Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Renting a Car VS Car Sharing : Pros, Cons and findings

Sometimes you just need a vehicle that can get you places but you don’t really want to necessarily spend money to buy one. Renting would be the next option, but the amount of options out there is also pretty huge. After doing research, I deduced the endless options out there to 2 categories. The first category is renting a vehicle from a car rental place while the second one is opting for Car Sharing.
   Carsharing is a great way to get the job done as you can easily access a vehicle whenever you please and just pay for the amount you use. There are some downsides too such as the limitations of where you can get your vehicle, limitations on what you can do to your vehicles and the cost going up if you drive past the allotted mileages. The same goes for car rental places where it’s cheaper to rent for a few days at a time.
  I wanted to find a car that I can use just for a day, so I decided to compare the differences between a car rental place and having a car share account and this was what I found:

Car Rental Place
  • Cheaper to for an entire day or more (long term).
  • More options to the types of vehicles
  • No long term commitment
  • Some places don’t require a driving record… so there is less administrative work.
  • More options through provided services (such as booster seats and more that you can’t get with a car share account).
  • There are COUPON codes lying around... you can easily google one and find one.
  • Mileage not included so you would need to gas up yourself. (some car rental places may even have a surcharge for mileage past a certain amount).
  • Insurance not included.
Car Sharing
  • More flexibility as cars can be rented for a small period of time (like a few hours or minutes)
  • Included Gas (200km) and insurance
  • Fluid pickup and drop off locations (some car shares let you pick up and drop off at different locations)
  • Jargon: Membership fees, annual fees, administrative fees.
  • Insurance policies tend to be ambiguous (they say the deductible need
  • Tedious sign up process (must get a driving record from ICBC and etc…)

I found that you can get a car from a car rental place, you can get a relatively decent car for $40 a day, versus getting a car from a car share location (which can go from $60 and above). You also have more access to varieties and more flexibility as what you can do your car. You also don’t need to have a membership and get membership approval like what you would need to do for a car sharing co-op. Hence, if you are going on a road trip that lasts over a day, I would recommend going to rent a car.
    With regards to damage and liability,  you definitely want insurance to cover yourself against damage/loss, and generally car rental places do provide insurance where they handle all of the claims and such. However, I found that rental places do tend offer insurance at a premium compared to buying the insurance from a separate insurance company. As an example, AVIS offers insurance for $29 a day while Allianz offers their insurance (up to $40,000) for only $11 a day (price as of May 30th, 2017).It is worthwhile to note that there may be a deductible (the price you would need to pay in the case that an accident happens for the insurance to work).  Also, some credit cards do also provide insurance (this is where you need to go into read the ant-like fine print from your credit card benefits) and this may be used towards a deductible.
   For short distances and shorter travel, car sharing would be the best option as it’s cheaper. If you are thinking about driving a lot but only on special occasions or to commute, getting a car sharing membership is worthwhile. The initial setup may be higher, but it’s definitely better for the long run due to the convenience of choosing a car at a moment’s notice vs having to book and go all the way to a rental place each and every time.

*Disclaimer: These are just my findings, and can be inaccurate. These are my own findings and I am not responsible for anything that is caused by anything written on this blog.

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