Best Car Sharing Service: Enterprise Carshare vs Zipcar vs car2go vs Turo vs Getaround

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Best Traditional Car Sharing Service
Zipcar logo
Best Peer To Peer Car Sharing Service
Turo logo

Do you live in an urban area or on a college campus where your typical day-to-day routine doesn’t require a car? A car sharing service might be just the ticket if you only need occasional wheels. Car sharing is environmentally friendly. In fact, those who opt for vehicle sharing over ownership are less likely to make one-off trips. In fact, they seek ways to be more time and energy-efficient by combining trips to save on gas and to reduce their carbon footprint.

It’s also often more convenient and cheaper than going the old-school car rental route. It could be worth considering if you only need a vehicle for short trips now and then, your car’s in the shop, or you want to switch up to a luxury ride for a weekend getaway.

The concept of car sharing is fairly similar to renting out a vacation home. There are two basic types of services:

  1. Traditional car sharing, where you rent a company owned vehicle
  2. Peer-to-peer car sharing services that act as a matchmaker, allowing between private car owners (lenders) and potential renters.

Here, we reviewed and selected our “best of” picks for each type of service. We also provide the pros and cons for other choices to consider when you are shopping for the best car sharing companies.

Best Traditional Car Sharing Service: Zipcar Review

Visit WebsiteZipcar logo

Zipcar, launched in 2000, is now a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group (rentals), and has grown into the most well-known traditional car sharing service in the U.S. Zipcar’s service lives up to its popularity, making it our top choice for Best Car Sharing Service. Available in more than 170 cities in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Europe and at more than 300 U.S. colleges and universities, Zipcar dominates the U.S. market when it comes to a traditional car share. With same day reservations, good customer service reviews, insurance coverage and fuel cost included, Zip Car makes not owning a vehicle a lot easier when you do need one. The downside? The minimum rental time is one hour, so if you only need a quick 30 minute trip to the store and back, you’re locked in for the hourly rate.

Pros

Cons

  • Fleet of 10,000+ vehicles – hybrids, luxury, SUVs, pickup trucks, cargo vans
  • Gas and insurance included
  • You can drive up to 180 miles with each rental
  • Mobile apps feature map view, GPS location, and directions to easily find your rental
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Up to 7-day rental option
  • Airport and college campus locations
  • Excellent customer service
  • Monthly member fee
  • Required to return the car where you picked it up
  • One-hour minimum rental
  • Penalty fees for late returns, low fuel, etc. are higher than other services

Monthly Rates & Other Fees

The following rates and fees are for Zip Car’s monthly rates. Zip Car also offers two other plans—the Occasional Driving Plan (no monthly commitment), monthly driving plan and their Extra Value Plan for frequent drivers, which is $50 per month but you get discounts on hourly and daily rates.

Monthly rates vary by city and car model.

  • $8-$10 per hour
  • $66-$78 daily rate (24-hour period)

Other fees:

  • $25 sign-up fee
  • $7 per month member fee (for monthly driving plan)
  • $50-$150 late return fee
  • $0.45-$0.55 per mile overage fee (if you exceed 180-mile limit)
  • $1,000 damage fee (insurance deductible)

Coupon Code

ZipCar is offering $25 in free driving credits to new users. Click here to take advantage of these free credits.

Click here to read our in-depth review

Best Peer-To-Peer Car Sharing Service: Turo Review (formerly Relay Rides)

Turo logoVisit Website

One of two peer-to-peer car sharing services we review here, Turo (formerly RelayRides) is best suited for longer trips as they only offer daily or weekly rates. With much more diversity in the make and model of cars available, you can rent a car in 4,500 U.S. cities and at more than 300 airports, making them a great alternative to using traditional car rental companies. A great feature for car owners – if you’re going on a trip you can leave your car at the airport and have Turo rent out your vehicle while you’re away, avoiding long-term parking costs and actually making money. Another great feature is doorstep pick up and drop off. Turo’s major shortcomings? No shorter trips, and you pay for your own gas.

The Exploring Life’s Mysteries team tried using Turo during a work trip and had a great experience. When looking for car rental alternatives (because they were so expensive last minute) Turo came in super handy. They met us at the airport terminal both for drop off and pick up which made much faster and more convenient that waiting at the car rental center (or even take a shuttle).

Pros

Cons

  • No sign-up or member fees
  • Doorstep pick up and drop off
  • Available in many more cities and airports than competitors
  • Much wider variety of vehicles to choose from (including luxury cars)
  • Daily and weekly rates are typically lower than competitors
  • Basic bodily injury liability insurance included at the minimum level required by the state in which you rent the car
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Owners are covered for the cash value of the vehicle and $1m liability policy
  • Participating vehicle owners pocket 75% of rental prices and mileage overage fees
  • No hourly fee – daily rental is the minimum
  • Must pay for your own gas
  • Mileage is set by the owner (on average vehicles include 200 miles per day) and overage fee is a steep $.75 per mile
  • Must be 21 to rent
  • Renters under 25 must pay “young driver fee” additional 20% of rental rate
  • Cancellation isn’t nearly as flexible as competitors

Rates & Other Fees

There are some rate rules in place, but they vary widely by location, make and model (and by owner’s discretion).

  • No per minute or per hour rates
  • $18-30 starting daily rates + 10% rental fee (26-hour period; rentals start at 5pm)

Other fees:

  • No sign-up fee
  • No member fee
  • $50 per hour late return fee (up to $200)
  • $0.75 per mile overage fee (owners set their mileage limits)
  • $500-$3,000 damage fee (insurance deductible, depending on plan chosen)

Coupon Code

Get $25 off your first trip with Turo by using coupon code jeffreyb47 at checkout via this link.

Turo Video: Rent the Car, Own the Adventure

Check out this video from a Turo that shows how you can change your point of view from getting from point A to B.

Other Car Sharing Services Reviewed

Below are some other car sharing services we reviewed. Although they didn’t make our “best of” list they are still commonly used services that may be a better choice for you, in your town.

Car2Go | Enterprise CarShare | Getaround

Car2Go Review

Visit WebsiteCar2Go logo

Started in 2008 in Ulm Germany, Car2Go is now available in 11 North American cities and 14 in Europe. Its reach in the U.S. is much smaller than Zipcar, but for those who live in a Car2Go city, you get the benefit of being able to rent a vehicle by the minute, and you don’t necessarily have to reserve a vehicle – a great option for last-minute needs and quick trips, something you don’t get with Zipcar. Their fleet of smart cars are easy to park (and now offering Mercedes-Benz SUV’s for more than 2 people or if you need to transport larger items). There’s also no membership fee, which makes it an affordable option for many people. Still, Car2Go has its limitations, including limited airport locations, so be sure to dig into what’s available in your city to see if it’s a feasible choice for your needs.

Pros

Cons

  • No member fee
  • Can rent per minute (no minimum)
  • Don’t have to return vehicle where you picked it up, but must return it to your city’s Home zone
  • Gas and insurance included
  • No reservation is required
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • You can get 20 free minutes of driving time if you fill up the car’s tank (must be at less than 1/4 tank)
  • Minimum age of 18 to join, but must have 2 years of driving experience
  • Only available in limited cities
  • Covers fewer cities and smaller total fleet of cars
  • No airport locations
  • Difficult to locate a vehicle in some city areas
  • A number of customer complaints about Car2Go’s technology system not being reliable (can’t check car back in, car not where system says it is, etc.)
  • Customer service has long wait times and not always helpful in resolving problems

Rates & Other Fees

Rates vary by model and city but here’s a sample of what you might expect to pay:

  • $0.41 per minute
  • $14.99 per hour
  • $84.99 daily rate

Other fees:

  • $5 sign-up fee (includes $10 drive time credit)
  • $1 per trip driver protection fee
  • No member fee
  • No late return fee
  • $0.45 per mile overage fee (if you exceed 150-mile limit)
  • $250 damage fee (insurance deductible) or $0 damage fee if you take more than 91 trips in a calendar year

Enterprise CarShare Review

Visit WebsiteEnterprise CarShare logo

Originally part of Enterprise Car Rental’s overall business, Enterprise Car Share has acquired smaller vehicle sharing companies and grown into its own entity, with service in 27 U.S. cities, Canada, and the U.K. and at more than 130 U.S. college campuses. They come with a big brand name but have struggled in the last year or so with their mobile app capability that came up short compared to other services – a pretty essential feature for busy people on the go. They were late to the game in developing iPhone and Android mobile apps, but they seem to have finally resolved their issues. Enterprise CarShare’s rates and fees vary widely by city, so it’s hard to compare them to other services. Still, Enterprise CarShare is an affordable alternative, depending on where you live or visit often.

Pros

Cons

  • Generally lower rates than competitors
  • They customize systems for businesses and government agencies
  • Wide variety of vehicles – compacts, hybrids, luxury, SUVs, cargo vans
  • In
  • Frequent drivers have a no-member-fee option
  • Gas and insurance included
  • Good number of airport locations
  • Mileage allowance of 180-200 miles with Keep It Simple & Road Warrior plans
  • Required to return car where you picked it up
  • Mobile apps aren’t quite as functional as other services
  • Rates vary by time of day and day of week you rent the car, unlike other services that have set rates
  • A number of customer complaints about cars not being there at reservation time and cars being dirty
  • Reports of unhelpful customer service representatives

Rates & Other Fees

Rates and fees vary widely by city, model, day of week and time of day. Here are a few pricing examples, based on markets:

San Francisco

  • $0 application fee
  • $40 annual member fee
  • Hourly rates start at $8 per hour
  • Daily rates start $69 per day

Tampa

  • $25 application fee
  • $35 annual member fee
  • $8.50 per hour
  • $70 daily

New York Metro

Enterprise CarShare offers two separate plans for the NYC market.

Pay-As-You-Go Plan

  • $40 per year annual member fee
  • $9-$18 per hour
  • $79-$174 daily

Smart Saver Plan

  • Starts at $50 per month
  • Hourly rates start at $7.65

Getaround Review

Getaround logo

Visit Website

Getaround is the second peer-to-peer car sharing service reviewed here. Getaround is only available in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Portland, Chicago and Washington D.C. About a year ago, Getaround changed their business model to meet consumer desires for an on-demand reservation service—perhaps that’s why their market has only grown into one additional city (Chicago) since our last review. If you live in one of the few cities in service, Get Around offers fairly low hourly rates, insurance, and other attractive features, so you should consider them as an option. They’re clearly changing their business model based on consumer preference, so we’re hoping to see lots of growth in their future.

Pros

Cons

  • Rates as low as $5 per hour
  • Insurance included
  • No sign-up or member fees
  • Wide variety of makes and models available – convertibles, luxury, exotic, vans
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Solid iPhone and Android mobile apps
  • Only available in 8 U.S. cities
  • Car owners pocket 60% of car rental rates – 15% less than Turo (average $6,000 a year in earnings)
  • Car owners charged $99 set-up fee and $20 a month subscription for remote unlocking and tracking system
  • Gas not included

Rates & Other Fees

Rates vary by owner, make, and model.

  • Starting at $5 per hour up to $45 per hour to rent
  • 3% booking fee (of trip price) for every trip
  • Daily rates vary by owner

Other fees:

  • No sign-up fee for renters
  • No member fee for renters
  • $10 initial license fee
  • $50 per hour late return fee (up to $500)
  • $0.50 per mile overage fee (owners set mileage limits)
  • $750-$2,500 damage fee (insurance deductible)
  • If you list your car, there is a one-time $99 installation fee and $20 per month subscription for the remote unlocking and tracking system.

Would You Consider Sharing a Car?

Car sharing is clearly trending. As of October 2014, there were more than 1.6 million users and 24,000 (company-owned) shared vehicles in the U.S., according to a study by the Transportation Sustainability Research Center1 at the University of California-Berkeley. Between July 2013 and July 2014 the U.S. saw a 34% increase in the number of carsharing users, and studies indicate this number will continue to climb. Studies also suggest that a growing number of millennials are foregoing car ownership in favor of earth-friendly alternatives like vehicle sharing. If you’re considering joining the car sharing club, we hope our review helps you make a sound choice.

Source: [1] Transportation Sustainability Research Center

Do you think car sharing is cool or weird?

Sally is a huge fan of fresh, organic food. One of her favorite hobbies is cooking with as many fresh herbs, spices and veggies as possible. And she's devoted to her all-natural skin products and cosmetics. It's saved her and her daughter from the curse of skin allergies. When she's not writing and researching (and being a Mom), you can find Sally getting down to earth in her home garden.

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4 Comments on "Best Car Sharing Service: Enterprise Carshare vs Zipcar vs car2go vs Turo vs Getaround"

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Rick Oliver
Rick Oliver

My understanding of the Getaround insurance for collision and comprehensive damage to the vehicle is that it covers up to the cash value of the car, with a $750 fee for any claim against their insurance ($2500 for exotic or classic cars). If so, the last item under “Other Fees” should be corrected.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Rick, thanks for reaching out and letting us know! We will look into this and update so we have the most accurate information reflected in our review. Appreciate you reading and sharing.

Alisha S.
Alisha S.

Thank you for this helpful comparison of services! Just a small heads up that I think the Enterprise fee of 40 dollars is actually yearly, not monthly as noted in the article. (I hurried to their site, incensed at the thought of such a high fee, and saw it was not so at all. Phew!)

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Alisiha, thanks so much for the useful tip, we will look into it and update the article, appreciate you letting us know!

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