In the modern rhythm, for ease of movement and as an alternative to a private car, various options are emerging. Car sharing system (short-term car rental) is one of the most convenient options that appeared many years ago. The prototype of the modern concept of car sharing was the principle of renting a car in a Swiss company. The principle of operation was as follows: people who live in the same area divided the cost of a car among one another. When one of them wanted to take a car, they booked it through a special application, and the keys were in a certain safe in the parking lot. This principle has become the basis of the modern form of “fractional car sharing”.
How does car sharing work?
Car sharing system consists in renting a car for a short time, for example, for an hour or a day. The driver pays for the actual time of using the car, while having access to it at any time, anywhere in the city. The service can be used by those who have registered in the application.
Depending on who provides services, the following types of car sharing are distinguished:
- Free-floating is the most popular type of car rental in big cities for short trips. Services are provided by a dedicated car rental company. Cars for hire are located throughout the city. Each can be taken at one point, and left at another – most importantly, at the place indicated in the rental application.
- Peer-to-peer is a type of rental where individuals or companies provide their personal cars, but are not directly related to car sharing. The owner of the car receives additional income, and the one who rents it for a moderate amount gets a comfortable ride.
- Fractional is a type of rental where the car is collectively owned. People cooperate in groups according to interests or territorial characteristics, owning one car or a whole fleet of vehicles.
To use this type of car rental for the first time, you need to find a suitable company. Let someone you know advise you or choose the best option based on reviews. Download their app, sign up, upload your ID documents as well as your driver’s license. You also need to link a bank card from which the rental fee will be debited. It is important that the phone is always charged, because if it is turned off, the company’s employees stop seeing the movement of the car. At the end of the trip, the car must be left in a special parking lot, inspected and photographed. You should also complete your order in the application.
Advantages and disadvantages of carsharing
Car sharing has many positive aspects. First, this is a great opportunity to use a car without spending your own money on maintenance. By renting a car, you do not have to spend money on fuel, tire changes, maintenance – the company does all this. Car sharing services are client-oriented and managers are in touch. If you have any problem with the car, they will help and tell you what to do.
The car sharing system of the Fractional type allows you to save up to 70% of the total cost for its participants, and all because they pay for the time they use the transport. Fractional car sharing participants use a car if necessary, and walk the rest of the time. So this is a great opportunity to take care of your health and the environment.
Car sharing with the help of a special application is more convenient and faster than visiting rental services. You register in the application, upload the necessary documents and use the service at any time of the day.
The car sharing system has its drawbacks. When a driver gets behind the wheel of a rented car, they are fully responsible for it. In the event of an accident, they must pay for all the damages. To minimize the risks, carefully read the agreement, do not hesitate to ask questions. And before you start driving the car, take a photo from all sides, including the interior. This way, you will be able to show evidence that some damage was there before you and avoid unpleasant situations with the rental company.
It is possible that a failure occurs in the car sharing system and there are simply no free cars. We advise you to register with several rental services. This will save you time and nerves. Also, come to terms with the fact that the rental car may not be in the best condition after the previous client, and that you might have to look for additional features, such as a child seat or a phone holder, on your own.
Future of car sharing
Modern technologies have changed car rental for the better by making it digitized. Now you can rent a car in two clicks, and not waste time visiting rental offices. The digital future of car sharing is predicted due to the following factors:
- Telematic equipment with corporate software car sharing allows you to receive information about the location and condition of the car, the fuel level in the tank, repair, inspection.
- With the help of high-speed Internet, it can provide a faster exchange of information between the client’s phone, the server and the car.
- The popularization of smartphones has made car rental accessible to everyone. Previously, there were special cards for car sharing and opening a car. Now everything has been simplified to getting a car in a couple of clicks.
Car sharing, or short-term rental, has become an excellent alternative to your own car and an addition to public transport. It is suitable for those who live in a densely populated urban environment and need to travel frequently, such as commuting to work or business meetings. Modern technology has made renting affordable for anyone with a smartphone and a driver’s license. And the use of special software allowed car-sharing companies to be aware of the location and condition of the car.