Do car-sharing programs really save you money?

There are a growing number of services cropping up in Canadian cities that give you access to a car for an hourly fee. But is it really cheaper than buying your own vehicle?

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From the November 2012 issue of the magazine.

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There are a growing number of services cropping up in Canadian cities that give you access to a car for an hourly fee. But is it really cheaper than buying your own vehicle? We compared the rates for two car-sharing companies, Zipcar and Car2Go, with the cost of owning a Honda Civic EX. It turns out car-sharing is only cheaper if you use the vehicle for a few short trips each week. If you need a car more than two or three times a week, it’s cheaper to get your own set of wheels.

*Assumes a three-hour 40-km trip. Car-sharing sign-up fees are factored in. zipcar cost based on extra value plan prices for a sedan in Toronto. Car ownership costs are based on Edmunds.com data. Costs are amortized over eight years and include purchase, gas, insurance and maintenance.

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