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Car and truck rental versus Car share: A simple break down to cost the two options

1. Cost structure
  • Rental Cost: Car share schemes primarily charge by the hour. Whilst there are car rental companies that offer hourly rates, they are few and far apart and generally smaller operators. A one day rental of a Car share vehicle would set you back up to $68 (based on compact car). This can be as little as $45 at reliable car rental companies.
  • Mileage Cost: Whilst most sizable car rental companies have moved toward unlimited allowance on kilometers, car share vehicles to have a cap, typically 150 kms free per day
  • Fuel: Whilst Car share companies do charge for mileage, fuel is included. Based on your usage and driving habits, this could lead to significant cost saving in view of rising fuel costs.
  • Insurance and excess reduction: For car rental in Sydney, you can obtain daily cover for as little as $5 per day ($300) excess. With car share companies this cover is often charged by the hour and can add up to almost $18 per day
2. Membership requirement
  • A key difference between companies providing traditional car hire in Sydney and car share companies is the requirement to pay a monthly membership fee. In addition to an application fee, this can leave you out of pocket up to $100 per annum.
  • In addition a $500-$750 bond is often taken up front and not refunded until the membership is terminated. So you could forfeit your bond money for years if you use the service well into the future.
3. Availability
  • Car share vehicles have the added advantage of being available to you at anytime of the day, 24/7, 365 days per year. This certainly is a big benefit, especially if you require a vehicle last minute or outside normal business hours. In some cases, certain times of the day (late at night/early morning) are even marked as “free” such that you are only liable for kilometers charges.
  • Car share companies have limited spots within each locality and hence a limited number of vehicles. As such during peak times availability can most certainly be an issue. Further, if you make a reservation and the prior renter does not honour your it, there is little redress at the time. On the other hand, car and truck rental companies have the ability to keep a track of bookings, inform you of the delay and/or provide an upgrade to an alternative vehicle. This added human element as provided by car and truck rental companies can make a huge difference in the event of any unexpected issues on the day.
Whilst both types of services have their pros and cons, the suitability of the product to you will very much depend on the level of use. The key factors as we have discovered above are convenience, cost differences, availability and customer service/assistance.