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.
I signed up to GoCar a good while ago but haven’t used it yet. I decided to give it a go and booked a GoCar City for a short journey. This post will go over the booking process using the Android App and I will do another post on the actual process to use the car shortly. This post will be very picture heavy and I’ll let the screenshots do most of the talking.
When you open the app it will display the GoCar bases near your location. Blue icons mean it is a GoElectric Base.
I signed up to GoCar on Monday. On the website I saw mentions of a membership card which is used to unlock the car when but the site also referred to unlocking the car with the app. I presumed that now you only used the app and they had stopped issuing cards. Well today I received a letter from GoCar with my membership card. It appears you can use either the card or the app to unlock the car. I suppose this makes sense as not all phones have NFC capabilities.
I decided to bite the bullet and join GoCar.ie even though I don’t really see myself using it for the time being. They’ve reduced the joining fee from €50 to €10 which I think is much more reasonable. €10 is low enough that I’d spend it on the off chance I need to use a GoCar in the future while €50 is too much to justify a just in case sign up.
I have to say I was very impressed with the sign up process it was simple and very quick. Firstly enter in your name, email and phone number. Then pay the €10 sign up fee using a debit or credit card.
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.
There is a once off joining fee of €10.
BMW i3 (Electric)
Ford Transit Connect
Hourly rates are half price from midnight – 8am
50KM of driving included on each trip. Additional KMs are 50c per KM or 25c per KM for electric cars.
Free parking in Dublin City Centre included
I decided to check how much a car rental would be to collect tomorrow morning and drop of 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 €0 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 of 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.