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Cityhop vehicle in AucklandNew Zealand Carsharing benefits individuals who can gain the benefits of private cars without having costs and responsibilities associated with car ownership.
Carsharing may be thought of as organized short-term car rental. Sizes of organizations vary from one shared car, and only a handful of sharers to organizations that serve a complete urban area.
Generally, carsharing programs can be qualified as one of four sharing types: Roundtrip, one-way, peer-to-peer, and fractional. In roundtrip carsharing, members begin and end their trip, often paying by the hour, mile, or both.
One-way carsharing, on the other hand, enables members to begin and end their trip at different locations through free floating zones or station-based models with designated parking locations .
Peer-to-peer carsharing sometimes referred to as Personal Vehicle Sharing  operates similarly to roundtrip carsharing in trip and payment type; however, the vehicles themselves are typically privately owned or leased with the sharing system operated by a third-party.
The fractional ownership model allows users to co-own a vehicle and share its costs and use . Carsharing differs from traditional car rentals in the following ways: Carsharing is not limited by office hours Reservation, pickup, and return is all self-service Vehicles can be rented by the minute, by the hour, as well as by the day Users are members and have been pre-approved to drive background driving checks have been performed and a payment mechanism has been established Vehicle locations are distributed throughout the service area, and often located for access by public transport.
They do not provide uninsured, under-insured or personal injury protection insurance. Fuel costs are included in the rates. Vehicles are not serviced cleaning, fueling after each use, although certain programs such as Car2Go or GoGet continuously clean and fuel their fleet Some carshare operations CSOs cooperate with local car rental firms, in particular in situations wherein classic rental may be the cheaper option.
Carsharing can provide numerous transportation, land use, environmental, and social benefits. It can also be an alternative to owning multiple cars for households with more than one driver.
A long-term study of City CarShare members found that 30 percent of households that joined sold a car; others delayed purchasing one. Transit use, bicycling, and walking also increased among members. Most carsharing advocates, operators, and cooperating public agencies believe that those who do not drive daily or who drive less than 10, kilometers about 6, statute miles annually may find carsharing to be more cost-effective than car ownership.
Carsharing can also help reduce congestion and pollution. Replacing private automobiles with shared ones directly reduces demand for parking spaces. The fact that only a certain number of cars can be in use at any one time may reduce traffic congestion at peak times.
Even more important for congestion, the strong metering of costs provides a cost incentive to drive less. With owned automobiles many expenses are sunk costs and thus independent of how much the car is driven such as original purchase, insurance, registration, and some maintenance.
There are some programs mostly in Europe for providing services in lower density and rural areas. People who have joined carsharing tend to sell either their primary, secondary, or another off-hand car, after using the service.
While differing markedly in their objectives, size, business models, levels of ambition, technology and target markets, these programs do share many features. The more established operations usually require a check of past driving records and a monthly or annual fee in order to become a member.
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