What would it take for you to ditch your car completely?
Think about it: Cars are expensive (don’t even get us started on parking) and if you live near work or school, maybe you only need a car to run errands every now and then.
If it’s something you’re considering, AAA has created a new car-sharing app called Gig that lets users make one-way trips.
AAA’s New Car Sharing ‘Gig’
The new AAA car sharing pilot program, called Gig, will debut in two California cities—Oakland and Berkeley—in late April. If you sign up for Gig before April 30, you can get an $85 credit with the promo code HEYGIG.
Sure, there are tons of car-sharing platforms out there. But what makes Gig unique is that you don’t have to return the car to the spot where you picked it up—you can make one-way trips!
According to the Gig website, no long-term advanced reservations are necessary to use a car. Users just need to download the Gig app on their smartphone, choose a nearby car and boom, it’s reserved for up to 30 minutes.
How Much Does Gig Cost?
AAA officials believe people will find this car sharing concept interesting because it means the company picks up the gas, insurance, parking and roadside assistance fees. All the driver has to pay for is use of the car. How much? Drivers get charged $2.50 per mile, as well as $15 per hour or $85 per day — whichever is cheapest for the driver.
And, AAA members get a 10 percent discount on standard rates (though anyone—not just AAA members—can take advantage of this service). If drivers plan to make stops along the way, they can choose the “park and come back” mode, which charges just 30 cents per minute.
Charges such as insurance and gas are included in the driver’s fees. If a car needs gas, for instance, the driver contacts Gig to get a security code to use a prepaid gas card stored in the glove compartment.
Keep in mind, however, that AAA only provides third party liability insurance. This covers bodily injury and property damage to other parties, but does not cover damage to the car you’re driving. In other words, you’re on the hook for any damage to the car you’re driving, regardless of whether you’re at fault.
“It’s extending AAA’s core focus of inability mobility. We see a fundamental shift from individual car ownership to shared,” said Mike Hetke, executive vice president of AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah to The Mercury News.
Gig’s Hybrid Fleet
Gig’s vision of the future also includes some high-tech cars for their car sharing program. The company has a fleet of Toyota Prius c Hybrids. All cars have an automatic transmission, five seats, cargo space and bike racks. Gig plans to start with 250 cars and build from there, depending on the program’s success.
How Gig Works
AAA developed an app to try to make the car sharing process as easy as possible.
- First, the driver who needs a car opens the app and finds a Gig car located nearby.
- Then, the Gig user goes to the car and unlocks it with a smartphone or a Gig card (sent after driver’s first use.)
- Lastly, the driver returns the car in a public parking spot on the street within the designated “HomeZone”.
To register for Gig, a driver must download the app. Then, the app will scan the driver’s license and credit card. Gig does not charge set up fees, though.
It is important to note that only a registered user can drive a Gig car. Also, parking a Gig car in a parking garage is not allowed at the end of a trip. For more details on Gig rules, visit the program’s website.