This past weekend I took my inaugural trip with Car2Go. My husband and I have always each had our own vehicles until January when my 2001 Sunfire was in need of serious repairs. Since Ryan takes the bus, walks, or rides his bike most days we decided to give owning only one vehicle a try. It cuts down on insurance costs and it’s not nearly as hard to find a parking spot at our apartment. Since then, we’ve had a few moments when we’ve had to fix our schedules to make sure we both got to where we were going, but over all it’s been a pretty successful experience.
I’ve seen the Car2Go Smart cars around town, thought they were cute, and wondered how they drive. So when the opportunity for a discounted membership fee was presented to me at this Fall’s Independent’s Day I took the chance and signed up. It took a few days to complete the process and receive my membership card in the mail, and then I waited for the opportunity to utilize it.
This weekend my in-laws were visiting Ryan’s sister and her husband outside of Cincinnati and we had planned on going down for the weekend as well. I didn’t feel the greatest all week, so when Saturday rolled around I really wasn’t up for the trip. I rested the entire day and brainstormed a way to visit with the family.
Enter the Car2Go $50 a day weekend rate. Normal Car2Go rates are by the minute, optimized for quick trips around town and running errands. However on weekends you can use a car for an entire day for $50, which allows people to travel farther and longer for larger errands or a quick trip out of town.
Early Sunday morning I checked my Car2Go app and headed to the nearest car, located right around the corner from my apartment. It was still dark, but I managed to scan my membership card and operate the vehicle without problems. I was glad that I wasn’t paying by the minute as I sat with the car running for a good 10-15 minutes learning the controls, adjusting my seat and mirrors. Next time I’ll be able to jump in and head out to wherever I need to be.
Since I drive a pick up truck these days it was an interesting experience to be in such a small car, however it didn’t really feel small. The steering was smooth, and it accelerated very nicely on the highway. I felt that the brakes were a little abrupt, but as Ryan pointed out the car and therefore the brakes did not have very many miles on it.
I arrived just in time for breakfast and we headed out for the day. First we went to Trader’s World flea market. Admission is $2 a car and there is a lot to see. I had a few particular things in mind that I wanted to buy, so after we pursued the outdoor spaces we headed into the buildings for candles and incense. There was a lot of cheesiness throughout the flea market but a few things that were interesting, my father-in-law always buys tools while he is there. I believe this time he purchased a wood plane and a wooden ax handle.
Next we traveled to Jungle Jim’s International Market, this was also a first for me. My legs were already exhausted from our walking at the flea market, but I wanted to check this place out. The deli there is ginormous, and there are great cheese and meat samples. After checking out the The Big Cheese, we checked out the beer section for something new. I picked up two ciders and a gluten free beer, The Glutenator.
If our kitchen wasn’t such a disaster area I would have loved to have bought some cheese, meats, fresh produce and the like, but mostly I just looked. We barely scratched the surface of the offerings before we were ready to go, but I took a quick trip through the gluten free area and picked up a few boxes of crackers and a sweet treat.
By the afternoon I was pretty tired, and began to head back to Columbus so I could be home before dark. The car has a surprising amount of cargo area, as my father-in-law sent me home with giant spaghetti squash from the farm in PA, as well as some ugly but huge sweet potatoes and a few acorn squash. I also and some freezer jam from the sister, and my purchases from Jungle Jim’s.
The drive back was just as smooth as the drive in the morning, one of my favorite features is how quickly and easily the car can accelerate to pass and switch lanes. That doesn’t happen in our 10 year old pick up truck. I got home and unloaded before dark and easily ended my trip parked in front of my apartment building. I’ve never actually rented a car in the traditional way, but this was an easy and self explanatory experience. My only complaint about the car itself was that the GPS was lacking in both on screen directions and the volume of the voice which I could not find the volume for. Overall I had a great day, and am looking forward to driving with Car2Go again in the future.