I’ve already posted about what GoCar is, signing up to GoCar, booking a GoCar on the app and this will be my final post in the series which is about actually renting/using a GoCar. I rented the car late at night when it was dark so there aren’t any photos except stock photos from the goCar website. The whole process was seamless and I was very impressed. The trip was for an hour and I drove 30KM. The total cost was €6.40 which was €4 for car rental and €2.40 for the extra insurance so the standard €1,000 excess was reduced to €0. As I rented between 00.00am and 08.00am the normal €8 hourly fee was reduced to €4.
Getting into the car
You can unlock the car by either holding your GoCar card to the reader on the windscreen or by pressing and holding the unlock button on the app. I used the app as I didn’t have my card with me. You do not need to hold your phone to the reader on the windscreen when pressing the button. After pressing the unlock button on the app for around 5 seconds the car unlocked. Once I got in a pre-recorded message played which gave me a fright although it was very useful as it was my first time using the system. I imagine it would get very frustrating after renting multiple times – apparently you can turn off the pre-recorded messages on the app but I haven’t work out how yet.
Starting the car
Once you are in the car, open the glovebox and you will see a pin-pad device. Connected to this will be the key for the car. Enter your PIN into the keypad and the keys will be released. This PIN is selected when you first sign up to GoCar. You will also find the Topaz Fuel Card behind the key pad. After releasing the keys you can put the PIN pad back into the glovebox and close it for the journey. There are a few laminated sheets in the glovebox that explain how to use the goCar.
Refueling the car
Fuel is included in the cost of renting the car and you must return the car with at least 1/4 tank full. Each car (except GoElectric) has a Topaz Fuel card in it which can be used in any Topaz or Esso. When you get to a Topaz or Esso station, simply fill up the car as you normally would. You will need the fuel card and PIN to pay. The PIN is located on the driver sun-visor and the fuel card is behind the pin pad in the glove box. Hand the cashier the fuel card, enter the fuel card PIN and you’re all set. Two things to note are – the PIN for the fuel card is not the PIN you select when signing up to GoCar and you may be asked for reg and mileage when paying with the fuel card. You don’t have to supply these.
Returning the car
Once you are back at the base make sure to collect all your belongings. Turn off the lights and close all the windows. GoCar request you do not leave the car in gear. Place the car keys keyring back into the PIN pad and ensure the fuel card is there as well. Then put the device into the glovebox, close the glove box, do one more check to make sure you have everything then get out of the car. You can then lock the car by either holding your GoCar card to the reader on the windscreen or press and hold the lock button on the app. You should be able to hear when the car has locked. After that, your done.
The car was a GoCity 142 Ford Fiesta with 55,000 KM on it. It drove very well and was clean inside. It was a basic enough model ( no auto lights/parking sensors etc) but was perfect for what I needed it for.
Would I use again?
Yes but not as much as I wish I could. The main reason I won’t be using GoCar that often is nothing to do with the service they offer but instead it’s due to me needing car insurance. I do not need a car and could easily get away with using just GoCar but what I do need is car insurance that allows me to drive any car and in Ireland that means I need to own a car myself. If non-owners insurance was offered in Ireland I’d be selling my car and using GoCar as my main car. I suppose I technically don’t need car insurance but I find it very very useful. I can’t count how many times I’ve driven other peoples car whether its because they want to drink and I’m happy to drive or simply their car is blocking my car in. Either way, it’s no fault of GoCar and I can see myself using it again but not that frequently. If I was living back in Dublin City Centre I would be using GoCar a lot more.