We’ve talked a lot about the importance of preventative maintenance on your vehicle, but even the most cautious of drivers can’t always prepare for every scenario. When your vehicle is in the shop for more than one or two days, you’re going to need a ride to get around town. If your insurance doesn’t cover a rental car, then there are other services sprouting up (and expanding) that offer you quick alternatives to the rental car.
Ridesharing is the peer-to-peer sharing of car rides. Think of it as paying for carpooling. The idea is that the average person can turn their car into a taxi, for way less than the price of a taxi. People can then use smartphone apps to request a ride from these cars for a small fee (or in some cases, a donation).
Types of Rideshare Services
Uber operates in over 60 U.S. cities and six countries. One of the benefits of using Uber is the various vehicle types it offers.
- Black Car – A high-end black sedan with seating for up to four
- Taxi – An actual taxi cab that has an agreement with Uber, letting you pay for the ride through the Uber app rather than through the taxi meter
- UberX – Uber’s budget option. Everyday cars with seating for up to four
- SUV – An SUV with seating for up to six, priced higher than UberX
- LUX – High-end luxury car with seating for up to four – this is the most expensive option
You’ve probably seen them around town: big pink mustaches attached to cars. No, it’s not some fad in automobile décor; you just spotted a Lyfter, part of the ridesharing program called Lyft. In Texas, Lyft currently operates in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Corpus Christi.
Lyft is similar to Uber but with more affordable pricing. Rides are on average 20% percent cheaper than Uber and the whimsical company offers frequent promotional codes on social media. It just doesn’t have the variety of vehicles that Uber does.
Zipcar and Car2Go
Zipcar and Car2Go are both national companies that allow registered members to access designated cars parked around the city. As a member, you would be able to pick up a “loaner” car that comes ready with gas and insurance, drive it for the day, and just park it anywhere within the service area when you are through with it. Cars can be reserved via the companies’ smartphone apps or online.
The downside to these companies is that you’ll need to find a way to get to the car. You can’t request a pick up. Both services also require you to be a member of their program. It’s not as simple as just downloading the app.
Many of these services are available is the Houston metro area and are constantly expanding. Check each service’s coverage area for the most up-to-date availability!
Many ridesharing services are convenient ways to get around town, but it’s important to do your homework before picking one. Not all services are available in your area, not all charge the same, and because you’re linking your debit/credit card to your account, this means you’ll be charged instantly.
For Uber and Lyft, each driver goes through background checks and their vehicles are subject to the standard state inspections as well as the companies’ own multipoint inspections.
While nothing may beat the convenience of having your own car, these vehicle services provide other options for getting around town. And remember; always stay on top of your own vehicle’s maintenance to keep it lasting longer and in great condition. Contact Dillon’s Automotive for more information on preventative maintenance.