Car2Go Vancouver Review

Car2Go Vancouver

what is car2go?

Car2Go is a car sharing app that operates in 30 cities globally (and 14 in North America), apparently the Vancouver location of Car2Go has the largest fleet in the world (according to Vancouver Sun).  It has over 14,000 cars globally.

Car2Go is distinctive because of their white and blue Smart Fortwo Smartcars but recently they added some fancy Mercedes-Benz GLA and Mercedes Benz CLA.

Car2Go Vancouver Fleet

how much does car2go cost?

The rates for Car2Go vary depending on which car you use.

  • For the smart fortwo, the rates are $0.32/minute and $13/hour and $65/day
  • For the Mercedes-Benz, the rates are $0.45/min and $17/hour and $99/day

The above does not include tax, which is added on.  There is also an added Driver Protection fee of $1.00 + Tax.

There is also an annual $2.00 fee for B.C. Residents.

Also if you do not park at a Car2Go designated spot, or permit spot, and park at a meter or a regular pay parking lot, you still have to pay for parking.  If you pay at a meter, you cross your fingers that someone picks the car up before your meter expires!  Also, if you park at a place that says “parking from 9AM to 3PM” and it is 3:05PM and your car2Go is still parked there, the Car2Go will be towed and you will be paying for that cost.

how does one sign up for car2go?

It was pretty easy to sign up to be a Car2Go Member, I signed up online but I think you can sign up with the app as well.

Signing up for Car2Go involved:

  • Activating your account by clicking a link
  • Providing payment data (e.g. your credit card they can bill to) and driver’s license information
  • Email your driving record to Car2Go and call ICBC to have them email your driver’s record to Car2Go
  • Your driver’s record will be approved if you have:

a) A maximum of 3 offences under the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) in the past 3 years
b) No offence with 6 or more points or major offences
c) No contraventions under the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC) on the Driver’s Abstract
d) No Driver Class 700 with Learner’s Status
e) No current 24 hour prohibitions (for drug or alcohol abuse)

My account was approved in a few days, though this was a few years ago and their wait times might be different.

car2go vancouver review

I’ve been using Car2Go for the past four years, since 2013.  I even have the original CARD.

I’ve been through a lot with Car2Go.  I don’t use it heavily as I have a car but I use it when I need to drive to downtown Vancouver and don’t want to pay $15.00/hour for parking.  In the past four years, I’ve had to pay for a parking ticket (I parked at a parking lot in a stall that did not say “Car2Go”), I’ve had free minutes added to my account (when I didn’t use them regularly), and I’ve had fun driving the Smart Cars.

I haven’t used any other car share service though, there are a few in Vancouver including Evo Car, Zip Car, and Modo.

Car2Go Pros:

  • You are able to reserve a Car2Go car for up to 30 minutes (literally just a click of a button)- but you can’t reserve it again after the 30 minutes are up
  • The app is easy to use, you can screen out which car you want to NOT use or USE in the Car2Go finder/locator
  • There’s a referral option whereby if you refer your friends to Car2Go, you get $10 driving time credit added to your account and your friend also gets a $10 driving time credit added to their account
  • They’ve added more free parking spaces in downtown Vancouver.
  • The Smart Cars are fun to drive they seem to ‘rev’ easily and are a bit jerky but at the same time they are a little worrisome to drive since they are so compact.
  • They give you free minutes if you haven’t used them in a while, which is a nice bonus!

Car2Go Cons:

  • The biggest thing for me is the cost per minute.  I find that I turn into a crazy driver (especially when I am circling around looking for parking) just because it is charged on a PER MINUTE basis.  Maybe it’s just me though, because when I see other Car2Go drivers, they always seem to be relaxed behind the wheel.
  • There’s an added “Driver Protection Fee” of $2.00 + Tax (in B.C) even if you have credit or an added bonus in your account
  • The customer service is limited, you can email them, contact them on Twitter at @car2go and call.  I’ve tried calling before (though this was a few years ago) and had to wait over 30 minutes to speak to someone.  There is a handy “FAQ” section within the App under “Help”.
  • In the new navigation of the Mercedes-Benz fleet it’s hard to find the designated free “Car2Go” spaces because it doesn’t show up in the Navigation (well not that I could find anyway)
  • The new Mercedes-Benz are not easy to use or intuitive (for commoners like me who don’t regularly drive Mercedes).  It took me 5 MINUTES (and those seemed like the longest 5 minutes ever, the clock was ticking!) to figure out how to release the handbrake.  LOL.
  • Sometimes the GPS locator takes you to an obscure parking lot where you have to climb stairs and it’s difficult to find the car!  Yes, this has happened to me before and I got frustrated, thinking the Car2Go was magically within the walls of a building but it was a parkade.
  • Since it is based on the APP now instead of a card, if your battery runs out you’re hooped to book a Car2go (this has happened to me before, POURING rain and my battery dies after I run 10 minutes to the closest Car2go).  Also someone asked me to open up his recent Car2Go ride because he locked his phone inside.

Readers, do you have Car2Go in your city?  What do you think of them and is the competition better?

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About genymoney

GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle.

6 comments on “Car2Go Vancouver Review

  1. I have never used any car sharing companies but I do see the merit especially if you only need a car for a short period of time. I am waiting for the autonomous car to come pick me up. That will be amazing.

    • @Tom- Yeah, they are really popular in Vancouver. I think they make sense for running errands. Car2Go wouldn’t really be appropriate for tourists, because you need to have your license approved by ICBC (the insurance agency) first.

    • @Lily- That’s good to know it’s the cheapest option in Seattle! I haven’t been to Seattle in a while so I haven’t seen the Car2Go’s around but they are absolutely everywhere here in Vancouver. Oh no, how do you usually get to your good Korean BBQ in the suburb then?

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