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Car2Go 2 Airport

Car2Go 2 Airport

avatar   Stacy
Trip Date 10/19/2017
Posted On 01/07/2019 16:56:03

Planning | Cost Effective Airport Transportation | Car2Go | Controlling Expenses | Parking at Airport for Extended Trip | Budget Travel

Whenever we leave home to travel by airplane for an extended period of time, we try to determine the most cost effective way to get to and from the airport:
  • should we drive our car and pay for airport parking (or redeem free parking)?
  • or travel via Uber or Lyft?
  • or should we ride in a shared van service, like Super Shuttle?
  • or, we could rent a car close to home and drop it off at the airport!

If you have ever wondered how Car2Go works, take a look at this post for an overview of registering, reserving and pricing for the service. If you live in a major metropolitan area that offers Car2Go, this post will give you some ideas for an alternative way of getting to and from the airport ... and you just may be able to save some money.

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Car2Go - An Option We Had Not Previously Considered

Recently, Scott's son offered a suggestion for airport transportation that we really had never thought of - Car2Go. We did a little research into how it works, and decided to join so we could give it a try. There was a $5.00 plus tax registration fee, however we were also promised $10.00 of free drive time. Scott downloaded the iPhone app and filled out the application on a Monday evening, and by late Tuesday morning had an approved account.

The local Car2Go is geared toward providing a service for Austin residents. For those like us who live in a suburb, using Car2Go is a little more time consuming. We knew, however, that we had plenty of time to drive the 15 or so minutes to pick up the car and return home to drop off our personal car. Once at home, we would load our luggage into the Car2Go and then finally head to the airport.

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Our Car2Go Experience

Scott watched a few YouTube videos to learn about the available cars so that he could determine which would work best. We needed a car that would fit the two of us, our two large suitcases plus our two overstuffed backpacks. Just as we left home the first time with me at the wheel, Scott reserved a smart fortwo car via the Car2Go app as he was sure that it would meet our needs for the short trip. (Unfortunately this vehicle has been eliminated in favor of two Mercedes options and is no longer offered for Austin area rentals. Along with the vehicle change, as expected, came a slight price increase.)

The car was very easy to find when we arrived at the designated parking lot. After Scott completed the required inspection and documentation, we were on our way back home in our two separate cars. Upon our arrival, I made sure that our doors were locked, our air conditioner was turned off and our alarms were set while Scott loaded the Car2Go. Amazingly, that little teeny tiny car actually had room for a lot of stuff in the back! Scott did have to adjust his initial packing plan as our suitcases were too tall to fit standing vertically. There was, however, enough room to stack them - with one of our backpacks in the cargo area and one on my lap.)

Our Packed Car2Go

Our Packed Car2Go

We drove straight to The Parking Spot where we parked the car, ended our rental and hopped aboard the shuttle bus that took us to the airport.

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Did We Save Money with Car2Go?

The total cost of the rental was just over $31.00 (taxes and registration fees included) for a 70 minute rental:
  • $15.00 for the first hour plus
  • $4.10 for the next ten minutes ($0.41 per minute) plus
  • $7.50 for airport parking plus
  • a standard $1.00 customer usage fee.
With the replacement of the smart fortwo vehicles shortly after our rental, the cost for same trip is now about $36.00.

Comparing price only to the other available options (and not taking into account the extra time required for suburbanites):

  • the Uber fare was $43.00 plus tip at the time that we would have requested a car;
  • for both of us, the Super Shuttle price was $40.00 based on round trip travel (or more for one way);
  • parking at Airport Fast Park ($8.73 daily, excluding fees and taxes) would have been well over $150.00 for just one-half of the time that we would be gone; and
  • at the time that I searched for a rental car, there were no cars available for a one way rental (probably due to SXSW).
(As we are frequent travelers, we try to avoid asking a friend or neighbor to help us out with airport transfers. With the one-way drive to the airport from our house being about 30 miles, the time commitment is typically more than an hour. Additionally, since we are rarely home, it is difficult for us to provide the same assistance in return!)

Car2Go definitely cost us a little extra time as compared to Uber (the quickest option other than parking at the airport). We didn't really save a lot of money as compared to Super Shuttle (the least expensive alternative). Using Car2Go was kind of a fun adventure to start our vacation! Who knows, we might rent again or we might not - only time will tell. (If we lived in an area closer to Austin's designated parking areas, we would be much more likely to use Car2Go for airport transportation.)

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Free Drive Time Update

We considered the possibility of renting a Car2Go for our return home (to use our promised $10.00 in free credits), however we were not ready to depart the airport until nearly midnight. The thought of riding a shuttle to pick up a Car2Go so that we could drive home to pick up one of our cars followed by more driving to drop off the Car2Go ... just didn't sound appealing. Unfortunately, due to the length of our trip, that was the only option to use the credit as they are only valid for thirty days. Our $10.00 credit was expiring the day after our return home. Oh well!

Monitoring Your Expenses

If you are interested in monitoring your income, expenses and/or asset portfolio to ensure that you can meet a certain financial goal, take a look at our post titled Introducing the "Are We There Yet?" Portfolio Monitor. The monitor is a great tool for monitoring your portfolio both while you are still working as well as after you retire. Along with our financial advisor, we used it relentlessly while we were working to monitor our savings and spending and to run the many calculations available. After retiring at age 52 so that we could spend more time traveling, we still use it today to ensure that we remain on track!

Time vs. Cost

While there are frequently time considerations and financial considerations for various expenses, do you tend to "spend a little more time to save money" or "spend a little more money to save time" and why?

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Car2Go 2 Airport

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