While owning your own car is often seen as an achievement — and certainly convenient — there are many who have begun to give up ownership and opt for car sharing.
Germany has one of the highest number of cars in Europe, which is reflected in some very congested cities: Cologne, Hamburg and Munich have made some lists as those with the heaviest traffic. To battle this common congestion but keep residents happy with the convenience of personal cars, car sharing companies are offering better cars, better prices and even more convenience.
Germany now has the largest number of shared cars on its roads, and the popularity of car sharing in Germany has skyrocketed — for good reason, and many users may never own a car again thanks to the benefits of car sharing.
Save money with car sharing
As an expat, importing a car or buying a new one requires the initial expense of the car itself, as well as registration and number plate fees, taxes, insurance, maintenance expenses, fuel and much more. For those that live and work in the same city and use public transportation to get to and from work, a personal car may be too great an expense for such limited use.
The alternative — renting a car from a standard agency when you need it — is often also fairly expensive, but car sharing is not your typical car rental agency. With car sharing, you may actually save more.
Pay for what you use
With car-sharing companies, some offering a one-off registration fee, you rent cars by the minute, not by the day like other rental agencies, at just cents per minute. However, others also offer the option to park the car overnight during the week at no charge — and you can simply get back in and drive off in the morning. With a standard rental car, you’re paying for every moment the car is in your possession, whether you’re driving it or not. These expat-friendly car sharing companies give you an idea of the low rates they can offer:
Car insurance is required in Germany, and it can be quite costly. Car insurance rates depend on a variety of factors, including the type of car and age of the driver, and can end up costing more than the car is worth per year to insure.
No fuel costs
Fuel prices in Germany are on the higher side, and costs the average driver in Germany just 1.24% of a typical salary. When you use some car sharing companies, you don’t pay for fuel at partner petrol stations — and in fact, you’re rewarded with bonus minutes if the tank is at half or lower when picked up and over 90% when dropped off, or if you recharge an electric car.
Save the environment with car sharing
Going green and saving the planet has become increasingly important — and one way to cut down on carbon footprints is to limit the use of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. Some people have begun to avoid using ICE cars at all, opting instead to use bicycles, public transportation or electric cars. Electric cars, however, may prove too costly to purchase, especially for expats that may not use the car that often or plan on moving abroad.
Included in current car sharing companies portfolios now are electric cars, allowing eco-conscious individuals that need to drive to feel like they are helping the environment.
Save some time by sharing cars
Expats in Germany without a car can certainly rely on public transportation, but getting around may take you much longer — and sometimes you just want some time to yourself on the road. Instead of heading to a rental agency to wait in line, fill out the paperwork and pick up a car, car sharing apps can show you the cars closest to you. You’ll simply hop in, push start and get going.