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U Car Share – Car Sharing from U-Haul

U Car Share

U Car Share is a new program from U-Haul that is similar as ZipCars or Flexcar, although not as convenient as those. The program lets members “share” a vehicle that can be rented for an hour or a day. The U-Haul cars have some added storage space when compared to the other brands, which makes them perfect for the business person preparing for a trade show or recruiting event or some sort of other function that requires a lot of stuff. On the other hand, you actually have to go to a U-Haul office to make it happen.

Rentals are available for $10 per hour or $65 a day. There is a $25 application fee and a $50 per year membership, so if you only plan on using the service once it probably isn’t worth it.

How does it work? First you sign-up for membership on the U Car Share website. Once you’re ready to go, you login to the site and reserve your car, including the location, date and time of pick-up. U Car Share will send you a confirmation email with the information included above. Then you stop by the office and get your car. Your rental includes free gas (gas card is included in the glove box) and insurance. When you’re finished, return the car and the keys.

So, with ZipCars, the car is conveniently located in parking places throughout the city, where with U Car Share you have to visit the location. Both include free gas and insurance, but with U Car Share you have to go in the office. ZipCars are unlocked automatically when you approach the car having a valid rental.

U-Haul is rolling out the program in the following locations:

  • Ann Arbor, Michigan (U-Haul State St. Ctr)
  • Austin, Texas (U-Haul Center University TX)
  • Boston, Massachusetts (U-Haul Center SQ, U-Haul Somerville, U-Haul Center Brookline, U-Haul Center Brighton, U-Haul of Medford and U-Haul Center Malden)
  • Chicago, Illinois (U-Haul Lincoln Park and U-Haul Center Up-Town)
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (U-Haul Philly Central and U-Haul Ctr of South Philly)
  • Portland, Oregon (U-Haul Powell Rd., U-Haul Center Eastgate, U-Haul Center 82nd Ave, U-Haul Center Lombard and U-Haul Sandy Blvd)
  • San Francisco, California (Downtown U-Haul Center and Valencia Box Store)
  • Seattle, Washington (U-Haul Center of Ranier, U-Haul Center 15th Ave, U-Haul Center Ballard and U-Haul West Seattle)
  • Washington, DC (U-Haul Center Capitol Hill and U-Haul Center South Capitol St.)

To sum it up, it’s pretty much like renting any old U-Haul, which is fine if what you need is a U-Haul. Basically, it’s U-Haul’s effort to jump on the “Sustainability” bandwagon, but I believe the other companies mentioned above have come up with a much better structure for car sharing.