There’s a new car sharing company in DC, and it may be well-suited for Georgetowners. The company is Car2Go. Once you’re a member, you can grab any of their cars and use them, paying depending on how long you use the car. It’s 38 cents a minute, but the first hour tops out at $13.99, so once you have it for about 40 minutes, the next 20 minutes are basically free. It gets cheaper per minute the longer you keep it.
The unique thing about Car2Go is that there are no “stations” for the cars. They are left wherever the last driver left it. Which means you can pick up the car, drive to where you want to go, and just leave the car wherever (you don’t even need to worry about parking meters or 2 hour limits).
This leads to some degree of uncertainty since the availability of cars depends on other users having driven a car to a location convenient to you. The good news for Georgetowners is that Georgetown is likely to be a place that a lot of Car2Go users will end up driving to. So there should be a decent availability of cars in the neighborhood. While writing this, GM checked the real-time availability map on the company’s website, and there were seven cars available in Georgetown:
Perhaps the best way to think of this service is as a replacement for a cab. If you’re going across town for an evening out, this service is perfect. You just grab a car, drive it to H St. or wherever you’re going and just leave the car there. You can take a cab back home, you don’t need to return the car. Since the charges are only 38 cents a minute, you can get across town for under 8 bucks (without owing any tip).
There are a few huge caveats. First, the cars are all Smart Cars. GM drove a Smart Car across the Austrian Alps during his honeymoon. They’re fun and capable cars, but if you’ve got kids they’re not really an option. Second, the company provides its members with insurance, but it’s incredibly miserly and only covers third party liability. If you damage the car at all, you’re on the hook. So it makes more sense if you’ve got you’re own generous insurance coverage.
It’s not perfect and unlike ZipCar it probably won’t encourage too many more people to go car-free, but it’s a good option for those who want to leave their cars at home for whatever reason.