Dec 2011 8

How to Use Car2Go in Vancouver

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Car2Go by Car2Go in Vancouver by Richard Eriksson

This short article will help you register and start using Vancouver’s Car2Go car-sharing program and hopefully explain all the questions you have about this new exciting opportunity in our city.

What is Car2Go?

This project came from southern Germany, where it was introduced in March 2009 in the city of Ulm. The success of the German project also inspired Austin, Texas, which introduced Car2Go only a few months later.

The Car2Go system consists of a fleet of Smart Fortwo cars parked all over the city. After registration, you can either walk straight up to the car or reserve it up to one day in advance. Once you’re in the car, you can use it as long as you want and return it at any authorized Car2Go parking space. Per-minute rates include everything — even parking!

What Do I Have to Do to Become a Part of the Car2Go Community?

Step One: Becoming a Member

The first thing you have to do is complete the registration. You can do this on the Car2Go webpage. registration is very easy and fast. There is a one-time sign-up fee of $35 that will only be charged when your membership is approved by Car2go, and for drivers to be eligible for ICBC’s special car sharing insurance, an annual fee of $2 will also be charged. You’ll also need to enter your valid driver’s license number and valid Visa or Mastercard number. You’ll also be asked to call ICBC Driver Licensing (1.800.950.1498) to request that your drivers abstract be sent to Car2Go secure email at After you’re approved, you’ll receive a member’s card in the mail. It usually takes about five days.

There is also a possibility to register in person; you just need to go to the Car2Go Vancouver shop. Be sure to bring your valid driver’s license and a valid Visa or MasterCard with you.

Not sure who can register? A member-to-be needs to have three or more years of driving experience. (This means that the learners permit is out of the question, although N drivers are allowed.) You must also have a drivers abstract in good standing with no alcohol or drug prohibitions.

Step Two: Find your Car2Go

  • Call the service team at 1.855.454.1002 for over-the-phone information.
  • Use a Car2Go application on your smart phone.
  • Go to the website and click on “Car Finder” on the homepage.
  • Spontaneously rent any Car2Go you see on the street with a green indicator light blinking!
    You don’t need to reserve a Car2Go vehicle, but you can if you like. There are two options when reserving. You can reserve a Car2Go up to 24 hours in advance online (just log into My Car2Go and click “reservations”) or you can call the Car2Go call centre at 1.855.454.1002. If you reserve a vehicle online or via the customer call centre, you will receive a text message with all required information 15 minutes before the rental is to begin.

Step Three: Start the Car

Car2Go in Austin by Denis Bocquet 1 Car2Go in Austin by Denis Bocquet

To get into the car, hold your member card up to the card reader on the windshield of the car. You will find the key attached to the touchscreen and the ignition next to the emergency brake on your right. Enter your 4-digit PIN on the touchscreen, assess the cleanliness of the car, choose the billing account, confirm that you accept the Terms and Conditions, and you’re ready to go. There is a GPS navigation system available as well. All these initial preparations seem to be very complicated, but you’ll get the hang of them very quickly.

Step Four: Park

Parking with Car2Go is surprisingly simple, and it’s not because of the Smart Fortwo’s small size. Free curb-side and dedicated venue parking for extended stopovers and when ending rentals are located all over the city. If you’re in a residential area, curb-side parking is available in any legal permit-only residential spot. You can also park in specially dedicated parking spots. Be careful: you’re allowed to end your journey only in an authorized parking spot!

What is the price of Car2Go?

Car2Go is great way to travel around the city quickly and effectively without the need to buy your own car. Car2Go is also quite inexpensive, since you pay only 35¢ per minute, which makes it a maximum of $12.99 plus tax per hour — no more than $65.99 plus tax per one day (up to 24 hours).

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