City CarShare Review

City CarShare is a nonprofit car sharing program founded in San Francisco that provides fuel-efficient, green vehicles by the hour. While the company has expanded to nine cities in the Bay Area since 2001, it remains to be seen whether or not service will ever be available nationally.

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The Good

20 vehicle models to choose from

With City CarShare, you can choose a pickup truck to haul a heavy load or a Prius for a quick trip across the Golden Gate Bridge. Plus, as City CarShare aims to put the largest selection of green vehicles on the road, their choices of sedans, pickups, crossovers, hybrids, electric vehicles, and wheelchair-accessible vans are all chosen to be easy on gas and low on emissions.

Admirable green pledge

City CarShare has pledged to make half of their entire fleet run on alternative energy by the year 2015 as a way to achieve cleaner air. Some of the technologies employed are Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) like the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus. PHEV40s (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles) run on gas or electricity and can be charged from the grid. Examples of these vehicles are the Chevy Volt and the Prius PHEV40. If accomplished, City CarShare will go a long way toward cutting emissions in the Bay Area.

Member benefits included in the price

Don’t worry about how much gas will cost when you drive out to Lake Tahoe or getting help if you have car trouble. When you rent a car from City CarShare, fuel, insurance, and 24/7 roadside assistance are all included. The insurance gives you peace of mind that you’re covered while driving and the 24/7 roadside assistance means you can get a tow when you need one. These services make you feel more confident as a renter of a vehicle.

Multiple plans for the individual or household

Finding a plan that fits your lifestyle is a breeze with City CarShare because they offer three main plans to choose from based on your usage and needs. If you like to bike, walk, or use public transit when you can and only need a car for local trips a couple times per week or less, then choose the Share Local plan. This is the least expensive option of the three. Enjoy the Share Plus plan for free upgrades on premium rides if you like to take more day trips. Finally, Share Rewards is an annual fee plan for infrequent drivers that need a vehicle for the occasional errand.

The Bad

Only in San Francisco Bay area

As the least geographically diverse service reviewed, the City CarShare service is only offered in San Francisco and its surrounding communities. City CarShare caters to the San Francisco lifestyle with its emphasis on green vehicles and short trips. If this type of service appeals to you but you’re not located in the Bay Area, City CarShare is not for you. Several other services have a more national presence such as Zipcar, Hertz 24/7, and Enterprise CarShare.

Monthly fee and hourly rate plus mileage charge

Despite its nonprofit status, City CarShare piles on the fees. While still not outrageously expensive, many budget-minded users will be frustrated when trying to figure out per-mileage cost. In order to not confuse people, it would be better to build the price into a higher hourly rate or a more transparent monthly fee.

The Details

General Info

  • Age Requirement: 21 (18 for students with partnering college/university)
  • Availability: San Francisco Bay area
  • Free Daily Mileage Limit: 200

Rates And Fees

  • Annual Fee: None
  • Cancellation Fee: $5 - $15 (+ $10 for Flat Rate coupons applied)
  • Daily Rate: $48 (+ $0.10/mile) - $62
  • Damage Fee: Cost of damage
  • Deposit: $0 - $1,000
  • Excess Mileage Fee: $0.10 - $0.35/mile
  • Hourly Rate: $5.75 (+ $0.35/mile) - $7.50
  • Late Fee: $15 - $50
  • Low Fuel Fee: $25
  • No-Show Fee: Time reserved plus estimated mileage
  • One-Time Sign Up Fee: $25

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