When your tri-beast chariot flees to Vegas for the weekend, you’ll need an alternative mode of transportation to take you to indoor volleyball games and outdoor readings of Ulysses on short notice. Today’s Groupon puts the keys to low-maintenance convenience in your hands: for $75, you get a one-year ShareLocal membership from City CarShare ($120), including the application fee ($30) and $25 in driving credit (a $175 total value). The nonprofit car-sharing provider has been named in SF Weekly’s Best of San Francisco issue on several occasions.
Becoming a member of City CarShare grants you the convenience of having your own car without all the hassle accrued from urban parking tribulations and all-necessary weekly car washes to keep your Camaro clean of caked-on soot and country gravy. City CarShare features a fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles parked at convenient locations throughout San Francisco and the East Bay. With a one-year ShareLocal membership ($10 per month), you’ll be given an electronic key to unlock the chariot of your choice at your convenience—simply reserve your chosen vehicle online or by phone at any time, and pick it up at your scheduled time. When you’re finished with the ride, return it to its original location; gas and insurance are included. More than 15 types of vehicles are available, including hybrids, pickup trucks, convertibles, and station wagons, so select a Mini Cooper convertible and venture to the countryside for a day of wildflower boxing, or stock up on more IKEA merchandise than your penny-farthing bicycle can carry. Included in this deal are the application fee ($30) and a $25 driving credit. Rates for cars are by both the hour and the mile and vary based on the time, the day, and the length of the trip. A full pricing guide can be found here.
A nonprofit organization, City CarShare is committed to socially responsible practices and launched in 2001 with the mission of reducing individual car ownership, decreasing motor-vehicle-created smog, and freeing up more parking spots for fringe-topped surreys. So take advantage of the grocery-transporting luxury only four wheels can provide, or gift this Groupon to the adamant cyclist in your life, freeing her up to take covert, covered trips in the rain.
This Groupon is for new customers only. Must be 21 or older, and standard City CarShare requirements apply.
City CarShare has received numerous awards and accolades from various publications, organizations, and politicians. It received a San Francisco magazine Best of the Bay Area award in 2008 for being one of the Best Ways to Avoid Commitment. It has received numerous SF Weekly Best of Awards, including Best Guilt-Free Indulgence for Car Lovers, 2001, Best Thing That Ever Happened to a City With Too Many Cars, 2002, Best Alternative to Public Transportation, 2005, and Best Reason to Sell Your Car, 2006. Yelpers give City CarShare 4 stars:
- Comparable rental cars go for up to three times the cost, and the logistics can be a nightmare. With 150 Bay Area locations (more than 100 in San Francisco alone), City CarShare makes doing your bit to fight global warming a breeze. – San Francisco
- Why is City CarShare so much better than other businesses offering similar services? It's a nonprofit, not a get-rich-quick scheme, and is likely to outlast all those copycat outfits we've seen cropping up lately. – SF Weekly
- City Carshare has been excellent! It's not only the best way to get around and shop within the City but, it's also incredibly cost-effective for getting out and about. – Aimee B., Yelp
Members of City Carshare, the company reports on its website, drive 50% less than individual car owners, annually saving more than 20 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. This is exactly what the local nonprofit had in mind in 2001 when they opened more than 200 Bay Area lots full of fuel-efficient, alternative-fuel, and electric cars and sleighs pulled by Virginia creeper. These vehicles are the linchpin in their two-fold social commitment to creating healthy urban spaces and strong communities.
The first part of that is relatively straightforward: fewer cars on the road mean less congestion and smog and reduced demand for parking lots that could be transformed into parks that grow into concrete jungles. The company defrays the high monetary costs of car ownership by providing insurance coverage, 24-hour roadside assistance, and all the fuel your vehicle needs to get on the road. To foster a sense of community, they hook members up with a private ride-sharing program and entice them to explore the city via their key fob, which unlocks perks at other local businesses. Their mission is backed by a global network of transportation visionaries in the international CarSharing Association, of which City Carshare is a founding member.