Living and working in Auckland CBD, we don't really need a car on a daily basis. That said, with public transport being what it is, there are times when only a car will do. Need to get from a meeting to a job interview on time? Or pick up supplies for a do-it-yourself project? Just try doing those kind of things on public transport! So we kept tossing up whether or not we should buy a car. Our biggest deterrents were the cost of parking (I'm pretty sure I could find a small apartment in the States for the cost of parking our car in Auckland CBD) and the fact that neither of us had permanent work contracts. Then a friend recommended Cityhop. We joined last May and have never looked back!
Cityhop is perfect for city dwellers like us (available in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch). After paying the joining fee to start ($120 for the two of us for one year) you can use the car as little or as much as you want. This was perfect for us because if our income decreased, we could stop using Cityhop and that cost would cease - a luxury you don't have when you own a car and have rented a car park. Plus, when we are away on holidays we don't have any on-going costs. Brilliant!
Another wonderful thing about Cityhop is that, unlike when you rent a car from a regular rental company, you can rent the car by the hour. This is perfect when you just need to run an errand or get to a meeting. Cars cost $10 or $15 an hour depending on the pick up location (there are lots of them around the city) and this includes petrol. Each car has a petrol card in it so when you get down to about a quarter of a tank you can pop by your local Z and fill it up at no extra cost to yourself. If you need the car for longer it's $50 or $75 per day, and there are also overnight specials. The first 100 kms are included in the rental price and then it's $0.25 per km afterwards.
Perhaps the best reason to use a service like Cityhop is it reduces the number of cars on the road, which in turn reduces pollution and traffic congestion. We don't really consider ourselves to be environmentalists, but it feels good to know our choice to carshare also has a positive impact on the city we live in. We've been Hoppas for 7 months and we are loving it! It has given us the freedom that comes with having a car without the hassles of owning one. Things don't always go smoothly. Someone may leave the car dirty and once our swipe cards didn't work, but the friendly folks at Cityhop have always been quick to respond (Alex to the rescue)! They are a small company doing their best to provide a valuable service, so if you live in the city and are tossing up the idea of buying a car, we recommend checking out their website (cityhop.co.nz) to see if carsharing would work for you.