There’s no denying owning a car is expensive – motor tax, insurance, fuel, maintenance, depreciation it all quickly adds up. I don’t really need a car, I’d drive it a few times a week and I could easily swap most of these trips to a bike or walking. A car sharing scheme such as GoCar would probably suit me quite well for the longer trips but there are a few reasons I haven’t given up my car and moved to car sharing.
What is car sharing
Car sharing allows you to easily and frequently rent cars for short trips. Once joined as a member, you can book on an app and when you arrive at the car you use your membership card to unlock the car, hop in and off you go. There are two options in Ireland that I know of GoCar available in Dublin and Cork and Toyota Yuko available in Dublin. GoCar is much more popular and they have recently changed their pricing scheme and it appears to be more reasonably priced now. Previously you paid per time and distance but now you get 50KM included for every trip.
Any driver who is over 21 and has held their licence for over 2 years can join GoCar.
Updated June 2019
There is a once off joining fee of €10.
GoCar no longer have a joining fee.
Hourly rates are half price from midnight – 8am
50KM of driving included on each trip. Additional KMs are 50c per KM.
Free parking in Dublin City Centre included
I decided to check how much a car rental would be to collect tomorrow morning and drop off Friday morning totalling 24 hours on holidayautos.co.uk which includes all insurance (€1,500 excess) but not fuel. It would cost €18.51 to collect from Dublin airport or €32.97 from Pearse St. Significantly cheaper than GoCar would cost for the day.
Insurance is included in the cost of the rental however there is a €1,500 excess for any damage caused to the GoCar during the rental. This can be reduced to €250 by purchasing their Damage Excess Waiver.
GoCar have a video on their site explaining how it works. It’s a pretty poor video in my opinion and doesn’t show how it works in any real detail. Also the pans and quick cuts made me feel a bit sick after watching it twice. I was a bit amused at the opening comment ‘Ireland’s most convenient way to drive‘. I’m not sure having to book and then walk to the nearest GoCar base is more convenient then having a car parked in your driveway ready to use 24/7 but anyway..
Reasons I haven’t signed up yet
- My nearest GoCar base is a 15 minute walk away. I know I am quite lucky and a lot of people’s nearest Go Base would be much further away. But a 30 minute roundtrip walk to collect and drop off the GoCar really adds up and rules it out for going to get the weekly shop.
- I need a car anyway. I know this contradicts what I said earlier but in a way I need a car just so I can get insurance that allows me to drive any car. I put quite a large value on being insured to drive any car as I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve driven a family member’s/friend’s car. In a lot of countries you can get non-owners insurance. This covers a driver to drive other peoples cars even if they don’t own a car themselves. If this was offered in Ireland, I’d have sold my car a long time ago.
- You have to return the car to the base you rented from. I can understand why this is the case and unless GoCar have a lot more cars available to rent it will have to stay like this but it is a nuisance. If I want to drive to the other side of Dublin to meet a mate for the day, I need to pay for the whole days rental of the GoCar. I can’t pick it up, drop it off near my mates then pick up another car on the way back. It would work out cheaper just to get a taxi there and back. In Vancouver, you can pick up and drop off the car2go car anywhere in the home area which would be a feature I’d love to see GoCar implement.
I can’t really offer a review of GoCar as I have never used their service before but I can see myself signing up for it soon.
The previous joining fee was €50 which was too much to spend on the off chance I’ll need to use it, but with the joining fee being reduced to €10 I might take the plunge and give it a go. The only thing holding me back is I can’t envisage a time that I would need to take a GoCar car and bring it back to the base instead of just using my own car.