Living in the city I don’t really feel a need to own a car. I’m fortunate enough to have a friend who lends me his when I really need one. Since I don’t always need one for long I also discovered another alternative. If you don’t know Car2Go it’s a car sharing service that allows you to use a car by the minute, the hour or the day. They do cover a pretty good area but you should check online if you’re going to sign up to see if they are in your neighborhood.
Using it is very easy, create your account online entering your credit card and driver license, wait a couple of weeks for them to verify that your driver license is valid and you are ready to go.
The app is simple to use, you just open it up and it will tell you if there are any cars close to you. You will see a map of your area and it will show you the cars available, the address they are located at and the make and model. At that point all you have to do is reserve it and you have 30 minutes to start your rental.
Once you are done using the car you have to leave it in the covered area or in a Car2Go parking (identified on the app map) or on the street where there are no meters or parking restrictions. They do have a universal parking sticker for the city of Montreal parking that allows you to park the car in one of those spots too as long as there are no parking restrictions within 48 hours of the time you leave the vehicle. Your last step is just to go back in the app and swipe to terminate your rental. If you are not in the covered area or too close to a parking the app will simply not let you close your rental.
As for cars I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of the Smart 2for2 around the city but they also have Mercedes CLA and GLA that only cost a few more cents a minute.
For the pricing it’s again pretty easy, prices vary on a per minute rental from 0.41$ for the Smart and 0.47$ for a Mercedes. In that price gas is included but a 1$ charge is added for the insurance that covers you for the time of your rental with a 500$ deductible so verify the condition of the car before you take it and report any damages directly on the app.
I’ve been using the service for about 5 months now and I like it, with a Smart it’s actually cheaper than taking a Uber or Taxi even when I just need to get from point A to point B. They also have spaces at the airport where you can drop off or pick up a car. I haven’t tried it internationally yet but I was told the account works everywhere. I’m planning a trip to Rome over the summer and I will try it out.
Nice alternative to owning a car if you don’t need one very often either for a short time to a couple of days.
BY SEBASTIEN ROBILLARD