They call it U Car Share, and say it’s the next step, after more than 60 years of loaning trucks to people moving to new homes.
The U-Haul people are opening up a vehicle sharing service in Salt Lake City. Membership is free, for now, and members can access cars around the clock. The service is designed for drivers like students at the University of Utah.
You pay for what you use: $4.95 an hour plus 59 cents per mile. The company provides the fuel, insurance and maintenance. You can pay a higher hourly rate if you plan to drive farther.
There are locations around town, so you don’t have to worry too much about finding a place to park, either.
The cars include SmartWay certified vehicles and Ford and Toyota hybrids. You can share for as little an hour. Unfortunately, the cars don’t have those great, state-themed murals painted on the sides of U-Haul trucks.
The grand opening of the Utah service is set for Aug. 18 at the Salt Lake Central Station.
The promo code for free membership is SLC82009, should you be interested in logging in at ucarshare.com. Membership will be $25 after Oct. 30.
U Car Share has been around since 2007 and is already available in Portland, Maine; at Virginia Tech; in Madison, Wisconsin; Berkeley, California; and Portland and Eugene, Oregon, according to U-Haul officials.
Car sharing is good for the environment, and more cities are encouraging it, The New York Times reports.
The sharing service is planned for a launch next at Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts.