Car Sharing is another option for an alternative to owning a car in Austin. In addition to public transportation and ride sharing, Car Sharing allows people to rent a car for short periods of time, often on an hourly basis. Two car sharing companies operate in Austin, Car 2 Go and Zip Car.
Car 2 Go allows Austinites to pick up a two seat SmartCar near them anytime anywhere. You just become a member and pay a one time sign up fee of $35 plus tax and then once you receive your membership card, you can start reserving cars either by just getting into an open vehicle or reserving one online 30 minutes ahead of time. The cars cost $.41 per minute, $14.99 per hour, or $84.99 per day and include fuel costs, insurance, and free parking all over downtown and at many other area locations. Car 2 Go's service area covers most of Central Austin and you can use it for either one way or two way trips.
Zip Car is the other car sharing company in Austin. You can reserve a zip car via their app for anywhere from one hour to a week. Reservations are made for 30 minutes at a time and Zipcars have to be returned to their home location after your trip is over. Reservations allow you to drive up to 180 miles in a 24 hour period and covers insurance and gas as well. After 180 miles in that period, you will be charged $.45 miles for each additional mile. In Austin, Zipcar offers Mazda 3's, Mazda 6's, Nissan Versas and Nissan Sentras for rental and pricing varies depending on how often you plan to drive. You also need to apply for membership, pay a $25 one-time application fee, and wait for your membership card to arrive by mail before you can start using Zipcar.