An intro to carshares in San Francisco
Have a trip planned, but don’t have a car to get there? Consider a car share in San Francisco.
Although San Francisco is a major city in the U.S., when you measure it by size, it’s not very large. So, getting from one neighborhood to the next using public transportation, isn’t very time-consuming.
Yet, when you consider the entire Bay Area, that’s a lot of ground to cover using the bus or train alone. And when you want to visit the Peninsula, a national park, or cross the Bay Bridge, this is when a car is handy. But, not everyone who lives in SF has their own car.
Instead, many locals take advantage of a carshare in San Francisco. There are several companies that offer flexible rental terms and have plenty of cars to choose from.
Here are a few of the city’s most popular carshare companies.
Upshift is a carshare in San Francisco whose service only extends to SF residents. This company offers semi-long term solutions to drivers who want frequent access to a car.
To apply for an Upshift membership, you must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license, a clean driving record, and at least two years of driving history.
Fleet of cars
All rental cars are white Toyota Priuses, so every time you drive, you’ll have a familiar experience. There’s enough space for five passengers and room for your surfboard, skis, or bicycle.
At 54 mpg you can take a weekend trip to a nearby national park without stopping for gas. The Priuses also come supplied with a phone mount, charging cables for your electronics, and a FasTrak pass for toll lanes and roads.
Even more, cars get cleaned using all-natural cleaning products.
Special car features
- Cruise control that automatically adjusts with the speed of traffic
- A monitor detects blind spots to keep you safe while on the road
- Parking assistance to help you parallel park with confidence
Membership options and rates
All three plans include concierge delivery and pick-up, full insurance coverage, free valet parking, refueling, cleaning, and maintenance.
Upshift refuels the car, and charges you for the price paid, without a markup. For each option, there’s a three-month minimum commitment.
- Getaway: Access to a Prius four days each month at a price of $259/month
- Freedom: Access to a Prius eight days each month at a price of $439/month
- Auto Pilot: Access to a Prius 12 days each month at a price of $589/month
With each of the memberships, you can request a car for a few hours or several days at a time. One day counts as any period up to 24 hours.
Turo is another great option as a carshare in San Francisco. And when you rent with Turo, you’re renting a personal, locally-owned car. To create an account with Turo all you need to do is sign up with your email, with Facebook or Google.
If they can confirm your identity as well as your eligibility, you’ll get approved. Once approved enter your dates of travel into the Turo app to start your search.
You’ll have the option to filter by “book instantly.” But, if you don’t select this option, and request to book a car, the owner has eight hours to accept or decline your trip.
Once confirmed, there are three different ways to get your car. The owner can either deliver to a location of your choosing, to the airport, or you can pick it up at the owner’s location. As a driver, you don’t need your own personal insurance. Yet, if you do have it, Turo’s liability insurance will supplement your coverage.
Rates and fees
- Turo charges drivers by the day, so hourly options are not available
- If you’re under the age of 25, a “young driver” fee of 20% gets added to your total trip price
- A delivery fee gets charged if you want the car delivered to the airport or a specific location of your choice. The driver sets the fee, which varies based on the car and the location
- On average, the cost for every mile above the agreed amount is $0.75 per mile
- If the car gets returned late, you must pay a late return fee. This amount ranges from $50 up to $200 for each hour the car is late
Getaround is a carshare in San Francisco that doesn’t charge a monthly or annual fee. You only pay for the time you drive. They also include insurance coverage and 24/7 roadside assistance.
When you book your first rental, your driver’s license and credit card get verified. After that, you can download the Getaround app on your iPhone or Android phone.
Another company that offers a convenient app is Blueground. Their app is available to residents to make scheduling apartment maintenance, cleaning, or ordering take-out a breeze. Not only are Blueground apartments fully equipped and move-in ready they’re also in the most sought after buildings in SF.
Search hundreds of locally-owned cars in your neighborhood for hourly or daily rental options. Cars range from commuter, hybrids, and luxury, to family vans and everything in between. Once you book a car of your liking, simply unlock the car using the mobile app.
You can also manage and extend your trip from the app as well. Prices start at $5 per hour. And if you happen to have a new Apple device, you can use Apple Pay with a single tap.
Booking a car with Gig Carshare is simple and quick. Download their app on your phone, then scan your license and the card you plan to pay with. Enter a few details, then wait up to five minutes for approval. Don’t worry about membership fees, or annual charges, Gig doesn’t have them.
How to book a car
When you are ready to book a car, browse the available options on the app. You have the option to book a car up to half an hour in advance. Or, you can locate one while walking down the street. You can tell if the car is available when the light on the windshield is green. Once you reserve a car, unlock it from your smartphone. If you see any dents or dings on the car, report it through the app.
When you’re ready to go, step on the brake and push the “Power” button, no key necessary. There are zero restrictions to where you drive in the United States. Planning a bike trip? No problem! Every Gig car has two Thule bike racks that fit most bikes with a wheel diameter of 20 to 29-inches.
At the end of your trip, park the car in a Gig-designated spot, residential area, or permit only spot inside the HomeZone. Then, only pay for the rate that is lowest, either by the mile, hour, or day.
Rates and fees
- Price per mile: $2.50 (up to a max of $15)
- Per hour: $15.00
- Per day: $69.00 Monday through Friday and $85 Saturday through Sunday
- The cost of insurance, gas, charging the car, and parking in the HomeZone come included
- You pay for any tolls you passed through during your rental period