CAR SHARING AND RENTAL IN BARCELONA
As nice as it is to own your own vehicle, for many people it is just not financially justifiable to pay for the insurance, maintenance, parking, annual technical inspections and any other unforeseen expenses that go with owning a vehicle. Especially if you are an expat who has decided to move to Barcelona and who mainly depends upon public transportation, but occasionally would like to have a car to run errands, pick up someone from the airport or even make a day-trip somewhere. In the past you would have been at the mercy of the extortionate rental fees of the major car rental companies, especially during the tourist season when prices are much higher due to the demand.
Fortunately there are exciting new alternatives for you in terms of car sharing and rental in Barcelona. This means you don´t have to worry about everything that goes with actually owning a car. And if you are already a car owner and would like to make some money by renting your car, this will also be interesting for you!
Part of the ZIPCAR group who operates in many countries around the world, Avancar is a great way for you to have access to a variety of different cars of different shapes and sizes. The way it works is that you sign up on their website, submit your driver´s license and contact details, and they mail a card to your address (similar to a credit card). You download the Avancar app or go to the website, login, find the cars parked in garages closest to you, select the car you want and the pick-up and drop-off times. Then you simply go to the car, swipe your card on the sensor in the windshield, the car opens up and you find the keys in the glovebox. And off you go! They offer a good variety of cars, ranging from smaller 2-door cars to bigger family size cars and even moving vans.
The best part of this is that the hourly rate for renting the car (which depends on the type/model of the vehicle) includes 80 kilometres per day, as well as the fuel and insurance. If you exceed the 80 km limit, you will only be charged a few cents per additional kilometre. In the sun vizor there is a credit card for re-fueling the car, if necessary. If it turns out that you need the car for longer than initially anticipated, you simply add extra time in increments of 30 minutes on the app (assuming the car hasn´t been reserved by someone else after you).
In our opinion this is the best solution, as you don´t have to struggle to find parking and the process of finding, collecting, and returning the car could not be simpler.
A lot of people who own cars in Barcelona find themselves in a situation where they don´t use the car on a daily basis. This means that the car is parked in a garage somewhere, gathering dust and costing the owner money for something that isn´t being used regularly. With SocialCar, you can browse their website and find an excellent variety of privately owned vehicles in all shapes and sizes and even luxury vehicles.
As with Avancar, you sign up, submit your drivers license and payment details and they verify you as a user. Once verified, you can read comments of each owner and their vehicle, written by other users who have rented from that person. Comments often refer to the easy of dealing with the owner, if the car was damaged or unclean, and other details that might be important to you when making a decision. Once you´ve selected the car you want to hire, the owner will either approve or decline your request. However there are some vehicles that allow instant bookings.
Their platforms allows you to either arrange with the owner directly to collect the car at the agreed-upon time, or the car can be brought to your home for an additional charge. There are also varying levels of insurance, so if you prefer to have only third party insurance or full cover that covers any excess, the options are considerable.
As with car-rental agencies, you are expected to return the vehicle with the same level of fuel as when you collected the car.
Drivy is very similar to SocialCar, where the idea is that you rent from a private owner. Some owners will advertise their vehicles on both websites, but for the most part each website has different vehicles.