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Car share vs ride sharing vs ridesourcing vs carpooling: What are the differences?

Maryse Dubois

With new mobility services seeming to spring up every month, it can be hard to tell your car share from your car pool.

Luckily, the learned folks at the Transportation Sustainability Research Centre at the University of Berkeley, California, have come up with these definitions to clear things up. Here goes:

Round-trip car sharing

How it works:

  • Pay by the hour and by the kilometre
  • Vehicle is picked up and dropped off at ‘home spot’
  • Carsharing operator owns and insures vehicle, extends coverage to driver
  • Fuel and insurance bundled in price

Offered by: GoGet, FlexiCar, Hertz 24/7, Green Share Car, Popcar.

Peer-to-peer car sharing

How it works:

  • Privately‐owned vehicles for rent by the hour/by the day.
  • Third party arranges transaction between renter and owner, provides damage and loss cover and takes a percentage of revenue for the service.
  • Fuel and damage and loss cover may be bundled in the price or handled separately

Offered by: Uber Carshare, Drive My Car (long-term rentals), Carhood (airport rentals)

Ride sharing or Carpooling

How it works:

  • Driver takes riders on route that driver was intending to travel before accepting riders.
  • Rider pays a fraction of cost of the trip and driver makes no profit.
  • Usually done with personally‐owned vehicle.

Offered in Australia by: LifeSocial, CoSeats; ShareURide and the confusingly similar Share Your Ride; Need a Ride … & others

Ridesourcing / Transportation Networking

How it works:

  • Driver takes rider on route that is directed by the rider.
  • Rider pays fares that exceed the cost of the trip and surplus goes to driver and third party arranging the ride.

Offered in Australia by: Uber; Backseat, Shebah, GoCatch, Taxify

With all of these options available (and more in the pipeline), most of us could save a lot of money – and not lose any convenience – by not owning a car (or renting your car out when you’re not using it!) and choosing to live car free instead.

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