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car2go launches car sharing in London

car2go Smart Fortwo on London Bridgecar2go has rolled out its car sharing service in three London boroughs, making the British capital the 17th city that the network serves. The company has a fleet of more than 6,000 vehicles being used by over 250,000 members around the world. It has also recorded over five million rental transactions to date, with a vehicle being hired every four seconds.

From 4 December, residents and visitors will be able to use this new mobility solution to get around without putting too much pressure on their purse or the environment. Each smart fortwo vehicle based in London features an automatic transmission, GPS navigation system, air conditioning and start-stop technology. The compact, efficient car only emits 98g/km of CO2 as well. The coupe is easy to drive and park, and is safe. Its boot can also fit quite a bit, so it’s great for impulse purchases.

In order to get a chance to hire one of these cars, Londoners and visitors will need to register for a membership. This is currently free until 31 December and includes 30 minutes of free driving time on new members’ accounts. Registration can be completed at the car2go shop in BOXPARK Shoreditch, online or at Europcar locations around the UK. After the promotion, new members will have to pay a one-time fee. They will then receive a card that will give them keyless entry into any smart fortwo vehicle available for rent.

car2go hires in London cost 35p per minute, which is billed right on the members’ account. There are also hourly and daily rates that members can hire a car for, and these rates are inclusive of road tax, fuel, parking, maintenance and insurance. Available vehicles can be found using the car2go London website, free mobile app or just by seeing it parked and not being used. After one is found, the member can use their card on the windscreen card reader to access the vehicle, hop in and begin their journey. When they are done using the car they hired, all they have to do is leave it in any unregulated or borough-owned parking bay within the service area and lock it. There’s no need to return it to the original parking space.

car2go Europe gmbh chief executive Stefan Mueller says that many Londoners don’t want or need a vehicle all the time. However, they like the freedom of driving, and car2go gives them the best of these two worlds. Now residents and visitors have the ability to go where they want, when they want without the expense of ownership, which includes insurance and operating/maintenance costs.

Mueller added that the launch of car2go in three London Boroughs is a huge step for the company, particularly since the British capital is the first UK city they have launched in. They are working with other Boroughs to roll out the network in more towns and cities to offer car sharing to even more people in the weeks and months to come. This is really starting a thrilling story for urban mobility in the country.

Mercedes-Benz UK president and chief executive Marcus Breitschwerdt noted that their smart fortwo cars are exempt from the Congestion Charge and have many great features. If members park the vehicle in a parking bay operated by the Boroughs in Newham, Islington or Sutton, they won’t be charged for parking, as car2go has that covered. The car sharing programme, he added, underlines the expertise of Daimler as a leader and driver of car technology and green innovation, as well as an unmatched leader in the development of modern mobility concepts.

Europcar UK Group managing director Ken McCall added that they are very excited to be involved in bringing car sharing to UK motorists. Their focus is about mobility, and they believe car2go offers drivers more transport options.

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