Portland car2go FAQs
Our aim is to offer the highest level of service both on and off the street. To better serve you, some answers to common questions are listed below. If you need further information, contact our service center at 1.877.488.4224 or email us at Portland[AT]car2go.com.
- 1. What is car2go?
car2go is a groundbreaking mobility program redefining transportation in rapidly growing urban areas. Launched by Daimler in the southern German city of Ulm during March 2009 and in Austin, Texas, in November 2009, it provides a fleet of free-floating, low-emission, self-service smart fortwo cars distributed all over the city. car2go vehicles can be accessed “on-demand.” Unlike traditional carsharing programs, car2go allows its members to use the vehicle for as long as they like, without committing to a specific return time or location. They can finish the trip in any authorized parking space within the car2go Home Area. Attractive “by-the-minute” rates include costs for fuel, insurance, parking and maintenance.
- 2. How do I use a car2go?
You can keep the vehicle as long as you want for short trips in the city. Of course, you can make intermediate stops whenever you want and leave the car2go — to go shopping, for example. In this case, simply use the keys in order to lock and unlock the vehicle, just as you would in your personal car. The car recognizes that you are making a stopover and will block the vehicle in your absence so you can continue using it when you return. This will be indicated by a red, blinking signal on the reader. To learn more about how to use car2go, watch our training video.
- 3. What kind of vehicles does car2go use?
car2go uses the fuel-efficient, low-emission smart fortwo vehicle. All smart fortwos come packed with standard safety features that are more likely to be found in luxury vehicles. These include the protective tridion safety cell developed especially for the smart fortwo to help ensure crash compatibility with larger passenger cars, an electronic stability program, an anti-lock braking system, and four airbags, to name a few.
- 4. What features are available in a car2go?
Insurance, gas/charging, roadside assistance, free parking in designated areas, GPS navigation, maintenance and 24/7 customer support are all included in the standard trip price. Inside the car, the onboard touch screen computer makes operating the vehicle even easier. PIN entry, evaluation, call center team contact, the radio, and the navigation system can be intuitively controlled using the touch screen. The PIN you set during registration needs to be typed in before you can drive the car; this ensures that, should your membership card be misplaced, no one can drive your car2go but you. The customer support function enables customers to have immediate, live, in-car support, should they need it.
- 5. Who can register for car2go?
Anyone! There are just a few requirements members need to meet to be covered under our insurance. A member needs to be at least 19 years of age and have three years of driving experience; so members cannot have a learner’s permit or be a “new” driver. Also, a member must have a driver’s abstract in good standing, with no alcohol- or drug-related violations. Offenses under the motor vehicle code will be examined — and their severity can negate membership.
- 6. How can I register?
Becoming a car2go member is easy. Simply sign up online and fill out the required information on our secure web page. A one-time payment of $35 for your membership will be processed only if you are accepted into the program. After registration, your membership card will arrive within three to five business days. The member packet will include some quick tips on how to get started with car2go.
- 7. Do I need to reserve a car2go?
Not at all! Our free-floating fleet is positioned around the city for any spur-of-the-moment decision to get in and drive. Should you want to reserve a car, you can find one on our iPhone application, log in on the car2go.com website, or contact the car2go customer call center. Most importantly, you never have to reserve or return a car2go at a specific time. You can use it for as long as you like and leave it anywhere you like, provided you are legally parked in an authorized spot within the Home Area.
- 8. Can my pet ride with me?
Yes, just make sure your pet is in an approved pet carrier. This is for your safety as well as your pet’s.
- 9. Can I smoke in the car?
No. As a shared vehicle, car2go cannot facilitate smokers. Better to have that last puff before you get in.
- 10. Can my children ride in a car2go?
The smart fortwo features highly efficient restraint systems that meet Mercedes-Benz’s passive safety standards. Infant or child restraint systems (booster, infant or child seat) can be affixed properly to the passenger seat by means of the safety belt. A ratchet mechanism locates the tightly pulled safety belt and holds the infant/child restraint system in position. An electronically controlled system will detect the weight of the occupant on the passenger seat or the installation of a child restraint system. The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) determines the appropriate mode of the dual stage, full-size front airbag deployment. For very young passengers, for whom an airbag deployment could mean a serious risk, the front and side airbags will be deactivated. A control lamp in the center of the roof panel will show this clearly. Always check the control lamp to make sure the airbags are deactivated for very young passengers. It should be glowing and say “passenger side airbag off.”
- 11. What is the insurance coverage?
With car2go, insurance is included. Base membership coverage includes the following limits: Liability of $100,000 Bodily injury per person / $300,000 Bodily injury per accident per accident and $50,000 Physical Damage per accident.
Coverage only applies if you abide by the Terms & Conditions and Trip Process for the jurisdiction in which you are operating a car2go vehicle.
- 12. What do I do if I need roadside assistance or get in an accident?
Call the customer service center at 1.877.488.4224 or press SOS on the touch screen to report the incident. A representative will then immediately help you. An Accident Instructional Kit is located in the glove compartment with further directions.
- 13. Can I go outside of the Home Area with the car?
Yes, you can certainly travel outside of the Home Area, but you will not be able to end your trip. This means that you will be billed normally for the time you are outside of the Home Area until you return the vehicle to the Area and end your trip. For a map of the Home Area, click here.
- 14. How can I tell if a car2go is available?
Each car2go has a special card reader installed on its windshield. A light signal on the device displays whether the vehicle is currently available or reserved. The color green indicates that the car2go is available for use. If you are using the car2go.com website or mobile app to locate a car, only cars that are available for use will appear.
- 15. How do I unlock the car2go?
When you register with car2go, you will be sent a car2go member card. In order to unlock the vehicle, simply hold your member card up to the reader on the windshield. After checking your account, the reader will then indicate that the doors are unlocked so you can get in and go.
- 16. How do I activate the car2go, and where is the key?
After you have entered the car2go, you will need to enter your personal code (PIN) on the touch screen, assess the cleanliness of the vehicle and confirm that it is not damaged. Once you complete those questions, you will be prompted to accept car2go’s terms and conditions and access the ignition key located to the right of the touch screen. The ignition is where the park brake and gear shift are located.
- 17. Where do I park the car2go?
For a full list of parking rules, click here.
- 18. What do I do when I am finished using car2go?
When you are finished with your car2go, you must park in an authorized location or in a designated car2go parking space. Once you are parked, select “end trip” on the touch screen. Then, place the ignition key back in its holding position to the right of the touch screen. Once everything has been positioned, an integrated sensor will make sure that the trip process can be ended. You may exit the vehicle and lock it by holding the car2go membership card close to the reader on the windshield. The reader will indicate that the trip is completed and will automatically lock the doors. Check to ensure the doors have locked. If the doors do not lock, please contact the car2go team.
- 19. How do I pay?
Payments for your trip will be applied to the credit or debit card linked to your account. Details of previous trips are accessible when logging in to the car2go.com website.
- 20. How long are free minutes valid for use?
Occasionally, free car2go drive time, or minutes, can be added to your account and credited toward the cost of a trip. Unless otherwise noted, these minutes are valid for up to 30 days after they are credited to your account. To check the expiration of your minutes, please log in to your account at car2go.com.
- 21. What is the Driver Protection Fee?
Beginning June 1, 2015, each member’s deductible will be reduced to $250. To provide this financial protection for our members, we will apply a $1 Driver Protection Fee to each car2go trip our members take – up to 90 trips in a calendar year.
If a member takes 91 or more trips in a calendar year, their deductible will be $0 and the Driver Protection Fee will be waived.
- 22. If I receive free minutes, will I be able to apply them to the Driver Protection Fee?
Free minutes can only be used for drive time, and cannot be applied to the Driver Protection Fee. There is still that risk that something can happen during that trip, and we want to make sure your financial exposure is limited.
- 23. If I receive a refund for a trip taken, will I receive a refund for the Driver Protection Fee?
During the trip, there was still a risk that something could happen, and we want to make sure your financial exposure is limited. We will not be able to provide a refund. The Driver Protection Fee will be non-refundable.
- 24. Why is it not Optional, it must be just a “money grab”?
This fee supports a lower deductible for all our members and the additional risk and financial cost that car2go assumes in providing this. Accidents and damage to our cars does happen – from the most severe cases to fender benders, and we want to ensure that all of our members can safely get from Point A to Point B without the worry of financial risk should any accident or damage to the vehicle occur. At car2go, we believe that peace of mind is something that should be available for all.
The Driver Protection Fee not only decreases the financial exposure to our entire membership in case of accidents, but the fee also contributes to maintaining the drivability and safety of our vehicles outside of normal maintenance. Examples include smashed windows, hit and runs, paint thrown on cars, spray painted cars, tires stolen, tires slashed, flipped cars, deep body panel scratches, fuel contamination, headlights/taillights bashed in, side mirrors ripped off, seats knifed, navigation touchscreens inside cars bashed in, cars set on fire, and deep body panel dents from being hit with bats or hard objects.
- 25. I refueled a car2go – are you going to reimburse me?
We’re constantly monitoring our vehicles to make sure they are clean, safe and have enough fuel.
Should you need to refuel a vehicle, simply take a picture of the receipt and email us the license plate and time of your trip. We’ll then confirm the refuel and credit you car2go minutes.
Remember: $5.00 will probably get you where you need to go, so just fill up a bit and we’ll take it from there!
- 26. Can I become a car2go member with an international driver’s license?