Car sharing in Russia appeared several years ago, but only now its use is becoming widespread. Every day more and more residents and guests of large cities choose this particular way to get from point A to point B. Car sharing services are acutely aware of this trend, therefore they are intensively increasing their fleets and in every possible way trying to satisfy the needs of all new client groups.
Today we have a unique opportunity to rent a car of almost any class in a few minutes – from the pop KIA Rio and Hyundai Solaris to executive Mercedes Benz, crossovers Nissan and hybrids BMW.
In this material, I would like to conduct a small educational program – to explain the principle of operation, the nuances and advantages of using carsharing cars.
Let's get started!
Car sharing is a short-term car rental using a smartphone. To register in the service and start the lease, there is no need to visit the lessor's office, everything happens exclusively inside the mobile application. If you simplify the chain of actions as much as possible, you get the following algorithm: you register in the service application, find a free car nearby, book it, get to it, open the doors using the same application, drive to the place you need, complete the lease, pay for the time use. Payment by the minute. So far, it looks pretty simple, but, as elsewhere, there are some nuances. About them a little later, but for now, about the advantages.
Despite the fact that most of the time I live in a provincial city, I am often in Moscow and outside rush hours I often use car-sharing services. And that's why.
- It's cheaper than a taxi, but more comfortable than public transport when it comes to regular cars like Kia Rio or Hyundai Solaris. The car-sharing car has air conditioning, a trunk and a lot of free space. Yes, you have to steer and watch the road yourself, but the automatic transmission and electric power steering smooth out this nuance.
- Free parking on the territory of the Moscow Parking (except for closed parking lots with barriers, for example, in the City or at railway stations). This is extremely convenient if your destination is in the central part of Moscow or in another zone of paid parking. Unlike your personal car, parking will cost 0 rubles.
- The opportunity to drive a new car for you. There is nothing easier than car sharing to try yourself at the wheel of an unusual car, be it a two-seater Smart, executive Mercedes or hybrid BMW. Operators even promise Gelendvagens and sports cars at premium rates, but later.
- Gasoline is included in the price. If there is a need to refuel, the car sharing service will reimburse these costs.
I will not point out here the general advantages over a personal car, since everything is relative. I just see this service as another form of transport that can be periodically used as an alternative to the metro or taxi.
How to start using?
To start using carsharing, you need to install an application of a service, or rather several at once. The most popular in Moscow are BelkaCar, YouDrive, Yandex.Drive, Delimobil, AnyTime. There are 13 operators in total in the capital. There is even a car-sharing discounter Karusel, which is offered by Lada Granta with automatic transmission at a price of 5 rubles per minute.
During the registration process, you enter your data, take a photo of your driver's license and passport, and then wait for the account moderation, which lasts from several minutes to several days. Therefore, it is best to register in advance.
Each service has its own requirements for drivers in terms of experience, age and driving reputation (fines, accidents, etc.), they can be clarified directly in the application.
If you comply with the rules of the service and the verification has been successfully completed, then all that remains is to find a free car on the application map and book it. The car also opens through the application, inside there will be either an ignition key or a Start Engine key. Do not forget to carry out a visual inspection of the car before the trip, and also remember a few nuances, which I will discuss below.
There are several nuances in using carsharing, the knowledge of which will make it as simple and safe for health and wallet as calling a taxi, ordering pizza or buying in an online store. It is important to remember about them.
- Be sure to inspect your vehicle before driving. Record all damages and upload their photos to the application at the inspection stage (after the start of the rental and before the start of the movement). If this is not done, then the damage to the car can be attributed to you and demand for damages. The same goes for the trash in the cabin. For “disgusting” car-sharing services fine their users. If there is photographic evidence that this was done before you, then there will be no complaints against you.
- Take advantage of additional CASCO insurances that can be activated in the application. In this case, if you become the culprit of an accident, then the damage will be fully or partially covered by the insurance company. As a rule, if you are not the culprit of the accident, then even with the additional insurance disabled, you will not have to reimburse anything.
- Observe the traffic rules. Remember that all fines for speeding, incorrect parking, crossing the stop line and everything else will be redirected to you, and you will be responsible for all your violations. In addition, in addition to the traffic police, you can be fined by the service itself. For example, in the event of a car evacuation, the lessor will charge you all the costs associated with returning the car.
- Do not smoke or litter in your rented car. Some carsharing cars are equipped with CCTV cameras or smoke detectors, but even if they are not, the next driver may complain about the smell of tobacco or debris. Then the service will charge you a fine for violations of the rules for using the service.
- Only park your rented car in authorized places. You won't have to pay anything within the official open Moscow Parking – car-sharing services have an agreement with the Moscow Government. Parking behind gates is only permitted where there are dedicated parking spaces for the service you are using, such as at airports.
- Try not to take cars with low fuel, so you don't have to waste your paid time to refuel. Despite the fact that the services compensate for the cost of fuel, as well as part of the time you paid, it is better to take an already fueled car and not delve into these nuances.
- Check the lease completion area. In most cases, it is within the Moscow Ring Road and in special parking lots of shopping centers and airports. But conditions may differ from operator to operator. It may not be possible to complete the lease at your destination.
- Always remember about traffic jams and watch the traffic situation. It is unprofitable to stand during rush hour in hours of congestion with a per-minute payment.
- Above, I have listed the main universal points that will save you 90% from unplanned expenses. However, it is useful to read the rules of a particular service in the application. At least the FAQ.
Several use cases
In conclusion, I would like to cite a few car sharing use cases from my own experience that seemed to me the most interesting.
Travel to or from the airport. Car sharing will be very beneficial and convenient if you are traveling to or from the airport, you are not alone and you still have luggage with you. An hour's trip from the center to one of the Moscow airports and vice versa will cost 600-800 rubles (relatively without traffic jams). The main thing is to find out which operator has a special parking lot where you can complete the lease or take a car.
Aeroexpress for two will cost about the same, only you will have to somehow get to / from the station, a taxi will most likely be more expensive, and you will have to pay extra for parking your own car.
Regular trips to the center of Moscow. Everything is simple here: a taxi is cheaper, a metro is more comfortable and you do not need to pay for parking.
Trips to the near Moscow region. If you have some business in the near Moscow region with a return back to Moscow, but do not have your own car, then car sharing is an excellent alternative to electric trains. There is no need to adjust to the schedule, you can drive right to the door, but the trip will be much more expensive.
As you can see, car sharing is a great service that matches the rhythm of a big city. Share in the comments your experience, problems or non-standard situations related to car sharing.