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Car Sharing 101 – Gig Answers Your Questions About Car Sharing

Car sharing has been around for many years. The concept is simple — a few, several, or many people share a vehicle — sharing the benefits of transportation while also sharing costs.

There are several different ways car sharing works. In this blog, we’ll cover some of the basics of the different car-sharing models, how GIG Car Share works, and some of the benefits for car-sharing participants.   

Is car sharing cheaper than owning a car?

Owning a car has a lot of attached costs, such as the purchase or lease cost, car maintenance costs, insurance costs, registration costs, and fuel costs (if the car share company covers fuel like Gig does!). When you only pay for transportation when you need it, you can save money. And, with a car share company like GIG Car Share, not only is your fuel covered, so is your insurance, customer support, parking in the HomeZone, and roadside assistance!

How can car sharing help the environment?

One study found that each free-floating, one-way car-sharing vehicle removed 7 to 11 vehicles on average from the road in the cities studied.* Fewer cars on the road means reduced emissions. And reducing emissions means better air quality. Learn more on our Benefits of Car Sharing on the Environment blog.

*This study, Carsharing’s Impact and Future, studied free-floating one-way carsharing members across five cities in the U.S. and Canada and included four business models:  1) business  to  consumer  (B2C);  2)  business  to  government  (B2G);  3)  business  to  business (B2B); and 4) peer-to-peer (P2P).

What does free-floating car share mean?

Free-floating car share means that there are no fixed stations or hubs in which you find the cars. This means that you will find free-floating cars throughout the service area. This is how GIG Car Share works. We call our service area the “HomeZone.” This is where our Members find available cars to start their trips, and it is where they end their trips. Free-floating car share can be really beneficial for those interested in instant car share, because you do not need to travel to any specific location in order to rent and pick up a car — just check your app to see where the closest car is to you!

How does car sharing with GIG Car Share differ from traditional car rental companies?

Renting a car from a traditional rental car agency can take a lot of time and energy. First, you will need to travel to the rental car office, instead of being able to find a car located near you (like with Gig). Once you are there, you need to fill out paperwork while they prepare your rental car. With Gig, there’s no waiting, no lines, and no hidden fees (like no young driver fees)! Once you sign up (signing up is free!) and are approved, you’re ready to grab a Gig and go! Pay as you go, or get discounted rates on Gig rentals of 24 hours or longer by paying for them up front. Gas/EV charging, insurance, and parking in the HomeZone are all included with GIG Car Share.

How does car sharing with GIG Car Share differ from peer-to-peer car sharing services?

With some car share services that offer privately owned cars, you may have to coordinate with the owner of the rental car to pick it up, and some may feel uncomfortable going to a destination provided by the owner of the vehicle. And, because the car is privately owned, there may be different stipulations and rules (like no pets) depending on the car and the owner. GIG Car Share offers a fleet of hybrids and electric cars that are professionally maintained and ready to be rented near you. There’s no coordinating a pick up and drop off time with Gig — you have the freedom to choose how long you rent the car.

How does car sharing with GIG Car Share differ from a ride-sharing app?

Most ride-sharing companies offer transportation in which you commonly contact the company, request a ride, and are assigned a car/driver to pick you up to take you to your destination. There can be a few restrictions around this model, including wait times, restrictions around destinations, and the inability to change your destination or add destinations. Car sharing like GIG Car Share offers a car for you to rent without the restrictions of relying on another driver. With Gig, you are in control of your journey, and you decide when and where you go! 

Can you rent a car from GIG Car Share for more than a day?

Yes! You can rent a Gig for up to seven days in the Bay Area and Seattle, and you can rent an Electric Gig for up to 14 days in Sacramento! Just make sure to return it to the original HomeZone. You can get discounted rates on Gig rentals of 24 hours or longer by paying for them up front. The amount you save depends on the length of your rental and on your market. Check out our Prepay and Pay page for more info!

Gas (and charging) is covered by GIG Car Share. How does that work?

We always pay for charges and fueling, either in the form of a refund on a previous trip or through a good ol’ fashioned check (which can take a few weeks). We always do our best to keep the Gigs fueled up and ready for adventure, but if you need a boost, you can pay for the fuel-out-of-pocket, snap a pic of your receipt and submit it for a refund. Click here to learn more. Click here to learn more about charging your Electric Gig.

Where can I start my Gig trip and where can I end it?

The HomeZone is the area where you can start and end a trip. You can see the HomeZone boundaries in the app. You can take your Gig anywhere (within the U.S.), but you can only start or end a trip inside the HomeZone. Learn more about starting and ending your trip on our FAQs page.

How can I learn more about taking a trip with GIG Car Share?

Check out our Youtube Channel, where we have several tutorials around using Gig. Our Gig Tutorial Playlist includes helpful emails around how to sign up, what the HomeZone is, how to turn your Gig on, how to fuel (and get reimbursed), how to use the bike rack, and how to use the Gig Card. Things You Should Know about GIG Car Share offers some helpful tips that will make your Gig trip awesome.

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