I like to share cars.
And car-sharing is a suitable transportation option to complement eco-friendlier alternatives like walking, busing and biking. It's not just a viable choice when assessing your need for a second family vehicle; it can also be a great substitute for owning a car.
Before you research which car-sharing company to join, say goodbye to all of the expenses that come with car ownership, like purchasing, insuring, maintenance, fuel, tolls, and parking — not to mention the unavoidable reality of depreciation.
The benefits of car-sharing include having access to a car when you need it. Many car sharers report a higher satisfaction with their quality of life, and they drive about half the amount car owners do!
Here in Canada, car-sharing is now a whole lot smarter. Toronto and Vancouver have joined the ranks of cities in the U.K., France and Germany in becoming Car2Go friendly. This fleet is one example that uses Smart Cars and has no set drop-off time or location; that part is up to you. Even companies can use car-sharing to help eliminate the need for fleet programs and to reduce travel expenses from conventional car rentals or taxis.
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Carpooling is great, too. By taking turns with your fellow car-poolers, you'll reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle. You'll burn less gas, pollute less and reduce your vehicle costs by 50 to 75 per cent. Many cities also encourage carpooling with tax breaks, free parking and reserved lanes for high-occupancy vehicles.
Already own a car? Drive green. In Europe eco-driving is a growing part of driver education. Start with driving the speed limit. It's safer and more efficient. Avoid idling and get rid of excess weight — clean out your trunk. Take the roof-rack off if you don't need it.
There are a variety of car-sharing companies in most major cities. Find out more at Car Sharing Canada's website and do your part to reduce urban congestion and lower carbon emissions.
Have you joined a car-sharing company?
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green