Inner city living is hard. There’s no room for parking, rent is expensive, buses are crowded, and everything seems far when you only travel by foot. For a long time, my boyfriend and I endured stares while we stuffed our 90 liter backpacks during our weekly shop with groceries for the bus ride home. It wasn’t until Costco came to Sydney that we finally broke down and started looking for alternative modes of transportation.
What we found was Go-Get, a car share service scattered all across Sydney. The way it works is we paid a deposit ($500) and then selected our car share plan: goFrequent ($29 a month, $5.65 an hour), goOccasional ($9 a month, $8.45 an hour), or goStarter ($0 a month, $13.55 an hour). This allows us to use any car in the city at anytime by simply reserving it in advance online. Cars are also free between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. which are admittedly, inconvenient hours but if you needed a car at that hour to pick up someone from the airport or buy a late night snack, it’s not too bad!
Some of the great features of Go-Get include designated and reserved parking spaces on the street so you never have to fight for parking, free gas, no insurance costs, no upkeep or maintenance costs, and lots of cars right in my neighborhood for me to choose from. There are even pet designated cars so if you need to take Fido to the vet you can and if you’re deathly allergic to cat hair, you can be sure that your car will be pet-free!
But the benefits go beyond that–you also don’t need any keys! One of the great features of the Go-Get car sharing program is that the keys are already in the car along with the gas card and all you need is a touch card to get in. This has been really useful to us because the car fits nicely in your wallet and if you’re out and decide you need a car, you don’t have to go home for the keys. It’s easy to pick up your car with Go-Get.
There are also a huge variety of cars to choose from including compacts, station wagons (admittedly, my favorite), Mini Coopers, electric cars, a few hybrid Priuses, church-sized vans, pickup trucks, and mini vans. There are even a few sports cars so you can pick up your date in style! Most people can’t afford to have numerous cars to fit their numerous needs which is why car sharing is so great–you don’t have to worry about borrowing your friend’s truck or if the store does delivery! Instead you can pick out a new car everyday to fit your needs!
If you aren’t convinced yet, consider these other advantages to carsharing:
- It’s estimated that each share car removed 7-9 cars from the road, meaning less road congestion and more parking.
- The average driver spends nearly $700 a month on car payments, insurance, gas and maintence, but when you car share, you spend about $100 a month–that’s a savings of $600 a month or more than $7,000 a year!
- Car sharing takes the hassle out of owning a car–no insurance costs, no loss of car due to break-downs, no up-keep or oil changes, you don’t have to pay for registration, and you always have a new car to drive!
My boyfriend and I have found numerous uses for car sharing. Of course Costco was a big one (it’s hard to fit lots of bulk food into backpacks!) but we’ve also used it for trips to Ikea, house hunting, and running errands all over the city. If we want to take a trip out of the city, we can reserve the car for the full day at about the same price as one from Avis or Budget rentals but without the cost of gas.
For us, car sharing has been a great way to save money, save time, and do something good for the planet by removing another car from the road. In my opinion, car sharing is the best option for inner-city dwellers. Even if you own a car, you still might want to consider car sharing for your business or even renting out your car with RelayRides–you could make your car earn you some money! The opportunities are endless!