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When you have errands to run all across the city and no vehicle to get you places, the cost of rideshare can quickly leave you strapped for cash. From minimum fares to surge pricing (not to mention the cost of owning a car), Uber and Lyft’s rates may allow for affordable one-way trips, but every destination you add to your day is another $10 to $13 spent. The solution lies in car-sharing with SHARE NOW, the new product of two services — car2go and DriveNow — that merged to put you behind the wheel of your ride.
If car ownership isn’t in your immediate future or you simply want a backup plan when your car’s in the shop, you may want to learn about car2go, DriveNow, and how their new joint venture, SHARE NOW, can help you out.
- What Was Car2go?
- Car2go and DriveNow Merge
- How Does SHARE NOW Work?
- Where Is SHARE NOW Available?
- How to Sign Up for SHARE NOW
- SHARE NOW’s Sister Brands
- SHARE NOW Pros and Cons
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Was Car2go?
Car2go was a short-term car rental service that allowed drivers to locate nearby available vehicles and book them on demand — no car key pickup needed. The company allowed users to take their rentals out for as little as a few minutes or as much as three days, and you didn’t even have to refuel when you ended your trip.
Up until its merger with DriveNow (its direct competitor) on November 12, 2019, the company offered all of these features as an independent app. Today, all of its best features have transitioned into the SHARE NOW app, which we’ll take a closer look at further down in this article.
How Car2Go Compared to Other Car Rental Companies
Car2go was unique because its service functioned more similarly to scooter sharing services like Bird scooters than to peer-to-peer car rental companies like Turo and Fair. Car2go’s own fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles and Smart cars could be unlocked through your app just by beginning a trip. Vehicles could be picked up wherever previous users left them and be returned at any legal street parking zone in your city’s operating area.
While car2go was fairly similar to Zipcar, in that you were charged short-term rates including fuel and insurance, car2go pulled ahead because it was completely free to sign up. Zipcar, on the other hand, charges monthly or yearly fees for you to fully access the platform. Zipcars also must be left at designated ZipCar locations, making car2go’s policy far more flexible.
So where is car2go now? Car2go hasn’t completely gone away — rather, it adapted and changed.
Car2go and DriveNow Merge
Car2go was in the news throughout early to mid-2019 for pulling its operations from a handful of major cities, including Austin, Portland, Denver, San Diego, and Toronto. By December, its fleet of cars will no longer be in Chicago either.
While this news seemed bleak at first, it was actually the start of a brand new chapter. Daimler AG, the parent company that owns car2go, is set to focus on high-demand markets around the world — and it isn’t doing so alone. Daimler AG has banded together with BMW Group, the owner of DriveNow, to create and operate a brand new solution: SHARE NOW.
As of November 12, 2019, car2go and DriveNow’s fleets are officially combined to offer users even more car-sharing options around the world.
How Does SHARE NOW Work?
If you used car2go on a recurring basis, the good news is that you can still get the majority of your favorite features through SHARE NOW. Vehicles can still be picked up 24/7 throughout SHARE NOW’s operating areas and dropped off at most legal on-street parking spots. Just as car2go members are used to, your car insurance and fuel will be covered in the cost of your ride.
Here are three key differences between car2go and SHARE NOW:
- You’ll now use the SHARE NOW app. If you already had a car2go account, you can use your exact same login information to sign in to the SHARE NOW app. In fact, if you had the car2go app downloaded as of November 12, your app should have received an automatic update that transformed it into the SHARE NOW app — no action needed on your part.
- Trips are fully smartphone operated. SHARE NOW has completely removed the car2go fleet’s digital screens, which were used to start and end trips. Now, users just need to enable their Bluetooth, input their PIN, and stand next to a SHARE NOW car for a completely keyless entry that automatically begins your trip.
- You now have far more car rental options. In addition to car2go’s fleet of Mercedes-Benz cars and Smart Fortwo vehicles, you now have access to DriveNow’s BMWs and MINI Coopers. In total, this gives you access to over 20,000 cars, including over 3,200 electric vehicles. This makes SHARE NOW the largest provider of free-floating vehicles in the world. Plus, you’ll now be able to rent your car for as much as 14 days.
Where Is SHARE NOW Available?
Now that car2go and DriveNow’s markets are combined in the SHARE NOW platform, the car-sharing service is available in 26 European and North American cities across 14 countries. These locations are:
- Austria: Vienna
- Belgium: Brussels
- Canada: Montreal, Vancouver
- Denmark: Copenhagen
- Finland: Helsinki
- France: Paris
- Germany: Berlin, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart
- Hungary: Budapest
- Italy: Florence, Milan, Rome, Turin
- Netherlands: Amsterdam
- Portugal: Lisbon
- Spain: Madrid
- United Kingdom: London
- United States: New York, Seattle, Washington D.C.
The United States and Canada currently do not have access to SHARE NOW’s electric fleet, while all European cities except Frankfurt, Florence, and Turin can rent electric. Amsterdam, Madrid, Paris, and Stuttgart all have 100% electric fleets. However, some European cities may not yet have access to the vehicle options that car2go once offered.
How to Sign Up for SHARE NOW
If you didn’t already have a car2go account at the time of SHARE NOW’s official launch, you can follow these steps to create your brand new SHARE NOW account:
- Scroll down on SHARE NOW’s homepage and tap “Choose a Country.”
- Select your country from the list.
- On the next page, you can scroll down to learn how SHARE NOW works in your country and view your local rental rates. Once you’re done reviewing this information, tap any of the “Register Now” buttons.
Signing up today will get you a free $10 credit that you can use to try out the service for the first time.
If you want to register directly on the SHARE NOW app, download the app from the App Store or Google Play store. Then, select your “Menu” tab, tap “Get Started,” select “I’m New Here,” and complete the form.
SHARE NOW’s Sister Brands
The car-sharing company SHARE NOW is just the start of Daimler AG and BMW Group’s mission to reinvent mobility for global consumers. Since the announcement of their joint venture, the automakers have created five unique brands, which each focus on a single mobility concept under the pseudonym “YOUR NOW.” While we’ve already discussed the SHARE NOW’s platform and REACH NOW (a trip-planning solution) is now defunct, we’ll introduce you to SHARE NOW’s three active sister brands as follows:
FREE NOW is a group of on-demand ride-hailing companies based in European countries like Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom. To best compete with Uber, regional rideshare and taxi brands like Beat, Clever Taxi, and Kapten now operate as independent apps associated with FREE NOW. Unlike SHARE NOW, FREE NOW has not announced any plans to create a merged FREE NOW app.
PARK NOW combines four smaller companies — ParkNow, ParkMobile, RingGo, and ParkLine — on one platform to help drivers book parking spaces with a variety of amenities. This merger makes PARK NOW a huge contender among companies that have been dubbed as the “Airbnbs of parking.”
While YOUR NOW’s other ventures are the results of mergers between pre-existing brands, CHARGE NOW was a BMW-initiated venture unique to the YOUR NOW joint venture. This brand connects users to over 100,000 electric vehicle charging points throughout nine markets, which is particularly helpful for anyone who frequently rents electric vehicles from SHARE NOW. It’s currently available in countries like Brazil and Hong Kong, but enrollment appears to be indefinitely closed for countries including the United States and Canada.
SHARE NOW Pros and Cons
When you join SHARE NOW, you’ll be one of the earliest adopters of the world’s largest provider of car sharing vehicles that you can pick up and park just about anywhere. This doesn’t just mean you’ll have access to one of the most convenient car rental services around. It also means you’ll have a huge selection of high-end vehicles and electric vehicles to choose from for your short-term ride.
SHARE NOW will also now be more affordable for your vacations than car2go was, since the service is offering longer term (up to 14 days) rental packages, in addition to the standard per-minute, hourly, and daily rates. However, since your car always needs to be in the Home Area to end a trip, you need to be cautious of where you’re driving to ensure you can return your car in time.
Still, SHARE NOW is a money-saving solution for running errands around the city. For these short-term trips, this option is far cheaper than car ownership.
Frequently Asked Questions
As car2go becomes a part of SHARE NOW, alongside DriveNow, greater car-sharing options are coming. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand more about the joint venture:
1. How much do SHARE NOW rentals cost?
SHARE NOW rates vary slightly from country to country, but pricing is extremely similar to car2go’s original rates. These are the starting rental rates within the United States:
- Minute-based rentals: 24 cents per minute (cheaper than car2go)
- Hourly rentals: $15.99 per hour (on par with car2go)
- Daily rentals: $69.99 flat rate, plus 19 cents per mile (entirely different pay structure than car2go)
Your final price may depend on the vehicle you select, as well as how many miles you drive.
2. If I refuel while using my SHARE NOW vehicle, can I get reimbursed?
While car2go did reimburse all drivers in car2go credit if they needed to refuel during a trip, as long as their trip information and receipt were emailed to the company, SHARE NOW doesn’t have any stated policy for refueling. That said, it’s currently unclear if you’ll get reimbursed, though we do expect a policy to be written in the future, since long-term trips are being offered.
3. What parking spots are off-limits for my SHARE NOW vehicle?
SHARE NOW vehicles cannot be left at off-street parking spaces. This means you are not allowed to drop off your car in parking garages or at shopping center lots since these cars can be towed for being left overnight or even long periods of time.
Of course, your on-street parking must be legal. This means no parking is allowed in prohibited areas or metered spaces.
Claim Your Spot Behind the Wheel
With car2go, you’ve already taken control of your temporary ride to reach your destination. Now that car2go has merged with DriveNow as the SHARE NOW service, your favorite car-sharing options are available in markets worldwide and your vehicle options will only increase.
If short-term rentals just aren’t cutting it, you may want to consider a more long-term solution. While car-sharing companies like SHARE NOW often focus on convenient trips for one day, you still have options. Learn about your long-term car rental options in our guide.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.