Get wheels when you need them, or make money off them when you don’t.
Cars are expensive. They’re expensive to buy, and they’re expensive to fuel, insure, and maintain. If you pay extra for parking at home, then you’re paying to not use your car.
In 2009, the average American spent 18% of their income on transportation. A fifth of that was on gas. As great as it would be for the environment if everyone biked everywhere sometimes you just need a car.
A handful of new companies are proving that people don’t need to own a car to have reliable access to a car. These companies are promoting car sharing as an alternative to car ownership. Some of them are available in Contra Costa County.
Turo lets people share their private cars, as well as rent private cars that belong to other people.
The person who owns the car determines the daily rental rate and the dates and times the car is available. Turo takes a percentage to cover insurance. The person who rents the car pays for gas. After the rental, each party can review the other to help future users.
Have a car you don’t use all the time? Share it! If you were planning to stay home all weekend anyway, your car should be off making you a hundred bucks instead of sitting in the driveway. Turo lets you make money off something you already have, but don’t use every day.
Using Zipcar is simple. After you register, you can reserve a car online (or on your smartphone). Using your personal Zipcard, that you receive in the mail after registration, you can get into a Zipcar and drive it anywhere. Bring it back when you’re done. Zipcar pays for the gas.
With a variety of trucks and cars of all sizes, and a growing number of neighborhood locations, Zipcar is a quick an easy option for many people. Rentals start at $9 and hour and $74 a day. There’s no mileage charge.
Their motto says it all: “Wheels when you want them.”
Gig Car Share
Gig Car Share uses a fleet of Toyota Prius C hybrids equipped with bike racks. Using a decentralized street parking system, Gig is ideal for one-way trips. Locate a Gig near you with their app for iOS or Android.
Cars can be driven anywhere in the United States and then returned to any Gig Home Area. The main Gig Home Area stretches from Albany to Alameda, including most of Oakland and Berkeley. Gig also has locations where cars can be dropped or picked up near the Pleasant Hill BART station*, as well as at Oakland Airport and Union Square in San Francisco. This makes it possible to drive from the Pleasant Hill Bart in a Gig and leave it at the Airport when you fly out.
Pay by the mile, hour or day. Trips start at $2.50. Check out the Gig website for full pricing details.