Choosing not to own a vehicle has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, you save a significant amount of money on the purchase of a vehicle. Then there are the monthly insurance payments that you do not have to partake in. And, especially lately, you save big money on gas if you only drive when absolutely necessary.
On the other hand, you are a little less mobile than your vehicle-owning friends. Planning a road-trip takes a little extra work. Getting across town might require an expensive taxi or a long bus-seabus-skytrain commute.
This is where companies such as Car2Go come in handy. Car2Go was first established in 2008 in Germany and quickly spread throughout Europe and North America. In most major cities, it is very common to see the white and blue Smart ForTwo puttering along the streets. In recent years, Car2Go has expanded their fleet, however, to include other Mercedes models as well.
Although Car2Go is a great solution for those who choose not to own a vehicle, plenty of vehicle-owners are members as well. Car2Go can be a fantastic option for anyone who needs a car for a one-way trip only.
However, being the owner of another vehicle can put you at a greater risk of violating Car2Go’s Terms and Conditions, and therefore make you in default of their insurance, as discussed below.
Let Car2Go Know
If you do not own a vehicle, you are significantly less likely to get in any other accidents as a driver. Car2Go specifies in their Terms and Conditions that as soon as you are in an accident in another vehicle, they need to be notified. This is because it can affect your membership and your eligibility for insurance coverage under their plan.
Failure to notify Car2Go of any accidents that you have been in outside of their vehicles constitutes a violation of their Terms and Conditions, and thereby voids the insurance. As would, of course, failing to notify them of any accidents that occur involving their vehicles. But that goes without saying.
Are They Safe?
Another concern that many people have about the Car2Go program is the safety of the ForTwo vehicles. They are quite small, and if you have never driven one, they feel very vulnerable. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“IIHS”), they may be small but they are mighty. IIHS rated the ForTwo five stars in their safety rating. This was attributed to their strategic use of airbags and their steel framing.
Practice Makes Perfect
All this being said, there is still risk with those who use Car2Go as their primary form of vehicle. These users drive infrequently when compared to those who own their own vehicles. The old adage “practice makes perfect” comes to mind here, and for driving it certainly rings true. Our advice is to keep that in the back of your mind when you see a Car2Go on the streets – perhaps the operator is an experienced driver, or perhaps this is the first time they have been behind a wheel this month.
Road Rules by Dominique McCrimmon and Cedric Hughes