Car sharing: how does it work? All you need to know

Car sharing in the Netherlands - how does it work

Car sharing: how does it work? Don’t have a car, but need one now and again? Or are you considering getting rid of your (second) car and using a shared car from time to time? Then you are doing something smart and sustainable. How does car sharing work? Which providers are there and what should you pay attention to? We list everything you need to know about carsharing.

What is car sharing?

Car sharing is possible in many ways. You can share a car with your neighbours, or you can use a car sharing platform. There is variation in this too. Most shared cars are from car rental companies, who therefore offer their own fleet of shared cars. Greenwheels for example SHARE NOW and Stapp.in. SnappCar and MyWheels are also car sharing platforms, but they work differently. Here, private individuals offer their own cars for rent. This is called peer-to-peer car sharing.

Why car sharing?

Car sharing is cheaper than owning your own car when you don’t need your car every day. After all, you save on car insurance, road tax, maintenance and a parking permit. Moreover, car sharing is sustainable. It reduces the number of cars, traffic jams, CO2 emissions and parking pressure. Especially when you choose an electric car, the environmental benefits are great. SHARE NOW, SIXT Share, Amber and We Drive Solar only offer electric cars.

Car sharing: how does it work?

In order to use a shared car, you must first create an account with the car sharing company. You do this through the website or app of the provider. If you need a shared car, you usually have to reserve it in advance through the same website or app, or through Gaiyo, the collection app for all your shared transport. How far in advance you need to make a reservation varies from provider to provider. On the map of the provider or Gaiyo you can see which shared cars are available close to you. You usually reserve your shared car for a certain duration.

Extend, shorten or cancel hire of a shared car. 

If you want to use the car longer than planned, you can usually do so, provided no one else has reserved the car in the meantime. Extensions are also possible via the app or website. You can also shorten your trip, but this is usually subject to more conditions, which differ from provider to provider. The same goes for cancelling your ride. This is usually possible up to a certain number of hours in advance. Sometimes you have to pay a cancellation fee when you cancel your ride shortly in advance. 

What does a shared car cost?

The costs of a shared car depend on many factors. Think of the time of day, the duration of your trip, the distance you travel, the type of car you rent and any subscription and/or registration fees charged by the provider. Some car sharing providers have flexible rates, which are tailored to the amount of demand at the time. Also take into account any minimum or starting tariffs. With some providers you always pay for at least half an hour, with others you pay by the minute from the start of your rental period. Whether you have to pay a deposit also differs by provider, as does the excess.

Some car sharing companies offer the possibility to rent the car for a longer period, for example a whole day or a weekend. The prices are different than when you reserve the car for a few hours. At Snappcar, each supplier determines its own rates. 

How do I open a shared car?

With private car hire companies, such as MyWheels or Snappcar, you arrange the handover of the keys with the car hire company. With shared cars from shared car companies, you usually open the car with a card (ov-chipkaart) or your mobile phone. The key is in the glove compartment.

Which shared cars are there in the Netherlands?

There are quite a few shared car providers in the Netherlands. Some are active throughout the Netherlands, others operate only very locally. The largest car sharing providers in the Netherlands are: Amber, ConnectCar, Greenwheels, MyWheels, SHARE NOW, Sixt Share, SnappCar, StudentCar, We Drive Solar, Witkar, Stapp.in. In the Gaiyo app you will find the cars from MyWheels, Greenwheels, SHARE NOW and Stapp.in.

With Gaiyo you plan, book and pay shared cars for your every need. We display available cars and other shared transport in your vicinity, which you can book straight away with the app. Download Gaiyo now!

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