Daimler’s Car2Go car sharing scheme
is expanding in North America after trials in Austin and San Diego, among other locations, proved quite successful.
The next locations for the scheme are Miami, Florida, and Calgary and Toronto up in Canada.
Car2Go is essentially a car sharing program that charges users for each minute they use one of its Smart Fortwos--regardless of distance traveled or fuel consumed.
Following a one-off registration process, the Smarts can be hired spontaneously in passing, or pre-booked and used for as long as desired.
Available vehicles can be located via the Internet or a telephone service hotline, and can be booked up to 24 hours in advance.
Each Car2Go city in North America has a large network of 200 to 300 Smart Fortwos that are available for members to use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So far there are already more than 50,000 Car2Go members in North America and this figure is growing every day.
The best part of the scheme is that members can pick up and drop off any Car2Go anywhere within the ‘Car2Go Home Area’--they do not need to drive the car back to its original location or commit to a predetermined amount of time. They can simply drive the car for as long as they need it, park the car at their destination, and end the rental by swiping the card on the windshield reader. At this moment the car becomes available for the next member to use.
Members pay by the minute for the actual time they use the car, with discounted rates for hourly and daily use. There is no minimum amount of time that a car can be used--whether they need a car for ten minutes or an entire day, members simply get in and drive, for as long as they want, without a mandatory return time or location. Parking fees, fuel, maintenance and insurance are included at no additional cost, and there are no annual or monthly fees.
Car2Go will officially start operations in Toronto on June 30, in Calgary on July 21 and in Miami, Florida, on July 28. Member registration for all three cities is now open, and if you’re quick Car2Go will waive the one-off registration fee of $35 and give you 30 minutes of free driving.