Is Car Sharing Right For You? | Family Vacation Tips


How to Use a Car Sharing Service on Your Family Vacation

Guest Post Author: Dale Cooper

When planning a family vacation, transportation is often a major concern. If you and your family plan to fly to your destination, you’ll most likely have to rent a car once you get there. Rental car costs can be expensive, though, and you’ll be stuck paying full price no matter how often you use the vehicle. But there is an alternative: Demand for an affordable, pay-as-you-go, car rental system has prompted several companies to offer memberships to car sharing networks.

How car sharing works
There are several car sharing services out there, and the one you choose will depend heavily on which is available in your area. A typical car sharing program requires an annual membership fee to join. Members are issued membership cards that also unlock the shared vehicles. When you know you’ll need a vehicle, simply schedule a time and place to pick up the car, and designate how long you’ll be using it. Gas and insurance are included in the cost, so just remember to refuel before you’re done, and return the vehicle to the designated area when your session is over to avoid a fine.

The cost of car sharing
Depending on how often you need a vehicle, car sharing can greatly reduce the transportation costs of your family vacation. Shared vehicles are usually billed by the hour, with full day rates available as well. People who live in urban areas often use car sharing programs instead of owning a car. It can be very cost effective if you drive only occasionally. One of the larger car sharing companies, Zipcar, charges a $60 annual membership fee, along with $8 per hour or $70 per full day of car use.

Car sharing insurance
If you decide to become a member, be sure to ask about insurance for car sharing. Insurance is usually included in the price of using the vehicle, but some companies only provide the legal minimum required coverage. That means that if you’re involved in an accident, and the resulting damages exceed your insurance coverage, you could be paying the difference out-of-pocket. Since some car sharing programs do not allow you to purchase additional coverage, contact a third party insurance provider if you want extra protection. A basic non-owner car insurance policy can help to supplement your default coverage. They’re generally inexpensive, so compare a few online auto insurance quotes and find one that will cover car share programs.

If you’re thinking about using a car sharing service, search online to find out which companies offer vehicles near your family vacation destination. If you have more than one option, compare prices and availability, and don’t forget to ask about insurance coverage.

*This is a sponsored post


One thought on “Is Car Sharing Right For You? | Family Vacation Tips

  • June 20, 2012 at 5:52 am
    I knew there were Zipcars available in urban areas for people who don't use a car that often, but I hadn't thought about using them while on vacation in a different city. That's actually a really good idea. I already have full insurance coverage through my own auto insurance, so I will definitely look into this in the future when I travel. Reply

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