if there are companies offering it where we live. Or, perhaps, this could be a great idea for a new business in your area?


Luke is a fitness and health blogger and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet.

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