If you've had any experience with car-sharing before, you'll be familiar with map constraints. Each provider calls it something slightly different, but at SHARE NOW we're talking about the Home Area. This border, typically surrounding the city limits, acts as an operational zone for free-floating car-sharing. It's where you'll find cars to rent as well as where you can drop them off. However, there are ways to break free from this zone. Here's how to think outside the Home Area and unlock the true potential of car-sharing.
Home Areas are a natural and necessary part of the free-floating car-sharing model. Unlike traditional car rental services, which have fixed rental stations for pick-up and drop-off, the free-floating approach gives drivers the chance to jump in a car (almost) anywhere. Naturally, operating a free-floating car-sharing service across an entire country would be impossible, and thus the concept of a Home Area was born. That said, it's important not to think of these borders as driving boundaries - not at all!
Despite the need for a Home Area to make free-floating car-sharing feasible, the borders you see on the map are only for starting and ending your trip - what you do in between is completely up to you! Driving outside of the Home Area is not only allowed, it's actively encouraged through hourly rates, daily rates and special offers. Venturing outside of the urban area to explore nature, take a day trip, or experience some of the most scenic driving routes in Europe is all part of the fun.
As the oldest and most-established car-sharing provider in Europe, SHARE NOW operates throughout multiple cities within a single country. Not only does this give you access to free-floating cars when you travel, but it opens up the possibility for inter-city trips. Driving from Berlin to Hamburg and back for a long weekend? Go for it! In cases where cities are closely situated, such as Düsseldorf and Cologne, it is even possible to start your trip and end it in a neighbouring city. An intercity fee of 8,99 € applies.
A common misconception with free-floating car-sharing is that you always have to drive whilst on the clock. When taking short trips in the city, the minute rate is the way to go as you only pay for the time you spend on the road. When taking longer trips outside of the Home Area, hourly and daily rates are available to give you more flexibility. Less time watching the clock, more time enjoying the drive and your surroundings. In this business, we call this long-term car-sharing.
Such is life, all good things must come to an end. When you've finished your adventure outside of the Home Area it is important to know where you stand when it comes to where you can end your trip. It doesn't matter if you found your dream ride and started your trip outside the office but want to return home on the other side of the city, as long as you get back to within the Home Area you can end your trip via the SHARE NOW app. It's one, big end zone.
Sr. Editorial Content Strategist
"Own less, share more."
David is on a mission to improve the quality of life in cities through modern mobility solutions.