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Reservations

How do I make a reservation?

It’s easy to reserve a car, anytime, any day. Simply login online using your username and password. Select the date, time, and car at the location of your choice. You can use our mobile-friendly website or download our mobile app for iOS or Android to extend, cancel, or shorten a reservation, too.

Is there an app?

Yes! Go to the Apple App Store or Google Play and search for CarShare Vermont for iOS or Android. The app lets you make, change, and cancel reservations. Use it to unlock the doors when you begin a reservation and to lock the doors and end a reservation. For those who prefer something more tangible, access cards are available by request.

What about availability? Will there be a car for me whenever I need one?

About half of all reservations are made the same day. You can also book up to 12 months in advance if needed. Plus, our more popular cars are within easy walking distance of 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.

How long can I reserve a CarShare Vermont vehicle?

You can reserve a vehicle for as little as 30 minutes or up to 10 days.

Where can I go with CarShare Vermont cars? What about Montreal?

You can take the vehicles to any state. You can even visit Canada—just don’t forget your passport!

Can I use your vehicles for services like Uber, Lyft, or DoorDash?

No. Carrying persons or property for hire (i.e., taxi, Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, or any other delivery services) is not a permitted use of our vehicles.

Can I share rides, too?

Yes! (With some caveats.) Members can opt to make their reservations available for ridesharing with other members, and any arrangements can then be conducted by private email. However, our insurance will not cover members who use our vehicles for any commercial or paid ride-hailing purposes. Additionally, we do not screen our members beyond a motor vehicle record check.

What do I need to know about reserving an electric vehicle?

We have fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles available in our fleet. Please refer to in-car signage for specific driving and charging instructions (they vary for each vehicle). Want to take an EV on a longer trip? Each vehicle comes with a Chargepoint and EVgo charge card in the glove box and you can plan ahead by locating public charging stations en route and near your destination or download the PlugShare App. Be advised that EV range will vary with the ambient temperature and the cabin heating and cooling settings.

Questions? Give us a shout at (802) 861-2340 or email info@carsharevt.org and we’d be happy to walk you through the basics. You can also click here to download a PDF of our EV Driving Tips.

Can I extend my reservation while I’m out in a vehicle?

Yes. There is no charge to extend your reservation, except for the additional time you use the car. As long as there are no conflicting reservations for the car you’re using, you can add as much time as you need. Use the mobile app or login to your account from a computer.

Can I cancel my reservation?

Yes, you can cancel a reservation before the scheduled start time, or shorten it by changing the end time if the scheduled start time has already elapsed. Cancel or shorten using the mobile app or by logging into our reservation site.

A cancellation fee may be applied if a reservation is cancelled or shortened on short notice. Reservations should be cancelled within 30 minutes of being scheduled, or more than 4 hours before the reserved time that is being cancelled or shortened, in order to avoid a cancellation fee. The fee is equal to the cost of the reserved time that was not cancelled with adequate notice.

What if I forget to cancel my reservation?

If you forget to cancel your reservation and don’t use the car, you’ll be charged for the hours reserved.

What if I forget my password?

If you forget your password, go to our login page and click on the “reset password” link. You can also call the office (802-861-2340) for assistance.

What if there is a parking ban?

Some of our cars need to be moved to “winter pods” during parking bans in the City of Burlington (currently Cleo, Dot, Cat, Sparky, Toni, Rufus, Ruth, and Edna). When the yellow lights are flashing, please be sure to park the car in its alternate winter pod. If you’re unsure where to park, give the office a call at (802) 861-2340, or call our emergency line after hours.

What happens after a big snowstorm? Will I still be able to access my reservation?

Yes, but you might need to do a bit of shoveling! Our hard-working Pod Nanny volunteers and staff do our best to keep the fleet clear of snow whenever 3 inches or more accumulate. However, members should anticipate that it may take some time for all vehicles in the fleet to be cleared and ready to drive after a heavy snowfall. This is especially true when snow storms take place on weekends or holidays. If you arrive at a vehicle and have to clear a significant amount of snow before your trip (e.g., 3 inches or more), please send us a before and after pic (email info@carsharevt.org), and we’re happy to load up your account with some driving coupons for your help. If the vehicle cannot be cleared of snow to start your reservation, please call to discuss switching vehicles or cancelling your reservation under our bad-weather cancellation policy (see FAQ below).
Want to join our stellar Pod Nanny team and adopt a car/pod this winter? Learn more here!

Is there a bad weather cancellation policy?

Yes. In bad weather, when driving is dangerous, you may make last-minute cancellations without paying for canceled time. Bad weather means severe winter storms eliciting weather advisories and/or warnings. If you decide to cancel a reservation at the last minute, please call or email within 24 hours of the canceled reservation so we can be sure you’re not charged.

During a Trip

What’s a pod?

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. All of our pods are well marked with signage. Check out a map of our pod locations to find the one closest to you.

What if I show up for my reservation and the car isn't there?

Please call the emergency phone number right away. We’ll do our best to get you another car, or pay for a taxi, Uber, or Lyft ride to get you to your destination. We’ll also give you a credit toward your next trip.

What if there’s a car parked in CarShare Vermont’s designated parking space?

Please call the emergency line. We’ll ask you to park the car in a legal parking space close by. All you have to do is let us know where you parked and lock with the app or your access card.

Can I park my personal vehicle in a designated CarShare Vermont parking space?

Please don’t. All of our parking spaces are enforced so you may get towed if you leave your vehicle in one of our spaces. If you need to drive your personal vehicle to one of the pods, please find legal, alternative parking nearby.

How do I use my access card?

Hold the access card up to the reader installed on the windshield of the driver’s side of every car. After a few seconds, the light on the reader will go from red to green, and the car will unlock. The access card enables the car’s ignition, so the key will work (the ignition key is in a key holder in the glove box). If you park the car during a reservation, use the key—not your access card—to lock and unlock it. When you are back at the pod, having removed all of your belongings from the vehicle, hold the access card to the reader in the corner of the windshield to end the reservation. Pull the door handle to ensure that the car is secure and ready for the next member.

What if I forget my access card but need to use the car?

If you have a smartphone and download our app (find CarShare Vermont in the App Store or Google Play), you can lock and unlock the vehicle using it. Just login to your account, click on your reservation, and you’ll see a green “Start Reservation” button appear. Press and hold the button to start your reservation. At the end of your trip, press and hold the red “End Reservation” button to end your trip. If you arrive at a car to begin a reservation but do not have the app or an access card, call the emergency line and we’ll do our best to help.

What if I'm running late at the beginning of my reservation?

When you make a reservation, you have exclusive access to the car during that time. You also pay for all of that time, even if you’re late getting to the car. There’s no need to let us know if you’re running a little late at the beginning of your reservation, but please do shorten or cancel your reservation if you’re going to be over 30 minutes late or no longer need your reservation. Doing so will free the car up for other members to use.

What if I'm running late to return the car?

Please always try to extend your reservation if you think you’ll need more time with the car. You can use the mobile app or login to the reservation system. If you can’t extend your reservation because another member has reserved the car, please return it at the scheduled time. If you absolutely can’t return the car on time, please call us as soon as possible on the emergency line so we can try to accommodate the other member. There are fees associated with late returns. Please refer to the Member Handbook for the full fee schedule.

How do I get gas?

Please return all gas and hybrid vehicles to their pods with at least a quarter tank of regular, unleaded fuel. Fill up the tank using the gas card found in the zippered pouch in the glove box. You may use the card at any self-serve pump at any station. You’ll be prompted to enter the Driver ID printed on the card and the odometer reading. (Don’t stress about the odometer reading; we don’t use this information.) Once the card is authorized, pump away! If you need guidance on locating and accessing the gas cap, consult the vehicle’s manual in the glove box.

What should I do if I come to a toll plaza?

You are responsible for all tolls. Where possible, pay as you go through the tollbooth. Our cars are not outfitted with E-ZPass transponders; however, many toll roads have tolls-by-mail or pay-by-plate systems in place. When a toll invoice comes to our office, charge the appropriate member and pay it.

What if I get a ticket?

Please pay it as soon as possible. If we’re notified that the ticket has not been paid, we’ll charge your account for the full amount (including any late penalties), along with a $15 processing fee for tracking you down.

What if I’m in an accident?

Most importantly, please make sure you are safe and call the police. Remember to get all of the appropriate information from the other driver for a police report, just like you would if you were in your own car. Finally, please call our emergency line as soon as you can to report the incident. Please note that you may be responsible for damage you cause to a vehicle.

When should I use the emergency line?

An emergency includes, but is not limited to, any of the following circumstances:

  • You show up for your reservation and the car isn’t there.
  • You’re late and you can’t extend your reservation.
  • The vehicle’s assigned parking space has been taken.
  • You have trouble starting the vehicle.
  • The car breaks down.
  • You’re in an accident.
  • You’re locked out of the car.
  • You’ve lost the ignition key.
  • You’re unable to lock the car with the app or your access card.
  • An electric vehicle won’t charge.

What if I forget something in the vehicle?

You can re-access a vehicle using the mobile app right after you’ve ended a trip as long as another member doesn’t have the car. Otherwise, please make a short reservation to retrieve your item. That way, you know the car will be there when you arrive and you’ll be able to access the car. Items found in the car by staff are brought to our lost and found.

Billing

Do I pay for the time I reserve or the time I drive?

You pay for the time you reserve, since the vehicle is not available for another member to use.

How do I change which card I'm paying with?

Sign in to the mobile version of the reservation system (https://mcarsharevt.zemtu.com/login/) or the CarShare Vermont smartphone app, click the Profile icon in the lower-right corner, and then Billing > Edit Payment Method.

If working in the desktop version of the reservation system, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Switch to mobile version link in the lower-right corner. You may then be prompted to log in to the mobile version of the site. Afterwards, follow the instructions above to update your card.

We are aware that this is not the most elegant process! This user experience will be improved soon with an update planned for our software.

Why is there pending charge in my bank account before my trip?

24 hours in advance of a scheduled reservation, your card on file will be pre-authorized for the time cost of the reservation (this is a “hold”). This is done to check that the payment method is valid and that funds are available to pay for the trip. Payment will not be collected until after the trip is completed and the final cost of the reservation is calculated. When a charge for the final amount is attempted (approximately 1 hour after your trip is over), that transaction will replace the pre-authorization, which typically appears as a pending charge in bank/credit card systems.

Why is there an hourly and a mileage fee?

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 rate structure promotes more efficient driving which is better for the environment.

Do all of the vehicles cost the same to use?

Mostly. Currently, the hourly rates are the same for all of the standard vehicles in our fleet; however, we do charge 5¢ more per mile for our all-wheel-drive vehicles (Cat, Dot & Stella) and 10¢ more per mile for our pickup trucks (Curtis & Pippi). This is because they cost more to operate and maintain. As we add other specialty vehicles, we may continue offering varying rates.

Who pays for gas?

We do! Each car is equipped with its own fuel card that works at most gas stations like a debit or credit card. Pumping and reservation time at the pump are the responsibility of members. Members share the cars and the responsibility for keeping them fueled up for one another.

What about tolls?

You are responsible for all tolls. When a toll invoice comes to our office, we will charge the appropriate member and pay it. The invoice that you receive from us will reference your reservation number.

Are there other fees I should be aware of?

Sharing is implicit to carsharing, and that means we’re all depending on each other to take good care of the cars, be on time, and be respectful of each other. We have worked hard to make our service as flexible as possible to accommodate sporadic schedule changes and glitches, but we also impose fees to help enforce timely returns and good manners, and to cover lost revenue. Please refer to your Member Handbook for the complete fee schedule.

How do I cancel my CarShare Vermont membership?

Please fill out this cancellation form to end your membership with us. You can also give us a call (802-861-2340) or email us (info@carsharevt.org) for assistance. We’ll ask you to return your access card, if you have one, which you can drop off at our office or mail back to us.

Damage & Insurance

How do I report new damage to a vehicle?

Before every trip, do a quick vehicle inspection. You will find a damage report sheet in the glove box of every car. If you discover damage that is not on the report sheet, please call us and describe what you found. If the vehicle is damaged during a trip, please call us on the emergency line right away.

What if I’m in an accident?

Most importantly, please make sure you are safe and call the police. Remember to get all of the appropriate information from the other driver for a police report, just like you would if you were in your own car. Finally, please call our emergency line right away to report the incident. Please note that you may be responsible for damage you cause to a vehicle.

What about roadside assistance?

It’s included! But if you’re in a situation when you think that you may need to use it, please start by calling our emergency line. Barring safety hazards, you will likely be asked to stay with the vehicle. Vehicle-specific documentation is located in the glove box.

What about insurance?

It’s included! All of our members are covered by our premium insurance policy when they are operating a CarShare Vermont vehicle (please note that non-member drivers are not covered by our insurance). 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 is responsible for up to $1,000 per occurrence (unless you’ve signed up for our Damage Waiver Program, which reduces this to $0!). If you have any further questions about insurance, please ask!

How do I sign up for the Damage Waiver Program?

You can opt into our Damage Waiver Program when you first apply to join CarShare Vermont or at any time by getting in touch with us via email, phone, or in person.

 

Oh-So-Many Benefits

Year-round access to the car you need

Free 24-hour roadside assistance

A gas card or EV charging card – you never pay for fuel

Access any car with your own smartphone or access card

Ready for any kind of weather

Maintenance and insurance included

Ski racks and bike racks (select vehicles)

Pet-friendly (select vehicles)