After all the setup and anticipation, I was really chomping at the bit to try out car2go for the first time. My first drive came one day when I was down along Main Street near King Edward. The weather was kind of overcast and rain was imminent. I had been sitting in an air-conditioned Blenz Coffee (who turns on AC on such a rainy and cloudy day). I was supposed to get to Oak and Broadway to meet somebody, but I had lost track of time. Aha! Car2go to the rescue
I activated my car2go PRO app and looked for the closest car2go. As luck would have it, it was a smart car just around the corner on East 26th Avenue. However, the app told me that the fuel status was low (~15%). I was in a rush. So I passed up on this one. I checked out the map and found the next closest car was a 5 minute walk away at Ontario and King Edward.
I booked the car via the app so nobody else would rent it before I get there. You do have to remember all your log-in account information for car2go to link the app to your account. If you don’t link them up, then you can’t book the car. Also, the link only lasts a month. So when you try to book over a month from the first link up, you have to do it all over again. It may be annoying, but I like it as a security backup just in case my phone ends up in the wrong hands.
So I jetted out of the really cold coffee shop into the amazingly not-so-cold cloudy weather. I made my way to the car. It was parked right outside of the church on Ontario and King Edward. I checked out the card reader in the lower corner of the windshield on the driver side. The reader displayed a message saying that the vehicle had been booked. There was also a yellow LED flashing indicating the reserved status.
Because I had booked the car via the car2go PRO app, I was able to place my member card over the reader and unlock the vehicle. I hopped in and familiarized myself with the central navigation console. I had to tap through the questions about the condition of the car and take the key out of its holder and plug it into the ignition in the centre behind the gear shift.
Since I was in a rush, I could only snap a quick iPhone photo. The navigation on this model wasn’t working, all I got when I pressed the NAV button was the car2go logo. So I settled for playing the radio. Car2go Vancouver has thoughtfully set all the presets for AM and FM radio and you simply use the touch screen to pick your station.
I rushed along King Edward (at a safe speed) towards Oak Street. It was the first time ever driving a smart car, so it took some time to get used to the way it accelerates and brakes. However, the car definitely has a zippy feeling to it.
I parked in a permit only area along West 10th Avenue near Oak street. It was fun to parallel park such a tiny vehicle. It felt easy to get into the spot. After stopping the car, the console asks you if there was any damage to the car and whether you are stopping the rental or just parking. There’s even an option for fueling up, because it’s good manners to fill up a car if it has less than a 1/4 of a tank of gas.
Having no problems and no need to fill up on gas, I ended the rental, grabbed all my stuff and tapped out with my member card. It’s very important to tap your card when you’re finished. Otherwise, your rental will continue. That was it. Plus, I got to my destination on time. Hooray!
Hm. I feel like this running late thing might be a theme for me and car2go.