Experiences with City CarShare?
October 17, 2005 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have firsthand (or second-hand, I suppose) experience with City CarShare?

I'm considering joining, as I'm about to start a volunteer position in which having access to a car would be a big plus, but I'm a little leery of handing over a $300 deposit. Especially since the website, at least, seems a little coy about what they can deduct from that deposit. And they don't really explain the nitty gritty of cancelling the membership, so the $10/month membership fee is also giving me pause.

That said, I used to use Flexcar in Washington, and I loved it, so I don't need to be talked into the car-share idea. I just want to know if anyone's ever had trouble cancelling the membership or getting the deposit back, or faced any other issues that I should know before joining.
posted by occhiblu to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (4 answers total)
I was a member of CityCarShare for around two years. I loved it. (Eventually, circumstances forced me to buy a car of my own, which is why I dropped it. ) That was two years ago, so things may have changed a bit since I was a member, but I 'll tell you how things worked when I belonged.

The deposit is designed to cover their deductible on the insurance- you get into an accident, and it's your fault, and *poof* your deposit goes away, and you have to re-up before they let you take another car out. I never got into any scrapes, but it seemed reasonable enough to me, and I never heard about any issues with people griping about improper deductions. They returned my deposit in full shortly after I returned the magic key fob to their office, so no complaints about them being slow on that end. I seem to recall that they just credited back the charge on the credit card number I had given them when I signed up, so if you want cash back at the end, you might want to make sure you give them cash up front. Other than that, I had a great experience with it. I keep seeing new pods springing up all over the place, and I wish it still worked for me.
posted by ambrosia at 11:56 AM on October 17, 2005

Not exactly what you're asking, but you might want to look at ZipCar, they've been in Boston for a while (I use them), and they just started in San Francisco. They don't have a monthly membership fee, but their hourly rates are higher, so depending on how frequently you plan to use their cars, one or the other might make more sense financially.
posted by jerryg99 at 1:25 PM on October 17, 2005

ZipCar also doesn't have a per-mile charge. CCS seems to have a 44-cents-per-mile charge. So, factor that into the equation too.
posted by ootsocsid at 7:05 PM on October 17, 2005

My boyfriend has had CCS for the last three years. It's great for us because we usually use it to go to the City at night (we live in Oakland) so we often get a car at the 2-dollar off peak rate. Customer service has always been great, and the fact that there are so many pods (we have three within walking distance) has made it very useful to us. I had a friend who quit CCS when she moved to the East Coast, and she got her deposit back very quickly.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:04 PM on October 17, 2005

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