by Michael Graham Richard, Ottawa, Canada
An Introduction to Car Sharing
Car sharing is rapidly growing in popularity, but many people still aren't quite sure what it is, how it works, and how it compares to other methods of transportation. How expensive is it? Do you have to pay for gas? What if there's no car when I need one? What about insurance? Where do you park it when you're done? Is it really better for the environment? Does it save you money? Is it available in my area? These are all questions that we're going to answer today.
Car Sharing vs. Traditional Car Rental
The first thing you need to know is that car sharing is a type of car rental. What makes it different from traditional car rental (Hertz, Enterprise, etc) is that it is designed to be convenient for people who want to rent cars for short periods of times (a few hours) and only pay for their usage (you are billed based on how long you have a car and the distance travelled).
Another difference with traditional car rental that makes car sharing more practical for people who don't own a car is that it allows you to access a car at any hour, not just business hours. And because the cars are spread around town in reserved parkings, chances are there's one such parking close to where you live, making it easy to walk to it... read more story at TreeHugger.com