The CarSharing Handbook (Part 1)

Foreword
This Handbook was created because of a demand for information on the practical applications of "car-sharing."

The first section documents car-sharing: describing the individual behavior as well as the political framework in which car-sharing is rooted. Following that there is a short section on the recent history and networking efforts. This information was later turned into a mobile educational exhibit.

The main focus of the Handbook is to provide a guide to "setting up a car-sharing organization." The various methods that have proven successful in the past, are described. Most of the questions that arise about car-sharing are addressed in this section. Especially worth mentioning is the "car-sharing legal issues" section which was requested by our funder, NRW, and deals with practical legal issues involved in car-sharing. All aspects of the Handbook reflect the current position (as of Spring 1992) of the development of car-sharing. Further progress in the field is expected to follow quickly, given the dynamic nature of car-sharing.

Some typical reservations about car-sharing are dealt with in the "car-sharing misunderstood" section. These misunderstandings surface time and again during discussions and informational gatherings and can often lead to an individual's rejection of the "principles of car-sharing" as an independent form of transportation. The appendices lists important addresses and other information.

The Handbook uses the general terms car-sharing groups and car co-ops interchangeably. The vehicles are referred to as city cars (Stadtteil-Auto) or car-sharing cars, since this best characterizes the semi-public neighborhood-based nature of the car. Users/members are those authorized by contract to use the vehicles.

One other detail: people are often referred to in the male gender to simplify the language, not out of ignorance.

This Handbook as well as the mobile educational exhibit, was made possible by the Green party ecofund NRW for the "car-sharing funding NRW" project. We sincerely thank the ecofund for this generous donation.

We would also like to thank Carsten Petersen (STATTAUTO Berlin) for suggestions and work on correcting the document, Joachim Schwartz (StadtAuto Bremen) and Renée Lang. Due to space considerations, we cannot individually thank those who contributed scientific facts and experience to the handbook. Thanks to them as well. Aachen, July 1992.

Graph of Increasing Car Use KM
per person

500

400

300

200

100

   
 1960    1965    1970    1975    1980    1985    1988  
Car traffic in comparison to public transit use. 1960 -1988.
Source: "Good Argument: Traffic", D. Seifried; Munich 1991.
     

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RAIN Magazine
Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
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The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


 Too Many Cars!!!
No doubt about it,
one should
drive less!

Car traffic in our cities has long surpassed enjoyable limits: the noise and pollution are unbearable, and main thoroughfares can hardly be crossed by pedestrians any more.

Those who drive these days spend more time at traffic lights and in traffic jams than in moving cars. The capacity of our urban street networks has long since been exceeded. The automobile is no longer mobile!

The only way out of this is to switch to using busses, trains, bicycles or travel by foot. These modes must be used as a rule, not an exception!

No doubt about it, there should just be fewer cars!
Where a car is parked, nothing else can happen in that space.

Streets, town squares, and courtyards are used to park cars rather than using that space for sidewalks, bike lanes, playgrounds or parks. Therefore effort must be concentrated on drastically reducing not only the number of trips by car but also the number of cars themselves!

  Cars Compared to Transit

Burden placed on the environment by car traffic compared to bus and train traffic. Source:
"Good Argument: Traffic", D. Seifried; Munich 1991.

Are there substitutes for cars?
Roughly half of all personal travel is done by car. If a city offers an adequate bus and train system, as well as maintained bicycle lanes and sidewalks, the overwhelming majority of trips can be accomplished without a car.

Quite honestly, only a few trips absolutely require a car: transportation of larger items, difficult travel routes, bad weather, and vacations.

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Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
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The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


The dilemma
People usually cannot live exclusively without cars. But do the relatively few, yet necessary driving trips absolutely require a personal car?

Why not rent or share a car?
In the recent past, sharing a car has seemed impractical or unpleasant. Even though it made sense, it is not surprising that few people overcame the obstacles.

Even people who don’t need a car (or even a second car), buy one for the rare "necessary" drives.

The vicious circle of owning your own car.
Once you have a car, mass transit cannot compete because it becomes an added cost. Since a fixed amount for the car has already been paid (purchase price, registration fees, insurance...), only the variable costs such as gas remain when you make a quick cost comparison.

Therefore every mile driven by car seems relatively cost-efficient — yet when the total cost of owning a car is included, it is outrageously expensive to drive!

Finally, the quick cost comparison of owning a car leads to the conclusion that the more one drives, the more cost-efficient a car becomes per mile.

This is a fatal cost-analysis for the environment, since the car gets used for trips where mass transit would actually be more economical.

Biking and walking increasingly fade from the picture as soon as the car is at your doorstep.

What could be better than a neighborhood-car?
Considering these dilemmas, the car-sharing car or city-car, however you want to call it, is the most readily available answer, because it removes the compulsion for personal car ownership.

"Neighborhood" cars are spread out over the whole city, close to residential and business areas. These neighborhood cars can be rented any time without much hassle and for a reasonable price.

1. CAR-SHARE
TIME COSTS
Hourly Rate

days 7:00 am - midnight
3,50 DM ($2.38)

Moonshine Rate

midnight - 7:00 am
6,00 DM ($4.08)
(flat rate for 7 hrs)

24-hour Rate

(Departure any time)
40,00 DM ($27.27)

Weekly Rate

250,00 DM ($170.00)

2. KM-COSTS

Price/km 0,25 DM
($0.17/km, $0.34/mile)
Cost Comparison of Trains and Cars
in Pfennigs per Km
(& cents per km)

Train
27 ($0.18) Rail fare including deficit and environmental costs
24 ($0.16) Rail fare including deficit
21 ($0.14) Rail fare

Car
68 ($0.46) Total costs and environmental costs
48 ($0.33) Total costs: variable and fixed costs
24 ($0.16) Variable costs including gasoline
12 ($0.08) Gasoline only

Fixed Costs: Purchase price, Insurance, Taxes, Depreciation, Parking costs.

Variable Costs: Gasoline, Repairs, Maintenance, Tires and Brake linings, Mileage depreciation.

Environmental Costs: Social costs, e.g. damage done by cars which is not borne by the driver or car owner.

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Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
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The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


How does it work?
The car-sharing movement is several years old. The existing programs have functioned successfully and prove not only that car-sharing works, but also that it is uncomplicated. The projects call themselves "Stadt-AUTO", "StattAuto" (both mean CityCar, the latter also means instead of car), "TeilAuto" (means part-time or shared car), "Share Com" and were organized using similar business plans.

As an example, we will use "StadtteilAUTO e. V. Aachen" (CityshareCAR, Aachen, Germany) here to explain the structure of car-sharing organizations.

Locations
8 vehicles (1 car per 15 users) are located at permanent locations in various neighborhoods. Hence the name "city-car." Some of these cars are located at specially reserved parking spaces.

Around 90% of the reservations for car-sharing cars can be made at the closest neighborhood location. When the closest cars are not available to reserve, cars at other locations are reserved.

Key-Safes
Near each car is a key-safe that contains the car's key. Each user has access to the key-safe when they reserve a car.
Key-Safe
   
Reservations
Reservations for a car can be made 24 hours a day through a simple phone call to the headquarters.


Drivers' log

The members' monthly bill is calculated from a driving log-book in which the mileage and time driven has been noted.

Phone Reservation

Service & Maintenance
Maintenance, service, and repairs are handled by CityshareCAR,Aachen. The members' only responsibility is to occasionally fill the gas tank.

Insurance
All vehicles are fully covered by insurance. The costs to the user comes to 650 DM ($442).

Costs
All users are required to pay a security deposit of 800 DM ($544) which is fully refunded when the contract is ended. Besides that, the user pays only according to the amount driven.

Car Accident
The cost for each trip is calculated from the cost per mile plus cost per time used. Generally, the cost of gas is covered by the organization, but when a member drives the car to foreign countries, the difference in gas prices is paid by the member. Pile of Money

The only requirement for becoming a member:
you can’t own a personal car!

Membership is open to all. The only presupposition: the user cannot own a car, i.e. the user pledges to get rid of their car within a certain time. As some groups can't enforce non-car ownership, they just assume that financial incentives will encourage people to give up their cars.

When travelling to other citiesRails to cars
....you can use the local neighborhood cars when you arrive, provided that the city has a neighborhood car organization which is associated with the "European Car Sharing" (ECS).

This removes the need for car ownership, even for long distance trips. The trip to and from other cities or regions can confidently be made by train or bus.
Efficient Car Usage

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The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


Who’s Joining In?
Stefan W., 31 years old,
single, doctor

"I ride my bike to work to stay fit anyway. In the past, I used my car almost only on weekends to go surfing or biking with friends with the bikes on the roof rack. I can do both with a car-sharing car and I am altogether better off, saving money and the environment."
Stefan W.
Britta A., 29 years old,
freelance artist

"I used to drive my old clunker mainly to go shopping for art supplies and when I had to present larger artistic pieces. The other four days of the week the car just stood around and cost me money by existing. On top of that I always had to worry about it: will it start today...? With the car-sharing cars I don’t have to worry. The cars are in good shape and they even have vans for larger loads. The bottom line is that I save a lot of money and have one thing less to worry about."
Britta A.
Hans M., 39 years old, married, technical school teacher.
"I always used to feel bad when I drove my car because I knew busses and trains were much more environmentally friendly, and besides, biking is much healthier. But we had bought the car and paid the insurance and the taxes on it, so we had to use it. With the neighborhood car-sharing car I got rid of all that excess burden and suddenly feel much more free."
Hans M.
Nelly G., 41 years old, married, two sons, psychiatric care specialist
"We actually would have needed three cars. Friday afternoons, for instance, when I take the bus home from work, my husband has to drive our youngest son to his cello lessons. So I would have to wait around for our car to do my grocery shopping. When our eldest son got his driver's license and began pressuring us for the car, we decided to sell it and join the neighborhood car-sharing association. Now each one of us can use a neighborhood car when we need it and we can calculate how much it actually costs to drive. Now, we often walk, bike or use transit for shorter trips."
Nelly G.
Michael B., 18 years old,
an apprentice carpenter

"At the technical institute, everyone buys a car. They end up living only for their car, spending their entire wages just on transport. I think that’s ridiculous. For me, a car is just a useful tool that is damn expensive and damages the environment. I’d rather spend my money on something else. The neighborhood car was the best alternative for me."
Micheal B.
Family G.,
Parents and three children

"At first we were very skeptical about the availability of the cars. But pretty soon our doubts disappeared. We now have monthly mass transit passes and take advantage of reduced family rates for the train. We use the neighborhood car to visit the children’s grandparents otherwise we would have to transfer busses twice to get there. This teaches our children to rely much less on a car and this way our family isn't as withdrawn from the rest of the world."
Family G.

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The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


The advantages of car-sharing are clear
Girl Playing Car-sharing:
mobility without a personal car

For the environment’s sake it is absolutely necessary that we get out of our cars. On the other hand, it is difficult to go totally without a car. With organized car-sharing, the personal car becomes superfluous because there is always a neighborhood car-sharing car near you!

Car-sharing:
all arguments are in favor of it

Compared to a personal car, a neighborhood car-sharing membership has everything going for it. Not only does it increase your personal freedom, but the environment is spared as well.

No burdensome duties!
Reserved parking spaces, an easy reservation system (over the phone, around the clock), no stress from car care, servicing, or repairs, as well as simple billing procedures (bills arrive at the end of each month) make the use of a car-sharing car much easier and more comfortable than a personal car.
Boys Playing Soccer
Car-sharing saves money!
Neighborhood car-sharing users have the freedom to choose the least expensive means of transportation for each trip. Since you don't pay a large fixed cost like you do with a personal car - you are not compelled to drive everywhere. More specifically, you pay only when you drive.

For this reason neighborhood car users drive a car only for the necessary tasks; for normal daily transportation needs, they use less expensive means of transportation such as public transit, biking and walking. Car-sharing users often prefer to cover long distances by inexpensive trains rather than by car. In the end, car-sharing means more money in your own pocket.

Elderly Couple Enjoying a Stroll More room in the city!
For every 15 car drivers, there are no longer 15 cars, but one neighborhood car. This leads to a substantial decrease in the number of cars on the road. The space set free in the city can once more be used for other purposes: trees can be planted, playgrounds built, etc...
Car-sharing decreases congestion
Neighborhood car-sharing reduces the need for everyone to own a personal car. Since costs are incurred mainly when one actually drives the car-sharing car and not when one chooses other transportation, more trips are made in an environmentally-friendly fashion.
For heavy car users, the neighborhood car does not make much sense, since compared to using their own car, the neighborhood car would be much too expensive. The point at which the neighborhood car "pays" is around 7000-9000 km per year car usage (4350-5590 miles per year. This varies depending on each organizations' prices). Woman Walking Her Dog

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Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
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The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


What if?

What if...30% of car
drivers would switch
to neighborhood car-sharing?

Considering the immense environmental damage that car traffic causes each year, more and more cities are trying to support the use of alternative modes of transportation, such as, walking, bicycling, or public transportation.

In light of this, a very realistic proposal is to reduce automobile traffic by 30%, i.e. every third car trip could be substituted.


For example:

Fewer Cars Means Better Neighborhoods

If 30% changed over to car-sharing,
there would be:
• 4,500 fewer private cars
• about 130 shared cars
• about 33 parking bases


If these future 30% of drivers who change to other means of transport occasionally need a car, then the neighborhood car-sharing car would function as a convenient supplement. For infrequent car users, a personal car would make no economic sense at all.

Since for each neighborhood car-sharing car, there are 15 users, the number of cars on the streets would be reduced drastically - almost 30% fewer cars.

An increased number of car-sharing users would make it possible to offer a car-sharing parking base on every street. This easier access would ensure more car-sharers and shorter distances to second choice parking bases.

Altogether an ideal solution!
A utopia?

What if...there were reserved spaces for car-sharing cars?
Car-sharers create extra space in the city by replacing 10-15 cars parked on the road, with 1 parked car. This would bring rewards beyond increasing the availability of parking spaces.

Your Neighborhood?
Local governments should be interested in encouraging car-sharing because of the urgent need for more space for non-car functions, as well as to increase the use of mass transit, walking and biking. Wouldn't it be reasonable to reserve dedicated spaces on the streets for neighborhood car-sharing cars? After all, these car-sharing cars fulfill the same function as busses or taxis which already have reserved areas on the roads.
Car-Sharing Stations Thru-Out A City

What if....for every car-sharing car there were 10 trees planted and 10 bicycle stands built?

Every car-sharing car would ideally replace 10-15 personal cars. To make sure the space that would be made available by this option is not simply filled by more cars, 10 trees should be planted and 10 bicycle racks installed so that the residents can really see how neighborhood car-sharing can improve a city’s quality of life!

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Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
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The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


 Car-sharing as a club
The Development of a Movement
Car-sharing in the German-speaking world began when the first "self-drive club", "SEFAGE" was founded in 1948 in Zürich, Switzerland. Club members pooled their money to buy a car which in those days was an almost unaffordable luxury.

Over 40 years later, the idea of organized car-sharing again gained ground in Zürich in 1987 when ShareCom was founded.

Maintenance Tools
This was a pioneering project that promoted the environmentally-friendly use of consumer goods by sharing them. The common goal of this organization was not only the shared usage and expenses of cars, but also the "conservation of energy and natural resources." The term "consumer-goods" was intentionally kept general. ShareCom not only shares cars, but also sailboats, camcorders, etc. Car-sharing, however, constitutes the largest part of the organization.

That same year, "Auto-Teiler Genossenschaft" (ATG), or Car-Sharing Club was founded in Stans, Switzerland. The name says it all: ATG is purely a car-sharing organization.

Along with car-sharing, ATG and ShareCom had growth and expansion as common goals. By 1992, these clubs each shared 30 cars among their 500 members. After the consolidation of these two groups in July 1992, ShareCom and ATG members had access to 60 cars in 40 different locations (indeed all European car-sharers can take advantage of this). Yearly membership growth is quoted at 100%.

In Germany, STATTAUTO Berlin has been a pioneer in the efforts of organized car-sharing. As part of a master's thesis, STATTAUTO GmbH (Incorporated) was founded in 1988. The choice was made to make it an incorporated business since a charitable club could not be founded under German law. As of January 1992, 530 Berlin residents share 46 cars at 11 different parking bases. STATTAUTO Berlin also has a high membership growth rate at 150% annually.

Spurred on by the success of Berlin's group, StadtAuto Bremen and StadtteilAUTO Aachen were founded in 1990. While the StadtAuto Bremen group was able to operate under the already existent "Ökostadt Bremen" ("Ecocity Bremen"), the Aachen group had to start from scratch. The latter was designated as a public-benefit organization, although its main focus was to bring car-sharing to Aachen. With 140 users and 9 cars at 7 locations, StadtAuto Bremen grew only slightly faster than the Aachen group (100 users with 6 cars at 5 locations). At this time, the growth of these groups is measured at 400% annually. Both groups are considering changing their legal status to include a wider array of economic activities than merely car-sharing (see chapter on legal issues).

European-wide Networking
Early in 1991, a large demand for information about the practicalities of car-sharing was anticipated. At this stage, it was determined that there was a large need for an umbrella-organization to handle these requests.

The ECS (European Car Sharing)
To meet this need in the future and to be able to exert a larger scope of political pressure, a network of car-sharing organizations was developed in October, 1991 called the ECS (European Car Sharing). By April of 1992, the ECS counted 20 member organizations. In its own words, "The ECS coordinates the activities of member associations on a European-wide basis and represents the interests of these organizations to the general public. Its goals are to promote car-sharing, to reduce not only the number and usage of cars, but also to reduce the damage done to the environment by personal car ownership and traffic." Furthermore: "The ECS provides organizational as well as technical support in founding and managing car-sharing organizations, it facilitates cross-usage of cars by members of the different organizations represented, and finally develops specific aids to organizations."

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RAIN Magazine
Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
(Special Book issue)

The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


 Car-sharing as a club (continued)
At annual ECS meetings information is exchanged and all the important decisions are dealt with. Votes of member organizations are weighed according to the amount of users a group has, although smaller organizations are treated preferentially. The board is run by three members between meetings. All ECS members must be corporations who can accurately uphold the ECS charter signed by the member organization (see appendix). Car

Cross-usage
The networking of the groups allows for the cross-usage of cars by members of other organizations in the ECS. In other words, any user can reserve a car-sharing car at any other ECS organization as well as their own without having to deal with excess bureaucracy.

The goal is a problem-free way for multiple-organizations to use each other's cars so that an environmentally-friendly, integrated transportation option is created. Long distances can then be covered by train, even if the traveler desperately needs a car at his/her destination. Along with this kind of networking is the intention to cooperate with European rail services and public transportation organizations.

The ECS Management
To help a group become a part of this integrated transport system, the ECS offers numerous start-up aids, including the necessary legal documents, contracts, and more. Beyond that, the ECS can counsel new organizations on where to find useful services and products. The ECS also negotiates with insurance companies and car manufacturers to attain the best terms for its members. To receive all the services, however, an organization must first become a member.

The ECS Quality Guarantee
To insure that all members of the ECS operate in an environmentally- friendly fashion, a contract was drawn up that must be signed by all member organizations (see appendix for the terms of this guarantee).

Federal Cooperative
Similar to the Swiss model, a "Car-sharing Germany Cooperative" is being developed. The idea behind this is to simplify the process for new groups within Germany so that they can easily become part of the network.

Regional meetings
The rapid development of new groups requires an open flow of information. An effective exchange of news and experiences already exists between groups within regions during regularly scheduled regional meetings. The founding of new groups and the rapid expansion of the idea into new regions gives rise to the hope that car-sharing will become a permanent part of combined and integrated transport. The ECS (European CarSharing Society) is the key to accomplishing this.

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Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
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The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


 Setting-up a Car-sharing Group
This checklist is intended for those interested in starting up a new car-sharing business. The most important discoveries and experiences that have been made in the past several years are reviewed herein. This summary includes the information collected by the three oldest groups in Germany (STATTAUTO Berlin, StadtAuto Bremen, StadtteilAUTO Aachen), and experiences collected from newer groups. The newer groups' unproven yet promising organizational solutions will be introduced here as well. It is anticipated that newer developments such as reserved parking spaces and electronic security systems will have a greater impact in the future than they have had thus far, and therefore they are dealt with here as well.

With the establishment of the ECS as an umbrella organization, a new dimension of cooperation among car-sharing groups was initiated which allows a sense of common goals and common development under a great variety of internal organizations and local regulations. The following organizational tools apply for smaller groups with around 3 cars, mid-sized groups which operate with 12 cars or even larger groups.

Organization, Strategy and First Steps
When a car-sharing business is started, you should decide on some central issues.

Perspective
How large should the membership be in one year? How large in three or five years? How many users and cars should be planned for? What is a realistic goal? For this hoped for size, the correct foundations must be laid. Most initial decisions will be temporary in character. What is important is to plan for future growth and to maintain flexibility.

The Management Team
The amount of work needed to be done cannot be completed alone, especially if that one person has demands from another job, as well as reasonable personal obligations. A permanent team of three or more potential users/employees with flexible schedules is therefore essential.

The Timetable
For a car-sharing organization to be successful, a carefully thought out timetable of the first steps needs to be followed. These important steps are outlined in the "Plan of Action" section. Expect at least 6 months from the first meeting of interested people until the start of the business.

Target Group
The first 40 or so members will most probably not be your average consumers. More likely, they will be between 25 and 35 years old, single, childless, and academics. This group of people are open-minded about new ideas, conscious of environmental issues, and to a certain degree idealistic. Your best bet is to start the organization in neighborhoods where these people live.

Parking Bases
It has been determined that the biggest problem for an organization in the inner city is finding reserved parking spaces for the vehicle. Certainly, such a space can be rented at parking facilities, but considering the costs of this, would it be sensible?

Right from the start, it seems logical that a project which by its very existence immediately opens up space in the city would be unanimously supported by the neighborhoods. In reality, however, considerable obstacles do come up. Acquiring a reserved space is dealt with in another chapter, but remember that this alone will require much time and patience.

Plan of Action

Centralized or Decentralized Bases?
Several different cars at one central location? Or several different locations with one—eventually two—cars each?

The first option promises the availability of a variety of cars from the very beginning. Furthermore, it is easier to manage the location of safe boxes for the keys when one only has to find one location to put the box (see the key-safe box chapter). The drawback is that the majority of users have to travel relatively long distances to get to a car.

The second option promises from the very start that many neighborhoods can be served by a shared car. The possibilities of advertising the cars to a greater number of people increases, such that the principle behind car-sharing cars becomes obvious from the very start. The convenience to the users increases by having the car more or less right near their doorstep. Non-members therefore can see first hand how practical shared cars really are. The drawback to this approach is that when the near-by cars are already reserved by someone else, the user must be warned that they might need to travel some distance to arrive at the next car base with an available car.

Presentation
The full potential of a car-sharing organization will not be fulfilled if only environmental activists and idealistic academics join. It must be spread to the general population where environmental considerations usually take a back seat to other positive aspects of the car. These benefits include a substantial savings, a reserved parking space, and most of all a reliable, good-looking car. To maintain the integrity of the project, political viewpoints should never come into play and the group should project a certain seriousness. This is especially important when choosing a logo, the publicity materials and the quality of the cars' appearance.

Car-sharing instead of a personal vehicle?
Many groups require members to totally give up personal cars before joining the group. Others argue that adults will make the choice of giving up their personal cars as an automatic, rational conclusion, and that such restrictions seem rather childish or overbearing. Either way, suggesting that people give up their personal cars has been shown to clarify car-sharing's environmental purpose.

Page 26-27 The CarSharing Handbook           
RAIN
Vol. XV, No. 2

Next (p.28)
Previous (p.25)         Back to Top

RAIN Magazine
Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
(Special Book issue)

The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


 Publicity
A considerable challenge has been getting the message about a car-sharing group across to a majority of people. The three phases in the publicity strategy have less to do with timetables and more to do with the level of detail of the information given out at each stage.

The first publicity phase serves to establish a certain name-recognition between what the concept is and who would be able to take advantage of car-sharing. It serves to clear up the question: "isn’t that just another car-rental agency?" This is achieved by holding informational gatherings, organizing town meetings, giving newspaper (TV) interviews, or taking out ad spots at local movie theaters, or other information distribution venues.

Detailed information (such as answers to "what happens when you get into an accident?") characterize the second publicity phase. This information is spread by brochures and further informational gatherings.

The third publicity phase consists of time-consuming, one-on-one discussion, either over the phone or in person. The very specific questions which usually come up are like "whose liability insurance covers a dispute between the car user and the organization?" This one-on-one discussion is usually with those who are on the verge of becoming members.

This is obviously a very rough and subjective publicity plan. Often the phases run parallel or cross over. But with an increased awareness of the term car-sharing, the first and third phases generally decrease in importance.

STATTAUTO Berlin, for instance, proved that success can be achieved in the three phases of publicity with merely a general brochure, a detailed magazine, and weekly informational gatherings that were designed to end with the opportunity to join by signing the membership contract. Since most people like to read through the literature in private before making any membership decision, written information is best handed out or sent out well before the start of the public informational gathering.

The Name, the Logo and the Image
During the earliest planning stages, the name and image of the initiative should be dealt with. Preferably, the name of the organization should be as self-explanatory as possible. For instance "CarSharing," or "StattAUTO" (as explained before, its pronounced the same as "CityCAR" but it is spelled "instead-of-a-car), "CityCar," etc.

Notice: STATTAUTO and phonetically similar sounding names are protected by copyright laws. [This probably wouldn’t apply to the U.S. market, but ask them if you want to use a similar name].

The logo should have a certain degree of originality to insure maximum advertising effectiveness. Along those lines, it should appeal to a wide variety of people from different walks of life. Usually, the name appears only rarely on the headings of written material, but in the text. Therefore, it is wise to make it as visible as possible (for instance "StadtteilAUTO" [CityshareCAR] stands out due to the capitalization). Remember the name will probably stay with the organization for its lifetime and is the most visible advertising element: it will recur on letterheads, brochures, press releases, billboards, the actual neighborhood cars, flyers, etc.

Ideally, the company name should be written in the same font each time, so that the organization can be recognized on headlines, as well as the actual articles dealing with the subject. Name recognition is increased considerably by consistent font usage.

Beyond that, there are a number of tricks that can increase the interest in the informational materials such as font selection, letter or line spacing, sentence structure, etc. It is best to get the advice of a graphic artist when choosing the typography, color, and "corporate identity" for the organization's literature. Design students or art majors in college may be interested in creating a unified image for your business as part of their studies.

The Most Important Publicity Materials
Brochures

Brochures are by far the most important source of information. Experience shows that the information should be printed front and back on letter-size paper, and folded into thirds. This format makes it easy to lay out on the computer, print it out and copy the pages quickly and inexpensively.

A well-structured layout with recognizable headlines and not too much text is important. The information within the brochure should include:
a basic, convincing argument for the principle of car-sharing,
information about the business,
a clear portrayal of the costs, including a comparison to a personal car's costs. Show the money saved by car-sharing
a contact address for further information.

Page 28 The CarSharing Handbook           
RAIN Magazine
Vol. XV, No. 2

Next (p.29)
Previous (p.26-27)         Back to Top

RAIN Magazine
Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
(Special Book issue)

The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


 Publicity (continued)
Informational Events
When the first informational gatherings are organized, a representative from another car-sharing group could turn out to be a very valuable speaker. In these meetings, the acceptance of the concept can be tested and the dynamic of the group can be evaluated. Between these special meetings, it makes sense to hold regularly-scheduled weekly informational meetings to answer the questions of potential members and sign them up.

Press Conferences
These are the most effective forms of public advertisement that your organization can hope for. Good local media coverage, especially in local newspapers is invaluable. In order to be effective, the news conference must occur when the public is ready for change, it must include only the right amount of information and it must also occur at the right time of day to ensure a good media turn out. Personal contacts in the news media can help make sure you succeed. Usually, you provide a booklet designed only for the press, which contains relevant information about your group.

‘‘Corpus Delecti"
When addressing the news media—either through interviews or press conferences—your product (the cars) should be the center of attention. The eye should be immediately drawn to the car, so make sure its clean and the logo is clearly visible on the car. Many stories are printed without a picture simply because the editor or freelancer did not want to spend the resources or take the time to send a photographer. It is very helpful to have your own pictures handy. However, make sure the pictures are black and white, glossy, and are the right size (18X24cm or 13X18cm). Of course, these pictures should be given to the press free of charge.

Newspaper & Theater Ads
Relative to the cost of the ads, newspaper advertisements—as well as movie theater advertisements—have been proven not worth the effort by StadtAuto Bremen and StadtteilAUTO e.V. Aachen. Besides, if the press conferences succeed, they won't be necessary. It often takes a long time before movie theater advertisements are shown. Usually, this type of advertisement requires a 6X6cm slide.

Stickers
Car-sharing cars need to have stickers on their side that contain the group's logo and the telephone number that potential members can call to get sent some informational material. That way you can sneak the telephone number in on newspaper articles (they usually don't give them in the text), and your car becomes a driving advertisement. The cars themselves should subtly promote you business.

However, the user needs to feel comfortable with the level of car-sharing advertisement on the car as well. Too many stickers can actually dissuade many potential members. Along those lines, never over-advertise a car. Advertisement from any other company, as is found on busses or taxis, for instance, should not be accepted.

Transparent, 30X60cm, two-color stickers made of PVC (there is no environmentally-friendly alternative), cost around 300 DM ($204) for 30 stickers. A reproducible color print should be designed for the car stickers. Another way to spread the organization's name is to design and print some postcards. With funny pictures and phrases, these can create a long-lasting, positive impression. 1500 color postcards (8X12cm) cost roughly 400 DM ($272).

Computers
Necessary? Absolutely! Starting with advertisements, without a computer one cannot begin to design any sort of professional-looking job these days. For any and all word-processing a computer is also necessary. Addresses can be stored in databases from the very start, and billings can be handled on spreadsheets.

The most common computer used is the IBM compatible PC. With compatibility, one can then share software with other, more established car-sharing organizations. The general trend of software usage among car-sharing groups these days is WINDOWS. In order to keep up with the times, it would be wise to buy a hardware configuration which can use WINDOWS.

The ideal combination for an organization's computer needs costs around 5000 DM ($3400). That's a lot of money for a new group. Of course you could just start with any computer and work your way up. Alternatively, one could "borrow" the use of one. Inevitably, however, the organization will need to purchase its own. The cost should be covered by the money taken in at that time.

Page 29 The CarSharing Handbook           
RAIN Magazine Vol. XV, No. 2

Next (p.30)
Previous (p.28)         Back to Top

RAIN Magazine
Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
(Special Book issue)

The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


 Financials
Financing The Car
For the majority of beginning organizations, the most significant hurdle is funding. Uncertainty about future expenses and possible income, as well as where to get the initial start-up money, keeps many potential car-sharing groups from starting up at all.

First, we will glance at the expected costs that must be covered by the business. Even if the following numbers do not apply directly to other groups, they give a solid indication of what to expect.

Costs
As long as the personnel are a group of volunteers and office space does not have to be rented, the costs per car per month should be around DM700 ($476). According to STATTAUTO Berlin, costs for running an established operation with professional staff are covered if each car brings in a total of around DM1100 ($748) per month.

These rough net-figures offer an indication which can be made more precise with the "Types of Costs Checklist." The usual practice is to calculate all figures on the basis of a per-car per-month number.

Established Costs
StadtteilAUTO e.V. Aachen has come up with a cost analysis of running a car sharing organization. The costs have been calculated on the basis of an organization with 6 cars. These figures were then used to calculate the cost for an organization with 15 cars, which requires 1.5 permanent managerial positions at DM3300 ($2245) each per month. [See these figures below.]

Types of Costs Checklist

Monthly Car Costs:
Depreciation
Interest
Leasing Costs (if applicable)
Vehicle Insurance
Scheduling Office
Parking Bases or Spaces
Repairs
Gasoline


Monthly General Costs:

Depreciation (key safes, computers, fax machine, phone, office furniture, etc.)
Labor Costs (administration, sponsors, etc.)
Office Rent
Insurance (legal costs, bankruptcy, etc.)
Dues (ECS, Automobile Associations, etc.)
Advertising
Travel
Postage, Phones
Stationery, Photocopying, Books
Legal and Other Professional Advice (tax advisor, accountant, lawyer)
Bank Charges
Other Miscellaneous Business costs (legal structure, etc.)
Ideal Computer
Combination*


The computer should be equipped with at least a 386DX processor,* 4 megabytes of memory,* at least an 80 megabytes* hard drive, a 3½ and 5¼ diskette drive.(*Computer requirements change rapidly, find out the latest when you lease the software from ECS. More powerful machines are always preferable if you can afford them because many new software packages require the increase).

Monitors with low-radiation screens and a frequency of 70 Hz are healthier and will reduce eye-strain. You have a choice between ink-jet printers and laser printers. Laser printers have the best resolution and make the least amount of noise.

Warning: Some automatic bank withdrawals require a printed form. If you are set up to make automatic bank withdrawals, a printer that can make carbon copies may be necessary.

Page 30 The CarSharing Handbook           
RAIN Magazine
Vol. XV, No. 2

Next (p.31)
Previous (p.29)         Back to Top 

RAIN Magazine
Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
(Special Book issue)

The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


 Financials (continued)
Monthly Costs For The Car
A newly bought Opel Corsa (write-off time of 3 years, 90,000km [55,890 miles] expected performance) costs the following:
Calculated write-off: DM194 ($132)
Calculated interest (10%): DM27 ($ 18)
Liability insurance: DM183 ($125)
Car taxes: DM21 ($ 14)
Reservation service: DM60 ($ 41)
Repairs/service: DM83 ($ 56)

Total: DM568 ($386)

When leasing an Opel Kadett the following costs are to be expected:
Calculated write-off: DM175 ($119)
Calculated interest (10%): DM6 ($ 4)
Leasing costs: DM125 ($ 85)
Insurance: DM208 ($142)
Car taxes: DM23 ($ 16)
Reservation service: DM60 ($ 41)
Repairs/service: DM83 ($ 56)

Total: DM680 ($463)

For a 10 year old, tax-free paid-for VW Golf, the following prices arise:
Insurance: DM217 ($148)
Reservation service: DM60 ($ 41)
Repairs/maintenance: DM170 ($116)
Total: DM447 ($305)

Gas prices were not included in the calculations. They amount to around DM 0.10 per km ($0.07/km or $0.13/mile) when filling up with 7.5 liters of super unleaded.

Monthly Overhead
Again, these are figures for 15 cars:
Calculated write-off: DM420 ($286)
Employees: DM5000 ($3401)
Office space: DM540 ($367)
Insurance: DM170 ($116)
Premium: DM42 ($ 29)
Advertisements: DM420 ($286)
Reserved parking: DM120 ($ 82)
Travel costs: DM42 ($ 29)
Postage/telephone: DM170 ($116)
Transactions: DM50 ($ 34)
Office supplies: DM200 ($136)
Legal assistance: DM250 ($170)
Miscellaneous: DM42 ($ 26)

Total: DM7466 ($5081)

This works out to be DM 500 per month per car ($340) and is in addition to the cost of the car. Similar numbers are provided by STATTAUTO Berlin, the largest car-sharing organization in Germany. In January of 1992, it counted 530 members and 46 cars which were managed by a staff of 5 full-time employees. Each car's usage totaled 37,000 km (22,977 miles) annually. STATTAUTO Berlin does not differentiate between car costs and overhead, but rather calculates the direct cost per car per month.

The following figures were determined by this method:
Write-off: DM300 ($204)
Employee costs: DM190 ($129)
Car insurance: DM200 ($136)
Interest on car: DM100 ($ 68)
Service/repairs: DM80 ($ 54)
Office costs (rent, telephone, write-off): DM50 ($ 34)
Assistance: DM30 ($ 20)
Reserved parking: DM30 ($ 20)
Key-safe box: DM30 ($ 20)
Miscellaneous: DM30 ($ 20)

Total: DM1130 ($705) (Value-added tax not included in any figures)

Cost-Reducing Factors
The three main expenses are car depreciation (write-off), insurance, gas and staffing costs. The European CarSharing organization (ECS) is currently concentrating efforts on lowering car purchase prices and insurance rates for car-sharers. If these efforts succeed, factory-prices on cars would be lowered considerably below the already standard 85% of dealer-prices (written 4/92). Probably, however, the lowered rates will remain only for car rental agencies.

When car-sharing becomes more established, insurance companies will proceed with a risk-assessment evaluation which will most likely lead to lower insurance prices. Initial results are already pointing in this direction (see chapter on insurance). Savings on employee spending can be achieved mainly through volunteer work. Efficient work routines and using computers from the beginning saves work costs.

Revenue
Next to revenues from car-use charges, other important sources of income are mentioned here.

Charges
Many car-sharing organizations require a 25 to 300DM ($17-204) admission fee. On top of that, or alternatively, most groups also charge a monthly fee of around 10DM ($6.80). One must weigh the consequence of negative publicity from these additional revenue sources, however. For instance, a monthly fee would compromise the argument that car sharing involves no fixed costs. However, these sources do represent a valuable revenue source of which there are not many in the beginning.

Bank Account Interest
After some time, the organization's bank account will accrue a surplus. Generally, this is used to buy more vehicles. However, there should always be enough money in the account in case there is an increase in membership withdrawals. To use this money most effectively, a savings account or fixed-term money market account should be set up. There are also several "ethical" investment opportunities.

Page 31 The CarSharing Handbook           
RAIN Magazine
Vol. XV, No. 2

Next (p.32)
Previous (p.30)         Back to Top 

RAIN Magazine
Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
(Special Book issue)

The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine


 Financials (continued)
From Previous Experience....
Returns from running a car-sharing car

StadtteilAUTO e. V. Aachen's rates are:
Hourly rate: 3.50 DM ($ 2.38)
Per day: 40.00 DM ($27.21)
Per kilometer: 0.25 DM ($ 0.17) ($0.34/mile)

After subtracting the price of gas, each of their seven cars brings in around 1050 DM per month ($714). About half of that income comes from the hourly rate and the kilometer costs combined.

STATTAUTO Berlin charges the following rates:
Hourly rate, (Daytime): 4DM ($ 2.72)
Hourly rate  (Nighttime): 3DM ($2.04)

Per day (based on a week's usage)
For small car: 39DM ($26.53)
For mid-sized car: 49DM ($33.33)

Per kilometer, (including gas):
0.25DM ($ 0.17/km) ($0.34/mile)

Per kilometer, trips over 500 km (excluding gas):

0.15DM ($0.10/km) ($0.20/mile)

Per car, the total income is:
Time fees (hourly/day): 645DM ($439)

Kilometer fees for first 500km rate: 200DM ($136)
Kilometer fees for over 500 km: 225DM ($153)

Total returns: 1070DM ($728)

Revenue from member fees
STATTAUTO Berlin receives around 70DM ($47.62) per car from their initial membership fees which are between 50 and 100DM ($34-68) per person. From monthly dues (7.50 - 10DM [$5.20 - $6.80]) they take in around 90DM ($61) per car.

Resale value of shared cars
The fact that the car is driven by many people rather than just one single owner, reduces the resale value of the cars by several hundred deutsch marks. Take this into account when analyzing car costs.

Raising Investment for the Company
At the start of the organization, the car-sharing group must raise an appreciable sum, since no potential member would want to pay a security deposit, or even a membership fee to an organization which does not at least provide some car-sharing cars to use.

Member Investment
Before the capital investment money comes in from the users' deposits, high-interest loans can provide a temporary solution to cash flow problems. Whether interest is due or not, this form of "credit" is the least complicated of all. A six-week period of notice for membership withdrawal from the club allows for some time to pay back investors in case of massive withdrawals from the organization.

If one wants to completely avoid taking on debt — for instance to invest more money in purchasing cars only by using members' deposits — one must have a longer period of notice for membership withdrawal so as not to get into trouble during massive withdrawals from the organization. Reimbursing the membership deposits only at the end of a fiscal year is not unusual for car-sharing organizations.

Outside Capital
Standard bank loans are the most expensive way to get money. Each organization should deal with a bank on its own, but expect interest rates to hover around 11% (April, 1992). However, even within the banking community, bankers can be found who help environmentally friendly organizations borrow money more favorably. Generally, these rates can be relatively low in comparison, for instance some bankers minimize personal profit and can offer loans of around 7.5% to 8% for car-sharing businesses. You may have a member who's a banker who could get a low interest rate. Interest rates usually rise and fall in parallel with the inflation rate.

Leasing or Purchasing?
Besides financial concerns, your business should consider that leasing instead of buying your cars usually involves a long time commitment. If a leasing contract must be terminated ahead of schedule because of lower than anticipated members use, much money will be lost. Additionally, depending on the type of contract used, an individual from the business must sign for financial responsibility of the vehicle. If you still decide to lease your cars rather than buying them, remember to set the resale value and not the car's mileage into the leasing contract.

An alternative to leasing is car dealership or manufacturer financing contracts in which one pays 25% as a down payment and finances the rest at around 6% a year. Not all car dealerships offer these options on all models. A security signature is also required to get financing.

Conclusions
The actual costs for running the organization can only be determined when it has been running for some time. StadtteilAUTO e. V. Aachen, for instance found that only after 15 cars did the costs of the operation equal the money taken in. Stattauto Frankfurt (now CarSharing Deutschland Genossen-schaft, i.Gr.) has come up with a similar figure.

Even though these are very rough estimates which cannot be used for each case, they do indicate the approximate size an organization needs to reach before beginning to pay workers' salaries. Therefore, car-sharing initiators need to organize and coordinate volunteer effort for the business, and perhaps solicit financial donations.

Page 32 The CarSharing Handbook           
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Vol. XV, No. 2

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RAIN Magazine
Vol. XV, No. 2 - Part 1
(Special Book issue)

The CarSharing Handbook
Contents - Part 1
Copyright page 14-15
Foreword
CarSharing Explained
Too many cars
The dilemma
How does it work
Who's joining in
The car-sharing advantages
What if.....

History of the
CarSharing movement 24

Setting up a CarSharing
group 26
Organization, strategy,
and first steps....
Publicity
Computers
Financials

Part 2  
(long reload if in Part 1)

[European] Legal issues
Legal tables (p.39)
Membership contracts
Insurance
Parking spaces
Key-Safe systems
Reservation systems
Vehicle selection
Determining the costs
Membership services

Support from other 
CarSharing groups

CarSharing
misunderstood! 52

Appendix 53

Order RAIN Magazine