Frequently Asked Questions

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Below are some common questions people have about Capital CarShare. If your questions aren’t answered here, feel free to call or send us a message.

Joining

How To Car Share?

Why Should I Car Share?

Did you know the average car costs nearly $10,000 a year to own and operate?

CarShare members save thousands by driving only when they need to, and only paying for what they use. Car sharing is also cheaper than a taxi for round-trip errands, such as grocery shopping or a doctor’s appointment.

Car sharing is using a community network of vehicles without the costs and hassles of owning a car. It is the flexibility to choose your vehicle – or no vehicle at all, when walking, biking, or using transit makes more sense. It saves you a ton of money, and it greatly reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the Capital Region.

Our members have 24/7 access to a fleet of eco-friendly vehicles for use by the hour or day. Our always guaranteed benefits include– gas cards, premium insurance, and 24-hour emergency service.

What's the difference between sharing and renting?

Car sharing is an extension of public transit that is more flexible than a scheduled bus route but still a wise and efficient use of resources. Capital CarShare gives you self-serve access to a network of cars throughout Albany, 24/7. The cars are in your neighborhood and bookings can be made for as little as 1 hour, with time periods available in 15 minute increments. 

Members have convenient, direct access to vehicles without the necessity of a deposit or extra fees for gas and insurance. You can book cars online at any time or by calling our office during business hours.

Who Can Use CarShare?

Membership with Capital CarShare is open to all drivers 18 and older who have had a valid license for at least 2 years.

Drivers under the age of 21 are not covered by CarShare insurance and will be required to provide their own.

Drivers with an out-of-state and/or out-of-country license are still eligible to apply.

Drivers with multiple suspensions and/or moving violations may be ineligible for membership.

Drivers with any alcohol related convictions within the last 7 years are not eligible for membership.

How Much is a Membership?

Our membership rates are as follows:

  • Cruiser Plan: $5 a month with an hourly usage rate of $11 and a daily rate of $88.
  • JetSetter Plan: $30 a month with an hourly usage rate of $8 and a daily rate of $64.
  • Both plans include gas, tax and up to 150 miles of usage.

For organizational rates, please click here.

Is there a contract?

There is no contract for using CarShare! Both you and Capital CarShare can terminate your membership at any time. We encourage all of our members to give us a try for at least 6 months before canceling to figure out how car sharing works best for your lifestyle.

How Do I Sign Up?

Signing up online is quick and easy. You’ll need your driver’s license and a credit, debit, or prepaid card handy. If you’d like to sign up in person, please visit our office at 194 Lark Street between 12-5pm on weekdays.

There is a $20 non-refundable application fee (because we check your DMV record). Approval generally takes 1 business day or less (unless you apply over the weekend).

Usage

How Do I Book a Car?

Members can book the vehicle of their choice by logging in online.

Bookings can also be made over the phone by calling 518-545-4740 and speaking with our staff during business hours.

Where Do I Pick Up a Car?

After making a booking, members can pick up the car at its parking hub. Our hub locations are listed here.

How Do I Lock/Unlock The Car?

After signing up, all members receive a personal key fob (smart key) at their orientation. This fob connects to the device in the windshield of each car. Once you’ve made a booking, access the car by holding your key fob in front of the sensor in the windshield. The car doors will unlock.

Capital CarShare vehicles will not start without accessing them with an active key fob.

Can I Book A One Way Trip?

Capital CarShare does not offer one-way service. All vehicles must returned to the same pick-up location when your booking is complete.

How Long Can I Use the Car?

The minimum booking time is 1 hour, and the maximum is 10 days. Our day rates apply to any booking that is 8+ hours long and are as follows:

  • Cruiser Plan: $88/day
  • JetSetter Plan: $64/day
  • Business Accounts: $48/day
  • All day rates include gas, tax and 150 miles. Extra distance is $.25/mi.

How Much Mileage Included?

For hourly bookings 50 miles are included.

For day bookings 150 miles are included.

You may travel as far as you’d like during your booking. Additional mileage is $.25/mile.

How Is The Gas Included?

Each CarShare car is equipped with a gas card in the glove compartment. To use the card:

  • Select Credit at the pump
  • Enter your account ID number
  • Enter the odometer (mileage) number of the vehicle
  • Select unleaded gas

 

Out of courtesy for all members, CarShare asks that you fill up the tank whenever it is at or below 1/4 before returning the car.

Where Do I Return the Car?

When you’re booking is complete, return the car back to the same parking hub that you picked it up.

What If I'm Late?

Car sharing works best when everyone works together. We allow a 3 minute grace period for lateness, after which we will charge a $25 late fee. Members may extend their booking online or by phone, if the car is available, to avoid late charges.

If you cannot extend your reservation, because the car is unavailable for additional time, you must call our emergency line.

What Is The Cancellation Policy?

CarShare bookings can be cancelled or shortened at any time online or during business hours. Cancellations made 3+ hours prior to the start of the booking will result in a full credit refund to the members’s CarShare account.

Cancellations made less than 3 hours in advance will result in a 50% credit refund for the time cancelled.

What Happens In An Emergency?

Capital CarShare provides 24/7 roadside assistance for all bookings. We have partnered with AAA to handle all fleet-related emergencies. To reach the emergency staff, call 518-545-4740 and press 3. In the event of a car accident please call 911 BEFORE contacting our emergency line.

Emergencies include but are not limited to:

  • Flat tire
  • Car Accident
  • Dead battery
  • Car won’t start
  • Car not in the lot
  • Key fob not working
  • Ignition key is missing

Members are covered up to $1 million in insurance protection. If an accident or damage occurs, the member is responsible for the $500 deductible. To reduce this fee, members can join our CarShare Damage Pool for $30/year.

Can Family/Friends Drive During My Booking?

As per our insurance policy, only Capital CarShare member are allowed to drive our vehicles. If you’d like to give your family or friends access to CarShare, sign up for our JetSetter plan!

Vehicles + Parking

What Kind Of Cars Are Available?

Capital CarShare is committed high fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions. Our fleet is made up of compact and midsize vehicles such as the Toyota Prius and Kia Soul.

How Do I Identify The Car?

CarShare cars are clearly marked with our logo on both the driver and front passenger doors. Each parking hub has a sign in front of the parking space.

Andy Red

How Many Cars Are At Each Location?

Currently, there is one CarShare vehicle per parking hub.

Am I responsible for cleaning the cars?

While Capital CarShare handles all major maintenance and cleaning of the fleet, it is every member’s responsibility to clean up any messes before returning the car.

You may also volunteer to be a fleet assistant and earn credits on your account. Please contact us at info@capitalcarshare.org if you are interested in volunteering.

What About Tickets/Towing/Tolls?

Capital CarShare members are responsible for all parking and traffic violations as well as tolls while using our vehicles. If an infraction occurs, the member responsible will be billed for the total amount.

Multiple toll, ticket, and/or towing violations may result in additional fines and/or termination of membership.

Payments

Is There A Cost To Apply?

The $20 application is charged at the time your application is processed. This fee is non-refundable.

What Types Of Payment Are Accepted?

Capital CarShare accepts most credit, debit, and prepaid cards. Money orders may also be accepted on a case by case basis. CarShare does not accept cash or checks.

When Do I Pay For Membership?

Payment for CarShare membership can be made monthly or annually. The cost is $5 or $30/month depending on your membership plan, or a reduced rate if paying for the year upfront.

Membership fees get invoiced to your account on the 9th of every month and payment is due by the 12th.  Invoice totals will be collected sooner if you make a booking between the 9th and the 12th of the month.

When Do I Pay For Bookings?

Payment for CarShare bookings is due at the time the booking is made. Charges for extending time, lateness, and/or over mileage are processed within 1-5 days. Once these charges are processed, they will be added to your next booking or to your invoice if they are from your last booking of the month.

Insurance

How Does CarShare's Insurance Work?

Capital CarShare’s premium insurance is included in all membership plans. Our fleet is insured up to $50,000 under a Business Auto policy with Philadelphia Insurance. Since we carry the insurance policy, as a member you’re responsible for the first $500 and any costs that exceed this coverage.

Are There Additional Coverage Options?

Give yourself extra peace of mind! The CarShare Damage Pool provides additional coverage for $30/year to eliminate potential deductible costs due to damage and/or an accident. Call us to inquire about joining the Damage Pool.