Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Me?! Alternative?!

Under the encouragement of a friend of mine, I'm going to look seriously at joining the co-operative auto network instead of buying a new (to me) car to replace the beastmobile. Basically, you become a member fo the co-op and then there are cars stationned all over the city. You reserve a car and just go to the nearest location to pick it up. It's obviously a little more complicated than that, but the idea is that memebers of the co-op share a whole fleet of all kinds of different vehicles. You pay by kilometer, so the less you use, the less you pay. It's a really great way to have use of a car when you need one, and encourages you to use other transportation (bike, bus, your feet!) when you can. Plus it's waaaay cheaper than owning your own car and is more environmentally friendly, too!

My friend is pretty sold on the idea, and it sounds pretty good to me. The only reason he's not using it is because he does a lot of driving for his work and needs to get up and go at the drop of a hat. I guess there has to be a little bit of planning ahead of time to use a co-op car. I'd just have to get better at planning my life!

Does anyone out there use this network in Vancouver or elsewhere? Have you got any pros/cons you'd like to share? Leave a comment or email me (use the link in my profile)!


happyandblue2 said...

Who is responsible if you smash up the car.
Who cleans them.
Who fixes them if you get a flat tire or something.
Who goes to jail if you get stopped by the police and the last person left drugs in the car.
Otherwise, sounds like a great idea. Kind of. Except for all the inconveniences and who's.
Well, I better go work on my lack of trust for my fellow man issues now, ha,ha..

Hillary said...

- You pay $500 to join the co-op, refundable when you leave. If you're in an accident and it's your fault, you pay the deductable ($500), and if you don't pay they keep your membership fee. If it's not your fault, insurance covers it.
-Gas, repairs, insurance, and admin fees are covered by the monthly fee (max $40, depending on the plan)
-If the tank's empty or you need to put oil in or fix a flat or whatever, you take care of it and submit reciepts and the co-op reimburses you
-drugs in the car... hmm... something tells me most druggies aren't interested in a car co-op, and if they are, tehy'd be dumb to spend all that $ on their stash and then leave it for someone else! ;)

I think the only inconvenience would be having to book the car. The more in advance you book it, the more likey you are to get a car nearby (ie. not have to bus accross the city to get a car). It's the availablitiy of cars that I'd like to find out about.

Got more who? questions? Maybe there's something else I'm not thinking of! :)

happyandblue2 said...

Ummm..what if you bus all the way across town to pick up the car and you don't like the colour because it doesn't match your shoes and your purse and so you bus all the way home to change and when you get back someone has changed cars and you are trapped in an endless cycle of bus rides and changing clothes..

Hillary said...

then I don't deserve to be driving a car! Besides, I'd never even get ON a bus.. those things don't match ANYONE'S outfit! ;)