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Car2Go – A New Way to Get Around Columbus

Looking for a new way to get around Columbus? Car2Go is a car-sharing service that makes it really easy to explore the city.

All Car2Go vehicles are Smart Cars – two-seaters. They’re easy to maneuver an even easier to park – at just eight feet long, they fit almost anywhere. You need to pre-register and receive a key-card before you can use Car2Go (more on that later). But once you have that, you can find a car (by the end of the year, there will be more than 200 inside I-270) either by using the Car2Go app for iPhone or Android or just by finding one visually. Hold the key-card up to the receiver on the dashboard on any available car. This unlocks the doors and starts your trip.

car2go_columbus_complete_image_set_1004When you get to your destination, you have two choices – you can end your trip and find another car for future trips, or put the car in stop-over mode, which ensures it will be there for you when you’re ready for it – but you do have to pay for that time. To end a trip, hold the key-card up to the receiver again. Car2Go’s service area does not include Port Columbus International Airport, so you may not end a trip there. A taxi is a good alternative.
Car2Go 3To use Car2Go, you have to register in advance to receive your key card. Registration costs $35, and each mile driven costs 38 cents, with a maximum hourly charge of $13.99. Parking is easy – you can park anywhere in the service area – except for 30-minute parking meters and streets that have parking restrictions (like 3rd and 4th streets downtown, which don’t allow parking during rush-hour.) More parking details can be found here. To make things easy for visitors, for a limited time, you can get a key-card with same-day service by stopping by Car2Go’s office at 20 S. 3rd Street downtown. If you’re a member in another Car2Go city, your key card will work here, too.

I was really impressed with the ease and convenience of the Car2Go service – once you register, it can let you explore the city on your own terms, with a cost that’s usually less than renting a car if your trips are short. Will you try a car sharing service?

  • Chet Ridenour

    New Members can sign-up NOW for FREE (for a limited time) for an Exclusive Membership ($35 fee waived) + 30 free drive time minutes by using the promo code: CBUS when registering online at: https://columbus.car2go.com/

  • Jayna Wallace

    I love Car2Go. The second I got my card in the mail I couldn’t wait to find a nearby car (luckily there are always at least one or two in the neighborhood) so that I could try it out. The first few times it was a breeze — cars are clean and run great, always get you right where you need to go and back without issue. Until last week.

    On Tuesday, February 11th, I used the iPhone app to reserve the nearest available car so I could drive to the local Starbucks, a few blocks down the street. It’s only about a 10 minute trip, when all goes as planned. I got there and parked on the street, in a legal (and not restricted) parking spot. Put the car in “Stopover” mode while I got my coffee, and returned to find that the car would not start. The check engine/oil lights came on, but nothing else. I pressed the SOS button, only to be put on hold. No one ever answered.

    I had to get home to get to work, so I did the only thing I could think to do – ended my trip and started the walk home. It was 1°F that day, and the trip back took 20 minutes. By the time I’d returned I had received an email from Car2Go stating that I’d parked in a “high usage lane” and would be responsible for any ticket/tow/relocation fees that might occur.

    I got a call shortly after that to say that the spot the car was parked in was just fine. “Nice job!” So that’s great. But you couldn’t even muster an apology? Maybe an “I’m sorry for the inconvenience of having to walk home in frigid temperatures?” or “We apologize that you had to be late to work because one of our cars malfunctioned?” Just…..nothing.

    I love the concept of Car2Go, and I want to recommend the service to absolutely everyone I know. And as a relatively new (at least to this area) company, I’d like to think my word of mouth might be worth something. But how to get past the fact that they can’t be depended on, can’t be reached in time of an emergency, and their customer service places all blame and responsibility on the user?

    I sincerely hope they can figure that out.