Saturday marked the end of an era for me. As of noon Saturday I said Good Bye to car ownership. My trusty 2001 Nissan Altima is gone after having failed it’s Ontario Drive Clean test. I could have put the $500 plus into the car necessary for the repairs to bring it up to code, but then the car would still sit idle every day.
I don’t drive much these days as SapientNitro’s offices are at Spadina and Richmond and taking transit although painful at times is still better than paying an arm and a leg for a parking spot downtown. My “Daddy Taxi Duties” have been virtually non-existent for a while now as my teenage daughters make their own way around. I figured, why pour money into repairing a car that I hardly use on top of the other expenses of owning a car such as insurance, gas and maintenance. When I crunched the numbers I realized I could buy a MetroPass and use a Zip Car for any short trips I may need to make with the money I am saving and still come out ahead.
So Goodbye Car Ownership, hello car sharing.
If you aren’t familiar with car sharing, it’s access to a car when you need it, without the cost, hassles and pollution of ownership. With a car sharing service I have 24-hour, self-serve access to a fleet of vehicles parked in my neighbourhood – and across the city. I pay by the hour when I drive. I’ll save $1,000’s over owning – and – my daughter loves this part, I’m helping to reduce pollution.
I joined Zipcar and I couldn’t be more pleased. The Zip Car Android app (bet you were wondering where the new media angle was eh?) allows me to search for available Zipcars nearby, book a car or extend a reservation. Where I live in the Beach I found 18 cars within walking distance. The Android app also lets you lock and unlock the car doors, which is really neat.
You may notice the Zip Car ad on this site. ZipCar has an incentive plan whereby anyone who I recruit I get a $50 driving credit. They also allow us the option of splitting this credit with the person signing up. Which is what I am doing. If you click on the ad and sign up with Zipcar I will split the $50 driving credit with you. So not only will you be getting a great deal on a set of “wheels when you need them” but you will also be starting off with a $25 driving credit. So what are you waiting for? Click the ad all ready!