FAQs

Below are the answers to questions we hear a lot, but if you still need answers, please call or email us anytime.

For a complete guide to CarShare Vermont membership, download our Member Handbook.

FAQs

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then car-sharing may very well make sense for you (and your business, too).

-Do you currently not own a car but could use one from time to time?
-Can you get around most of the time by walking, biking, busing, or using other modes?
-Are you contemplating purchasing an additional vehicle for your household?
-Are you a multi-car household looking to downsize?
-Did your car recently die and you’d like to avoid buying a new one?
-Are you on a mission to drive less and save money?

Owning a car is expensive. There are car payments, insurance, routine maintenance, and registration fees just to own it. And if you drive it, you’ve got to consider gas, repairs, parking, and other unexpected expenses. Because car-sharing converts the high fixed costs of owning a car into smaller, affordable chunks, it saves you money. Also, car ownership encourages more driving while car-sharing results in less driving. The less you drive, the more you save! Crunch numbers on our cost calculator to figure out how much you could save every year if you just drove when you needed to.

If you can’t get to work without a car most of the time, then car-sharing is not your best choice since you’d be paying for the car while it’s parked. But, if you can commute to work using other modes (like walking, biking, or carpooling), then car-sharing is perfect as a back-up for your own car or in case of an emergency during the workday.

On average, CarShare Vermont vehicles are used five hours per day, which means they are available 80% of the time. Plus, our more popular cars are within easy walking distance to other pods. That said, availability varies at each location and we always recommend reserving a car as soon as you know you’ll need one. You can always change or cancel a reservation if you need to.

CarShare Vermont is a mission-driven, membership- based service available to all qualified drivers in the community. Instead of keeping our cars in one central location, we park cars in neighborhoods at self-accessible, unattended pods. You can reserve and access a CarShare Vermont vehicle using your own key 24 hours a day for as little as 30 minutes, which makes car-sharing a convenient and affordable solution for your everyday car needs.

If you’re licensed in another country, we’ll need to see your home country’s license, along with your international driving permit and a copy of your home country’s driving record (in English). Please contact us for specific inquiries.

It’s really easy. Fill out an application online or stop by our office to fill one out. Once you’re approved, you’ll complete a new-member orientation online or at our office. Then, you’ll get a member I.D. and a personal key fob that gives you access to any car in our fleet. From there, you’re free to reserve and drive!

To be considered for membership, you must be at least 18 years old with two years (or more) of driving experience and have a clean driving record. Applicants who are 18-20 years old must have a parent or guardian willing to cosign on their CarShare Vermont account. Both the applicant and the cosigner need to complete the Young Driver Membership Agreement and submit it to us before we can approve the applicant. For more information on our eligibility requirements, click here.

Well, that depends on how much you plan to drive. If you think you’ll use a car at least a few times a month to grocery shop, run errands, or visit friends out of town, then the Share-a-Lot plan is probably the most economical choice. On the other hand, if you’d like to join CarShare Vermont just as a very occasional back-up car for your household or if you need a pickup truck every now and again, then the Share-a-Little plan will probably suffice.

That’s what we call the locations where you’ll find our cars. Usually one or two cars live at a pod, which can take the form of parking spaces on the street, in a lot, or in a garage. The term “pod” was coined by our friends at City CarShare in San Francisco, and we think it’s great. All of our pods are well marked with signage. Check out a map of our pod locations to find the one closest to you.

Full credit on the name goes to City CarShare (again!) A fob is the electronic key that allows our members to access our vehicles when they have a reservation. Each fob is personalized so we can keep track of each member’s usage.

Rather than charging a higher hourly rate that includes “free” mileage, CarShare Vermont’s variable rates allow you to only pay for how much you drive. In this way, people who primarily drive locally are not subsidizing trips for people who drive longer distances. Because you pay for every mile you drive, our rates also help promote more efficient driving and this benefits the environment.

Yes and no. Currently, the base driving rates are the same for all of the vehicles in our fleet. However, we do charge $1 more per hour and $10 more per day for the pickup truck. This is because it costs more for us to operate and maintain. As we add other specialty vehicles, such as a minivan, we may continue offering varying rates.

You can save money by sharing a CarShare Vermont account with family members, friends, housemates, or coworkers. One membership covers two drivers. You may add drivers beyond two, however there is a one-time $25 fee for each one. If you’d like to add drivers to your account or to set up a new group membership, please visit our join page. We do have to check driving records for all applicants, which means the $30 application fee applies to each new driver.

No; cars need to be returned to their home pod. CarShare Vermont does not offer one-way trips because the logistics are very complicated to manage. We require round-trips to ensure that our system is dependable and seamless.

It’s included! All of our members are covered by our premium insurance policy when operating a CarShare Vermont vehicle. We’re pleased to provide comprehensive coverage with a combined single limit of $1 million per accident, as well as uninsured motorist coverage. This includes bodily injury, collision, and property damage. In the event of damage, the member would be responsible for the cost of repairs up to $500 per occurrence, which is the amount of CarShare Vermont's deductible. If you have any further questions about insurance, please ask!

We do! Each car is equipped with its own fuel card. The fuel card works at most gas stations like a debit or credit card. We’ll tell you how to use it when you become a member (kind of like a secret handshake).

We currently have a mix of Toyota Priuses, Subaru Imprezas, a Honda Fit, and a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in our fleet. All of our cars have an automatic transmission and a couple of them are even equipped with ski racks in the winter and bike racks in the summer.

You can reserve a car for as little as 30 minutes or as long as you need to and you can take the cars to any state. You can even visit Canada—just don’t forget your passport.

Definitely not. Smoking in our cars can result in a hefty fee, along with a cleaning charge. For a full list of our fees and credits, please check out our Member Handbook.

Yes, in specific pet-friendly vehicles only. Please follow these simple rules:

  • We have three pet-friendly vehicles in our fleet. These include the white Subaru Impreza at West Hall on the Champlain College campus, the black Honda Fit at the Fletcher Free Library, and the grey Honda Fit on North Winooski Avenue. Pets are NOT allowed in any other vehicle in our fleet.
  • All pets must be in carriers, regardless of their size.
  • Please report all evidence of pets that you find in any vehicle. This includes hair/fur, nose smudges, muddy paw prints, etc.

Please remember that failure to comply with our guidelines will result in hefty fees. We want to be sure that our service remains reliable and comfortable for all of our members.

If you live in Burlington, there’s a good chance we’ll be there soon! We’re keeping track of where our potential members live so we can prioritize our future pod locations. We hope to expand to other towns in Vermont after we gain a bit of experience in Burlington. If you’d like to “request a pod” in your neighborhood, please contact us.

Expanding our service to new towns requires two core things: funding and community interest. As a start-up nonprofit, we do not have the resources (financial or human) to expand our service without first raising money. Also, our service can only be successful and sustainable if there are abundant people and businesses that will regularly use it. We’re in the process of developing expansion criteria to help other communities support our growth. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more or help us expand to your neck of the woods.

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