Last Saturday afternoon Bill and I started the long walk up to the Erwin Center to see the Davis Cup Quarterfinals. We were complaining about the heat for the millionth time this summer as we walked past the Austin office for car2go. Bill had joined this car-sharing service during a free promotion last fall but we had never actually used it. He checked their mobile app and saw that the nearest available car was only a block away. This seemed like a perfect time for our maiden trip.  

Bill swiped his membership card against the box inside the front windshield to unlock the car doors. After entering his PIN on the in-dash touchscreen, the key was released and off we went.

I think this is a “car fortwo” by Mercedes-Benz. It’s just the right size for two people to travel a short distance. A few grocery bags or a small suitcase would fit in the area behind the two seats. We were impressed how well the air conditioner worked but, of course, there isn’t much space to cool.

Dedicated car2go parking spaces are scattered through downtown Austin. The spots closest to the Erwin Center were full, but Bill knew that the car could be left in any legal space free of charge in the car2go operating area (downtown plus several miles in each direction) so we just looked for an empty on-street spot. 

Here are our trip statistics: 
$4.34 (including tax) 
11 minutes
 2.5 miles

The current rates are $.35 per minute, with maximums per hour and day. We probably spent at least four of our minutes reading the instructions. We would definitely use car2go again, especially for a short one-way trip like this. And next time we’ll try to reduce our time!

2 thoughts on “car2go

  1. I find this a fascinating idea. Was the car here when you came out? What if you take it to the grocery and come out and its gone? Do you wait for another to arrive or how does that work?

  2. We did not go back to see if the car was still there…we walked back to the apartment since it was cooler by that time.

    You could choose to keep the car (and pay) while you were in the store. Or you could release the care and then take your chances that it would still be there when you came out.

    You can also reserve a car in advance but we don’t know if you can release a car and then reserve it again 30 minutes later. We’ll have to try that sometime…when we aren’t going far and don’t mind walking!

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