Here at RfR we are all about #LessStuffMoreLife  and ways to makes your life easier with collaborative consumption. We understand much like renting a dress and ordering it online some people might not all be that comfortable with these new collaborative ideas.  We are here to help  ease you through the anxiety you have and share our experience of how easy and affordable collaborative consumption can be. We took  the Car 2 Go car sharing service out for a test drive to share with you how easy and seamless car sharing can be with this step by step guide.

Now what exaclty is Car 2 Go?  Car 2 Go is a simple and easy car sharing service available in major cities all over the world  including  four across Canada.  It is a membership service that allows members to access a fleet of Smart Cars all over town.  It eliminates the high cost of owning a car in the city by taking away the costs of gas, insurance, maintenance and parking while taking cars off the road and reducing everyone’s carbon footprint. Members are charged by the minute to their credit card, no need to fill out forms each time or worry about a bill.

Full disclosure I have a car myself but still often use Car 2 Go to get around downtown as it’s easy, cheaper and faster than taking a cab without the headache of finding parking downtown. I have been using Car 2 Go for a while now, and use it in several cities when I travel.

Step 1. Find a Car 2 Go Nearby

Using the handy dandy Car 2 Go app you can locate the nearest available Car 2 Go, how big your home zone is and where to park. In Toronto you often find cars all over the city parked conveniently in the city’s Green P lots. There is designated Car 2 Go parking outside Dundas West subway station, a short hop  and skip from  the RfR showroom if you have errands to run after your private fitting.

Car 2 go app

Step 2.  Locate and Unlock

When you find the car do  a quick walk around to  establish any exhisting damage and check the card reader to see if it is available.  Put your membership card up to the reader on the dash and the car will unlock and invite you to get in.

car 2 gocar 2 go card

 Step 3. Login and Report the Status of the Vehicle.

When you  first get in you are asked to put in your pin. This  way if you lose your membership card someone else can’t go on a joy ride on your tab. The screen will let you know of any prior damage that has been reported and will ask you if any new damage has occured since the last driver used the car. If there is new damage the system will call the reporting desk where you will describe the damage so you aren’t held accountable. This is how the car sharing community keeps tabs on drivers to ensure everyone is respecting and taking care of the fleet.  If there is no damage to report you just describe the car’s cleanliness, take the key , put it in the ignition in between the seats and head on your way. Above the screen you will also find the parking pass and gas card if you need it on your trip.

car 2 go5

car 2 go

Step 4. Program Your Route and Roll Out

One of the great things about Car 2 Go is their amazing navigation system. You can punch in your destination to make sure it is still in the home zone,  find a nearby parking lot and even get an ETA on how long the trip will take.  I found the nav very helpful when I was Car 2 going around Calgary, a city I don’t know at all (with extremely expensive parking). Car 2 go is a great guide to getting around the city if you  are new in town. In Toronto if your car is parked in a Green P lot with an exit blockade you can get out in and out of Green P’s using the card located in the dash.

Car 2 go nav

car 2 go  parking

 

Step 5.  Enjoy the  Ride

Car to go is great for driving around town and running errands.  If you need to make a quick stop and want to  keep the car you can quickly stop for a stop over and the car is reserved for you when you get back.  You do get charged for this time you have the car waiting.  If you have a longer trip and need to fill up or just earn some good car karma there is a gas card in the dash you can use at any gas station.  If you are driving a car and the gas is less than a quarter tank full if you stop to fill up you earn yourself 20 minutes of free driving as a thank you.

car 2 gocar 2 go stop

 Step 6. Park and End Your Trip

Once you arrive at your destination you logout and report the condition of the car to be accountable for any issues. When you leave make sure the windows are up, the key is back in the slot and the emergency break is on.  Make sure you tap your card on the window as you leave to lock the car and end your trip. The nav can help you find parking lots and often there are even designated spots just for Car 2 Go’s in some locations.  This feature is probably the best part of car to go, saving time on finding parking. Being a tiny little Smart Car you can fit into the tiniest little spots on the street and you don’t have to know where the nearest free parking spot is, the system can  find one for you.  The amount of time you save not looking for parking is well worth it.

car 2 go leavecar 2 go

 

The Car 2 Go  experience is as easy and painless as that. At a price of $0.41 a minute driving around town can be cheaper, easier and faster than taking a cab or the TTC.  With the weather getting colder sometimes it’s a great convenience being able to Car 2 Go instead of freezing in the cold hoping the street car comes soon. Even though the Smart Cars are tiny they are great for city driving and surprisingly have alot of room. With almost 8 cubic feet of trunk space I have easily been able to fit 2 large suitcases in the back to haul all kinds of stuff around town.

Though myself being in the suburbs and outside the home zone I still need to own a car for work and all the travelling I do but for anyone who lives in the city I really can’t imagine owning a car when you have access to such a great service. With the price of gas, insurance, maintenance and super expensive downtown parking plus everything being so close it just doesn’t make sense to pay for a car except for those few occasions when you need one. I have used other car sharing services before and they too have their benefits and ease of use.  Car 2 Go is my personal favorite for running around town when I don’t have a lot of cargo to carry and don’t have time to book in advance.

Pro Tips

  • Carry a car charger in your purse. Car 2 Go’s have car outlets; charge your phone as you are driving around saving time.
  •  If you  are parking at a designated Car 2 Go spot pull all the way up so another car can fit behind you. That way when you leave there might even be  more cars in the lot  than when you left.
  •  You can use the same card in the  14 cities across North America with Car 2 Go; including Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal.  It is a great  way to get around a town you are not familiar with and a great way to save when travelling.
  •  If you aren’t in a rush and know you will be passing by a gas station on your trip look for cars nearby that are low on fuel.  When you stop to fill up you  earn car karma (20 free minutes)  basically making your trip free and helping contribute to keep the fleet running smoothly.
  • If you are in a rush and there are multiple cars to choose from  choose the car with little to no damage.  If the damage on the car like  a minor fender scratch hasn’t  been  reported yet it will take you those extra few minutes to report the damage as new. You don’t want to be held responsible for someone else’s little fender bender just because you were in a hurry.

We hope our guide gives you the confidence to join the collabortive consumption movement and start living the fabulous life of #LessStuffMoreLife. If you have any questions about our experience with Car 2 Go or would like to share your own experiences with car sharing feel free to comment, tweet us @RentfrockRepeat or send us a note on Facebook.

Stay Fabulous.