GoEco Recommends: Sustainable Car Sharing Services

Will car sharing lead to a greener world? It seems possible; if done right it could seriously reduce emissions. You can read a full article on the environmental benefits of car sharing here. Unsurprisingly, research supports car sharing as an innately greener option to privately-owned cars, and by choosing an electric or hybrid car you can be an even greater green-queen. What with cheaper fuel, no congestion charges and potentially free parking spaces in towns and cities, its a win-win.

There are two types of car sharing services; peer-to-peer (P2P), where companies facilitate people lending out their cars, and fleet-based (B2C), where a company owns a fleet of cars – learn a little more about that along with environmental benefits in our article here. Due, however, to the limited and mixed research comparing P2P and B2C, it is tricky to say which is more eco-friendly. The below recommendations are all P2P as they provide the easiest access to greener cars such as electric and hybrid.

Also worth noting, P2P models have been suggested as a catalyst towards electrification of cars. The P2P model can help car owners afford an electric car and can give those who are considering purchasing one a real driving experience. Using sustainability reports provided by the companies, we have recommended below the ones doing more than simply providing a car sharing service.

Our Top Picks…

Turo

Company: whilst there may seem to be an increasing number of electric cars on the road, trying to hire one can prove more difficult. Our favourite thing about Turo is that you can, firstly, filter your search to only include electric cars and secondly, there are actually some on offer (obviously depending where you are searching, we used London as our base).

In addition, sustainability is a hot topic on Turo’s blog, often discussing topics such as how car sharing can encourage people to invest in electric cars. In 2018, supply of electric vehicles on Turo grew 1.6x faster than hybrid or internal combustion engine vehicles and demand grew 1.5x faster.

Product: using Turo is incredibly reminiscent of Airbnb. You simply search for cars on offer by the date and location that you need them, and reviews can help to give you peace-of-mind over who you are borrowing from. You get details of how many trips the car has done through Turo, as well as certain cars being awarded ‘All-Star Host’. There is no cost to sign up to Turo and you can cancel your trip for free up to 24-hours before it starts.

The prices of the cars will obviously depend on the car and its owner however, we found a fully electric 2011 Nissan Cube in London for £49.50/day or £287.90/week, including fees and minimum protection insurance (£5/day more for standard insurance, £15/day more for premier insurance). There is a £25 daily fee added for young drivers (under 25).

Hiyacar

Company : Hiyacar are one of the only companies who discuss reducing their company’s carbon footprint, as opposed to the driver’s footprint being reduced through car sharing or electric cars. They are currently partnered with Trees For Cities who are a UK charity working at a national and international level to create greener cities.

Hiyacar give you the option to offset your emissions through Trees For Cities at the checkout; we would love to see them paying to offset all customer emissions in future. But focusing on the positives, their site does suggest that they also have plans to fund clean energy research, air quality improvement and contribute to other environmental charities. To encourage owners to rent out their electric and hybrid vehicles, they also promise the owner will get 100% of the income from renting their car for the first three months if it is fully electric and the first one month if it is a Hybrid. Similarly to Turo, you can filter by electric or hybrid cars.

Product: the site is easy to use and allows you to search without creating an account. There is no membership fee and if you cancel more than 24 hours in advance of your booking you will receive a full refund. As with Turo, you can see reviews of cars as well as how many times they have been rented out. All cars are covered by comprehensive insurance and AA Roadside Assistance.

Again, prices of the cars will depend on who you are renting from, however, we found a fully electric Nissan Leaf in London for £58.50 for one day (including booking fee and insurance), or you could rent it for a week for £272.58 (including booking fee and insurance). Insurance may be slightly more expensive for younger drivers but there is no young drivers fee. The minimum age to hire a car is 23.

We do our best to research and find the most environmentally-friendly companies to recommend at GoEco. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: hello@goeco.co.uk. We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future!

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