Fuel Efficient

Car Sharing Networks at Vancouver Epic Sustainable Living Expo

Car Sharing Networks at Vancouver Epic Sustainable Living Expo

Our trip to the Vancouver Epic Sustainable Living Expo turned over something interesting we didn’t already know (but probably should have). There are at least two different car sharing networks operating in Vancouver.

Zipcar was the first one we checked out. Zipcar has car sharing networks setup all over the U.S. as well as in Vancouver and Toronto. Zipcars are available in over 50 cities throughout North America and the UK.

The second car sharing network we learned about was the Co-operative Auto Network (CAN) which is a local non-profit car sharing program exclusive to Vancouver.

The idea behind a car sharing network is that instead of buying a car, you rent one at low cost on a semi long-term basis. It’s perfect for city dwellers who don’t want to buy a car because they use them so rarely but still need them from time to time. If you only drive a few times in a month, then a car sharing network is probably a great alternative to buying a car.

While the concept is basically the same for the two car sharing networks, the difference was in the cost and the way that you pay.

Zipcar is fairly straightford. There’s an annual fee of $55 and a registration fee of $25. Then there’s the usage fee with hourly rates starting at just under $10 CDN and daily rates starting at $69. Gas is included and weekends cost a little more.

The CAN costs were a little more complicated but after we broke it down, they seem cheaper, depending on how much you plan to use the service. CAN requires a $500 deposit before you can use their vehicles. While this sounds steep, you do get all of it back when you cancel your membership, assuming you didn’t crash the car.

The usage fees seem quite reasonable, if a little complicated. They charge $2.50 per hour as well as a monthly fee based on how many kilometers you drive. The monthly fees aren’t too steep though so it balances out quite nicely.

If you think car sharing might be for you, get more information at the Co-operative Auto Network and Zipcar websites.

View Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Bernadette Amiscaray

    May 11, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Hi there,

    My name’s Bernadette and I’m with the Co-operative Auto Network. Thanks very much for dropping by our booth at EP!C and for mentioning us on your site.

    There’s a good chance you already heard about this at our booth, but I just wanted to let you know that The Car Co-op has another account option that we call “DepositFree”. This is for people who don’t want to pay the $500, which we understand can be a barrier to some.

    So, to be a DepositFree driver with us you’d pay a $50 annual fee, $25 registration fee, and then all of our cars from trucks to Minis are the same rate every day of the week, at $7 per hour (or $63 per day) with 150 km free each day.

    Thanks again for the mention! Hope you enjoyed EP!C!

    Cheers,
    Bernadette Amiscaray
    Marketing and Communications Manager
    Co-operative Auto Network
    bernadette@cooperativeauto.net
    604-685-1395

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