London is a bustling city with a population of over 8 million people. With limited parking and high congestion charges, owning a car in London can be a hassle. As a result, car sharing has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional car ownership in the city. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top car sharing apps available in London, compare their prices, and provide an in-depth analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of car sharing.
What is Car Sharing?
Car sharing is a service that allows users to rent a car for a short period, typically by the hour, minute, or day, as an alternative to traditional car rentals or owning a car. Car sharing services are typically accessed through a mobile app, where users can reserve a nearby car, unlock it with their phone, and start driving.
Top Car Sharing Apps in London
There are several car sharing apps available in London, each with its own unique features and pricing structure. Let’s explore the top car sharing apps available in London and their respective prices.
Zipcar is one of the most well-known car sharing services in London, with over 2,000 cars available across the city. The company offers a wide range of vehicles, including hatchbacks, estate cars, and vans. Zipcar charges by the hour or by the day, with prices starting at £5 per hour or £49 per day.
Enterprise Car Club
Enterprise Car Club offers a fleet of cars and vans in London. The company has over 1,400 vehicles available across the city, including electric cars. Enterprise Car Club charges by the hour or by the day, with prices starting at £4.95 per hour or £33 per day.
DriveNow offers a fleet of BMW and MINI cars in London. The company charges by the minute or by the hour, with prices starting at £0.29 per minute or £8 per hour.
Ubeeqo offers a wide range of vehicles, including hatchbacks, estates, and electric cars, in London. The company charges by the hour or by the day, with prices starting at £5 per hour or £49 per day.
Hertz 24/7 offers a fleet of cars and vans in London. The company charges by the hour or by the day, with prices starting at £14 per hour or £60 per day.
Bluecity offers a fleet of electric cars in London. The company charges by the minute or by the hour, with prices starting at £0.17 per minute or £5 per hour.
Virtuo offers a fleet of Mercedes-Benz A-Class and GLA cars in London. The company charges by the day, with prices starting at £35 per day.
To compare the prices of these car sharing apps, let’s use the example of renting a car for a full day, from 9am to 5pm.
- Zipcar: £49 per day
- Enterprise Car Club: £33 per day
- DriveNow: £64 per day (based on 8 hours at £8 per hour)
- Ubeeqo: £49 per day
- Hertz 24/7: £60 per day
- Bluecity: £40 per day (based on 8 hours at £5 per hour)
- Virtuo: £35 per day
As you can see, prices vary significantly depending on the car sharing app that you choose. DriveNow charges by the minute or by the hour, which can add up quickly if you need the car for a longer period of time.
Benefits of Car Sharing
Car sharing has several benefits, making it an attractive alternative to traditional car ownership. Let’s explore the key benefits of car sharing.
Car sharing can be a more affordable option than owning a car, especially for those who only need a car occasionally. Car sharing services typically charge by the minute, hour, or day, making it easy for users to choose the pricing plan that best suits their budget.
Car sharing services are typically accessed through a mobile app, making it easy and convenient to reserve a car and pick it up. Users can easily find nearby cars and unlock them with their phone, eliminating the need to search for a parking spot.
Car sharing can help reduce the number of cars on the road, which can help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. By using a car sharing service, users can contribute to a more sustainable future and reduce their carbon footprint.
Reduced Maintenance Costs
Car sharing services typically cover the cost of maintenance and repairs, which can help save users money in the long run. Users don’t need to worry about the cost of oil changes, tire rotations, or other maintenance tasks that are typically associated with car ownership.
Access to Multiple Types of Cars
Many car sharing services offer a variety of cars, giving users the opportunity to try out different types of vehicles. From electric cars to luxury cars, car sharing services have something for everyone.
With car sharing, users don’t have to commit to a long-term lease or car ownership, giving them the flexibility to use a car only when they need it. This can be especially beneficial for those who only need a car occasionally or who are not ready to commit to car ownership.
Car Sharing for Businesses
Car sharing can be particularly beneficial for businesses in London. Many car sharing companies offer business accounts, allowing companies to easily manage their employees’ transportation needs. Employees can easily reserve a car through the app and charge it to the company account, reducing the need for expense reports and reimbursements.
Drawbacks of Car Sharing
While car sharing has many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. Let’s explore the key drawbacks of car sharing.
Car sharing services may not be available in all areas, or may have limited availability during peak times. Users may need to travel to a designated parking spot to pick up and drop off the car, which can be inconvenient for some.
Users may have to travel to a designated parking spot to pick up and drop off the car, which can be inconvenient for some. Additionally, car sharing services typically have time limits on rentals, which may not work for users who need a car for an extended period of time.
Car sharing services typically have time limits on rentals, which may not work for users who need a car for an extended period of time. Additionally, users may not have the flexibility to make last-minute changes to their rental plans, as car sharing services typically require advance reservations.
When using a peer-to-peer car sharing service, users may be responsible for any damage to the car or accidents that occur during their rental period. This can be a concern for some users, as they may be liable for costly repairs or insurance claims.
Car sharing can be a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional car ownership in London. There are several car sharing apps available in the city, each with its own unique features and pricing structure. By comparing the prices and benefits of each app, users can choose the car sharing service that best suits their needs and budget. While there are some drawbacks to consider, the benefits of car sharing, including affordability, convenience, and environmental sustainability, make it an attractive option for many. Additionally, car sharing can be particularly beneficial for businesses, helping to reduce transportation costs and streamline expense management.