People are often surprised to discover that I don’t own a car. Well, ever since I moved to Melbourne I’ve never needed one – I’ve always lived in the inner city and worked in the CBD, cycled or caught public transport to get to most destinations, and cabs and rental cars have filled in the gap where necessary.
However, now that I run a small business which sometimes involves hauling a stack of cycling gear from one location to another, it makes sense for me to have a car. Sort of.
I joined up to car-sharing program Flexicar a few months ago (they are in Melbourne and Sydney) and I’ve found it to be a really good service. You may or may not have seen that I’m Flexicar‘s Member of the Month (thank you!) but this post is not sponsored by Flexicar in any way – I genuinely believe it’s a cheap, eco-friendly and convenient way to have access to a car when I need it and it which works well for my needs.
How does Flexicar work? Well, you sign up to a monthly usage plan depending on how much you estimate you’ll have to drive. I have the ‘Biz-Starter’ plan which means I pay $12.95 per hour ($75 daily rate), prepaid monthly credit of $25, 100km of driving and all fuel costs included.
Why do I love it? Firstly, there are quite a few cars within walking distance from my house. The most convenient is literally around the corner (Flexicar‘s slogan is ‘cars around the corner, around the clock’) and seems to have good availability even on weekends. Secondly, there’s no queuing and paperwork like normal car rental. The website is easy to navigate for information and bookings and every car has an easy swipe lock-unlock mechanism to begin and end your booking, so you can just jump in and get going!
The cars are all automatic, so no fiddling with clutches and hill starts, are in good condition from what I’ve seen and there are a good variety of car sizes – I’ve used the small car, the Honda Jazz, to the largest car, the Subaru Forrester. Fuel cards are provided if you need to top up the tank.
Plus I like their attitude – everyone I’ve dealt with at Flexicar has been friendly and helpful and the website has a slightly quirky, irreverent tone. They are keen to support other environmentally friendly businesses and Melbourne events.
It’s great to see that local councils are supporting Flexicar too – clearly it’s a good idea that deserves to spread!