Now to be fair to the other car share programs in Vancouver, I should give you my review of the other car share program that I have used – modo. Modo is formerly known as the Co-operative Auto Network. They updated the look and name just this year.
Modo is a more set car sharing program. The co-op has vehicles across Metro Vancouver. The coverage area of Modo is quite large in comparison to car2go, for example. You also have your choice of different vehicles. If you really needed a flat-bed truck or a minivan, you could book one. You just better hope the location of the vehicle is close to you.
First of all, Modo is a co-operative. That means you can purchase a refundable share of $500 to become a voting member. Rates are cheaper this way ($3/hr and a 15¢ to 40¢ per km charge) and you get other perks (TransLink Employee Pass Rate, for example). You can also sign up for the casual membership which charges a non-refundable $50 annual fee. However, rates are higher at $7.50/hr with this membership option.
All vehicles must be booked via phone before taking the vehicle. So you have to call their number, go through the typical voice mail system, and find your way to a person on the other end for booking. I’m sure after doing this many times, you could probably memorize the number sequence to go directly to booking with an operator.
Modo has fixed parking locations across town. So wherever you pick up the vehicle, it must be returned to the same spot. If the spot is a permit spot, then anywhere along that block in the permit zone should suffice for returning the vehicle. When you book the vehicle, you book it for a set amount of time. Modo highly recommends that you book with at least a half hour more to spare at the end. If your trip involves the border or a ferry, they recommend a good one or two hour cushion. If you finish your rental early, you can always call modo and inform them. That way, you don’t get charged for the time you didn’t use the car.
Modo does require an ICBC driver record check just like car2go. There are also some other fees. I have a casual membership, so I had to pay the $50 annual fee. I also paid $30 annual fee into the drivers’ insurance pool. The credit card I use for Modo doesn’t have rental insurance as a built-in feature; otherwise, I wouldn’t have to pay this fee.
When I signed up, I did most of this in person at the downtown office on Granville Street. I was required to read the very lengthy, but I suppose necessary, orientation guide. There was also a small online quiz to check if you truly read the guide or not. I had signed up before the name change, so I’m not sure if all the procedures are the same as they were before. A quick glance of the current site suggests the sign up procedure has been streamlined, which is good. I may have signed up for the co-operative earlier if it wasn’t for all the hoops to jump through. It looks better now.
Next time, I’ll share some of my actual driving experiences with Modo.