Car Sharing (fractional leasing) in the Days of COVID

GM shuts Maven, it’s car-share alternative

That sound you here is GM trying to lop this mad cow off their balance sheet and quietly make it in hamburger. :hamburger:

No word yet on Cruise, its autonomous fleet division (was never clear who their intended customer is)

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Idk, maybe I’m just old and set in my ways, but I have no interest in these services and am plenty happy with having a car in my driveway, even if that means I’m spending more to have that privilege. Then again, I don’t live in a city with ridiculous parking fees, or lack of parking spots.

Likewise, I have no interest in pimping my cars out on Turo, even if that means I lose a couple bucks.


This strikes me as a problem for less than 15% of the population, but if you solve it well for them it could be profitable. There is more than enough unused capacity in the system.

The most expensive ownership model is (and always should be) 100% ownership/dedicated in your driveway. Volvo’s version of this was too expensive/gold plated: lux + 1yr pricing + dedicated. No need to offer Android auto in those: nobody rocking an LG phone is paying $700/mo for an XC40 to rent the most expensive 12 months of its depreciation.

If this (gestures at the plague around us) proves that we can get by in normal times driving less, and some people can put up with the car being a little further (a couple blocks?) and available when you need it, fractional ownership can offer them similar utility for much less.

I think the closest solution is what Audi has done with Silver Car — just off lease lux as rental cars at airport. But deployed more like Enterprise with in-town locations (in cities ideally 1-2 in every shopping center parking lot). As car rental places shrink their inventory, they can sub-contract their staff to manage other’s inventories.

I’ve used Maven a few times and it worked well for moving things that wouldn’t fit in a Miata. The cars I rented – Acadia, Malibu, and Cruze – were all in great shape and had low miles, perhaps a sign they weren’t utilized very much. For a few weeks, I didn’t have a car in LA and it complemented walking, ride share, and public transit well, and I saved a much of money from not having a lease payment, insurance, parking, etc.

Ironically, just as I got the email from Maven, I got an ad from Mocean, which is Hyundai’s version of car share that launched in LA recently. We also have BlueLA, which is functional, but the Bollare Bluecar is the worst modern car I’ve ever driven.

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Is Mocean only in the LA area, or will they roll it out to other large cities? Wondering if we’ll see them in NYC.

The appeal of this sort of program to me is taxes. I will pay almost 5k in taxes on my MDX lease over the 3 year lease. Right now we have two cars since 3 days a month we split drop off and pickup at daycare so both cars need carseats. We pay a lot for that flexibility though. once drop offs stop being an issue going down to one car would be a financial win. Ideally we could rent/carshare a car on the rare occasions we need a second car or something bigger than a sedan.

To me the ideal solution would be something like Silver Car but with home delivery. In cities and dense suburbs, perhaps the delivery driver could have an electric scooter to get back to the office. Even simpler is just adding the cost of Lyft/Uber to the rental. Figure an off airport Q7 rental is about $125 a day with a coupon code. I could rent one for 60 days a year for less than the cost of say a XC90 T6 Momentum.

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I’m in a situation where I need 2 cars. I work 5 days a week…40 hours. My wife works 3 days a week, 36 hours. I take my son (2 yo) to daycare because she leaves too early to drop him off and gets home too late to pick him up. So the 3 days she works, I take him back and forth to daycare. It would be impossible (well, not impossible, but complete misery) for me to share a car, as I’d have to wake him up at 4:30 in order to get my wife to work, drop him off at daycare, and then drive to work, pick him up, pick up my wife, etc. It would be a very long day for all involved.

Now, the 2 days she’s at home, we could get away with 1 car, but she’d be stuck at home, unless she dropped me off and picked me up. Again, not ideal with a 2 year old.

Could I do a car share to cut expenses. Yes. It’s way easier for me to float 2 leases, insurance, gas, maintenance, etc… And, since I have the financial means to do so, It just doesn’t interest me. That said, I have begun to work from home more, and just go to the office the days my wife is home with the living, breathing hurricane. I still have to take him to daycare though the days she works…so I’m back to still needing 2 cars based on our different schedules.

It’s funny…I can be stuck at home (like now) with the car sitting in the driveway rotting away, and I’m fine. Drop it off at the shop for something all day, and I’m going stir crazy my car isn’t in the driveway, despite the fact I have nowhere to go. Having a car in the driveway is a form of freedom to me, and when it’s not there, I feel imprisoned.

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