Newcomers to Toronto have plenty of options for getting around town, including an extensive public transit system, dedicated bike paths, or owning a car. Over recent years, however, a popular new option has been added: carsharing.
You don’t have to own a car to drive a car, and it works out cheaper. Sometimes it is useful to have the option of taking a car, say for a move, a shopping run, making your next appointment in good time, or getting from one Toronto neighbourhood to another. Fortunately, all these needs can be met by the excellent providers for carsharing in Toronto.
Getting a car that suits your needs at the exact moment you need it is one of the advantages of living in a large city such as Toronto, now the fourth-largest city in North America. No tax or insurance payments, no hundreds-of-dollars services, and no paying for an overpriced parking space in your building. Whichever carsharing option you choose, you will have the option of simply reserving a specific car online and renting it by the minute, hour, or day.
Why use carsharing in Toronto?
In a big city like Toronto, carsharing is a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to car ownership. Perks include the ability to choose flexibly without the fixed costs usually tied to a car – you can put that saved money into traveling more of Canada! Memberships with all providers include gas, insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance, though there are differences between the providers. The application process always includes a driver’s license check, and only drivers with a clean abstract may be granted a membership.
Want to get out on the street? Here are the most popular options for carsharing in Toronto.
As of June, 2018 car2go is ceasing operations in Toronto, blaming city council for passing amendments to a pilot project that restricts on-street parking.
Who? car2go is the only service in Toronto offering one-way service. This means you don’t have to return the car to your original pick-up-location. Within the car2go Toronto home area, cars can just be left in any legal parking space. Cars can also be dropped at the airport or be left in designated lots around the city.
car2go has expanded its fleet in Toronto from the ubiquitous smart vehicles to include Mercedes-Benz SUVs and sedans as well.
How much? Using a car2go Toronto smart car costs $0.41 per minute, capped at $15 per hour and $59 per day. For the four-seater SUVs and sedans, the rate is $0.47 per minute, or $19 per hour and $79 per day.
Highlights: One-way trips are the big advantage in convenience for car2go. The car can be returned any time. Members also commend that there is no requirement to refuel the car when it is dropped.
Who? Zipcar is currently the largest car-sharing brand in Toronto. The fleet is large and well distributed across the city, but cars must be picked up and returned at designated parking spots. This means you always need to return your Zipcar to the location you started from. It also needs to be returned at the time specified in the reservation.
Zipcar offers a variety of models by popular manufacturers such as Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, BMW, and Jeep.
How much? Zipcar’s most popular plan is $70 per year (plus $30 registration fee) with rates from $9.25 per hour. You can also go for a $7 monthly plan.
Highlights: Membership is universal, so you can use Zipcar anywhere they operate in the world. Zipcar replaces all vehicles regularly, so you’re unlikely to be driving a car that is more than two years old.
Who? Another large brand operating in the city, Enterprise CarShare offers two-way carsharing in Toronto. There are many pick-up spots available across the city, and cars must be returned to their original location at the time specified in the reservation.
Enterprise CarShare offers a wide selection of car models, including Toyota, Mazda, and Kia.
How much? Enterprise CarShare in Toronto offers a membership at $45 per year, with daily rates from $9.25 and daily rates from $69, plus a $29 application fee.
Highlights: More expensive prepaid monthly plans for frequent drivers waive the membership fee and reduce the hourly and daily rates. There are also weekday specials bringing the rate down to $6 per hour.
Who? Turo is the genuine peer-to-peer provider for carsharing in Toronto. It goes both ways, and so not only can drivers sign up to book a trip, but car owners also offer up their car for rent. This offers for a lot of flexibility, but availability depends heavily on the number of members in your neighbourhood.
The range of cars is as diverse as you can find on the streets of Toronto.
How much? Price, pick-up, and drop-off location are dependent on the agreements between members.
Highlights: Turo is a genuine sharing economy company, offering plenty of flexibility for carsharing in Toronto due to the direct interaction between members. It’s Airbnb for cars!
- Please note that in order to register with any of the above companies, you will need a valid driver’s license. To find out more, visit our comprehensive guide to driver’s licenses in Canada.
- For more on living and driving in Toronto, please see our Living in Toronto page.