Car sharing in Helsinki
Niko Nyman says he'd love to take part in reasonably-priced car sharing in Finland.
I've been a happy member of the City Car Club in Helsinki from the beginning of the year. I find the prices reasonable, and the availability of the cars excellent, even though Saturdays can be busy enough to warrant a reservation the previous day. Reservations are done using an on-line system, which is quite okay and easy to use, though it won't win any design awards. You can also call the reservation centre.
The cars I've used had 40-90 thousand kilometers behind them, so they're not the shiny new ones you get from your friendly neighbourhood rental agency. Most of the cars are station wagons, and the age does show on some particular cars. However, they've always been clean and good to drive, and some of them have been really nice (the Honda Stream in particular).
They have parking areas all around the capital area, mostly concentrated on areas with high population density. The keys are left in the car, and you can open the car with your cell phone, no problem there.
I'm still trying to go without owning a car, as the costs are pretty steep. However, the older you get the more difficult it seems to be without one, and you no longer have the time to travel by bus to everywhere. I used to rent a lot, but for now, car sharing seems to be a satisfying solution.
(Though, I wouldn't mind more entrepreneurs in this area, either. As far as I know, City Car Club is the only one right now. Competition is good.)
((By the way, they also rent Segways.))
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