Living without a car can save a lot of money—but it can cause a lot of grief, too. (As a Phoenician who suffered through my first Colorado winter carless, I would know.) Despite Denver’s decent public transportation and bike-friendly streets, there are times that simply call for four wheels. Fortunately, several car share programs have popped up around our city recently. We break them down to help you pick the best option for you.
eGo CarShare: Denver/Boulder
Requirements: Valid driver's license of at least two years, decent driving record (usually five points or less)
Number of cars: 16 in Denver, 25 in Boulder
Car types: Many of the cars are eco-friendly hybrids or fuel-efficient, compact cars; eGo also has trucks (awesome for moving, even if you are a car owner).
Rates: There is a one-time $25 fee to register. Monthly, and daily rates vary from $2.50 per hour with a $10 monthly membership fee, to $4.50 per hour with no monthly fee (and up to $75 a day). Rates include gas and insurance. Night owls and early birds: Cars are only $1 per hour from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Locations: About 20 locations in Boulder, and 15 Denver. View locations here.
Bonus: The nonprofit has a peer-to-peer sharing program for people who own fairly new, but rarely used vehicles. What does this mean? You can temporarily lend your reliable car to eGo CarShare. They'll pay for its insurance and gas expenses while its in their fleet, and give you a monthly stipend that you can use for any eGo car.
Requirements: Must be 22 years old, or a student who is 18 or older; a decent driving record
Number of cars: More than 200
Car types: Smart Cars
Rates: $35 registration fee, 38 cents per minute (up to $13.99 an hour), and up to $72.99 per day. Gas, insurance, and roadside assistance are included.
Locations: Cars are located wherever the last member drops them off (within their designated Denver zone). Use Car2Go's mobile app, call them, or go online to find the car closest to you. View locations here.
Bonus: You don't have to park in a specific spot; as long as it's in the "Home Area" and in a legal, non-restricted parking spot, you're good. You don't have to pay for metered parking, and you're safe in parking that is limited to two hours or more.
Occasional Car: Denver
Requirements: Three years of decent driving history; must be 21 or older
Number of cars: 38
Car types: A few fuel-efficient, compact car models
Rates: Their "Simple” plan starts at 5.99 per hour, with a $4.99 monthly fee and a $25 application fee. Rates vary depending on days, times, and plans.
Locations: More than 20. Check out Occasional Car locations here.
Zipcar: Colorado State University, Fort Collins
Requirements: Driver's license for at least one year, no violations within the past two years, no drug or alcohol offenses in seven years, and no more than one driving violation in last 18 months
Number of cars: 2
Car types: small SUV, hatchback
Rates: $7.50 to $8.50 per hour; $77 to $83 for a full day
Locations: One, here.
Hertz Rental: Metro area
Requirements: The same as their standard rental terms.
Number of cars: More than 100
Car types: Hertz's fleet includes everything from tiny subcompacts to large SUVs and trucks.
Rates: Range from $6.50 to $25 per hour during the week; the base rate goes up to $8.50 on the weekends. The $140 deposit will be returned to your account within three days.
Locations: Two in Denver, one at DIA, one in Boulder, and one in Aurora. See them here.
Enterprise CarShare (formerly known as WeCar): Metro area
Requirements: Must be a student or faculty member of the University of Denver, or Regis University
Number of cars: 3
Car types: Economy sedans
Rates: Start at $7.50 per hour and $55 per day and include gas and insurance
Number of locations: Three locations near the University of Denver campus. View locations here.
Follow digital assistant editor Jerilyn Forsythe on Twitter at @jlforsyt.