A Car Share Program You Can Leave at the Curb

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Posted Fri, Oct 11, 2013

Swipe & Go:  Denver is rampant with more than 250 of these smart car short-term rentals, making it easy for anyone to sign-up and enjoy the perks of having a car without the price of owning one. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

Swipe & Go: Denver is rampant with more than 250 of these smart car short-term rentals, making it easy for anyone to sign-up and enjoy the perks of having a car without the price of owning one. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

DENVER — Downtown living can make owning a car a bigger hassle than it’s worth, but the groceries have to make it from the shelves to the cupboards somehow.  For those days when having a car is necessary there is Car 2 Go, a car share program that can be left anywhere in the downtown area.

Car 2 Go is populating the country one city at a time with smart cars for rent by the minute, hour and day.  Austin, Texas was the spot of the first American program for Car 2 Go in 2009, since then more than 30 more cities have welcomed the company.  In Denver, the 2013 launch was very successful, giving Denverites the option of renting these easy-to-drive three cylinder cars for just 38 cents a minute.  Car 2 Go may not be the best option for all vehicle needs though.

“It’s convenient, I don’t use it too often,” said Car 2 Go consumer Samy Abuswai.  “The only time I ever really use it is if I see a car that’s close to my house and I just grab it and park it in front of my house so I have the option to use it.

It’s easy to sign-up, although a sign-up fee of $35 is required, then within a few days a membership card comes in the mail ready to use.  The smartphone app enables customers to pin point the closest car to them, then swipe the card, check the car for damage, and get on the road.  Each car has a gas card in it, if a driver notices the tank is getting low using the card to fill up with gas automatically adds 20 free driving minutes to their account.  When the errands are all done, it’s simple to park the car anywhere inside the home zone outlined on the app and website.

Gas Up: Jem Lickers takes out the gas card that every Car 2 Go vehicle is equipped with.  If the tank is below a quarter members who put gas in will receive 20 free driving minutes.  [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

Gas Up: Jem Lickers takes out the gas card that every Car 2 Go vehicle is equipped with. If the tank is below a quarter members who put gas in will receive 20 free driving minutes. [Photo by Ashley Hattle]

Insurance can be a big issue for people who don’t regularly drive or don’t have their own car.  Luckily, Car 2 Go has built-in insurance for all drivers and the cars are built to withstand accidents. The deductible is quite high, but drivers that have their own insurance have the option of which to use.

“Most cars are built to take the impact of an accident, our cars are actually built to bounce off in case of an accident,” said Denver Car 2 Go employee Jem Lickers.

The minutes and money can add up quickly driving through traffic and running various errands, so Car 2 Go may not always be the best option for long-term use. Zipcar is another car share company in competition with Car 2 Go.  While Car 2 Go vehicles can only hold a driver and one passenger along with a little room in the trunk, Zipcars hold up to four passengers and more trunk storage.  An inconvenience of Zipcar is that they do need to be returned to designated parking spots.

“I’d use zip car if I was going to Denver suburbs, like if I wanted to go out to Westminster or something because it would cost less than getting a Car 2 Go by the minute and going outside the home zone.  [Car 2 go] is good to go to the grocery store and zip car for errands you have to run all day,” Abuswai said.

Big city living makes owning a car less important than having a bus or light-rail pass, but those moments do arise where it’s impossible to get errands done without a vehicle.  Luckily Denver has its choices, whether it’s the gas-friendly Car 2 Go or the roomy Zipcar there are more ways than ever to get from A to B.


The average cost of building a smart car in the U.S. is $12,490
Car 2 Go Rental Prices: $0.38 per minute, $13.99 per hour, and $72.00 per day
Zipcar Rental Prices: $7.50 per hour, and $69 per day

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Ashley Hattle

About Ashley Hattle

Ashley Hattle is a senior at Metropolitan State University (MSU). In high school, Hattle worked for the school newspaper, The Blazer, as the Executive Photo Editor and Lifestyles Editor. After high school she pursued a career in photography and attended the Art Institute of Colorado. After the Art Institute she quickly began working for a photography company in Denver. Through working as a photographer in Denver she re-found her love of journalism and has been a magazine journalism major at MSU since 2010. Hattle hopes to work as a journalist and photographer after graduation in May 2014.

View all posts by Ashley Hattle

7 Responses to “A Car Share Program You Can Leave at the Curb”

  1. Mark Braley Says:

    I really like this story, good job!

    Reply

  2. Anthony Rodriguez
    Anthony Rodriguez Says:

    Great story, Ashley. Very informative, and well written!

    Reply

  3. Keve Brockington Says:

    Very informative story, Ashley. I did not know how this mean of transportation was actually utilized until reading your story. The only suggestion(s) I have are rewording the sentence, [Car 2 go] is good to go to the grocery store and zip car for errands you have to run all day,” Abuswai said Abuswai. Good job!

    Reply

  4. Robert Crew Says:

    I was wondering why I saw so many smart cars around that looked exactly the same. I had no idea. Great Story.

    Reply

  5. Jessica Culey Says:

    Very neat story. I have heard about these cars, but didn’t know they were available in Denver already. I know a few people that live in Denver and don’t own a car because like you said why would you need one. It helps everyone out and saves the environment. I’m all about less cars on the road and convenience. I wish they were in cities too, I would just rent one to drive to the store and back and walk everywhere else.

    Reply

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