Car sharing SHARE NOW review – the best and worst of my experiences
I ditched the car and joined a car sharing provider. This is my honest SHARE NOW review with the best , and worst of my experiences.
My “usual” home is in Melbourne, however, this has been a transitional year and we decided with the family to move to Munich/Germany for the school year.
Munich is one of the best city in the world for public transportation, so we opted to be car-less and we joined a car sharing service for the trips where the underground or the train was not an option.
In this SHARE NOW review post, I have listed why I joined this service, what I really enjoyed after my first experiences, and what it could be improved.
And the great thing is that I will keep updating this post with new findings and experiences, so this is going to be a good reference for anyone thinking to ditch the “own car” concept.
But let’s dig into it
Table of Contents
My SHARE NOW review is not only about the drive itself but the full process, how smooth or complicated has been and my feeling with the App, the most important part of the sharing process.
This is, by the way, also a good option for day tours in case you come for a short or long stay in Munich.
Is SHARE NOW the best car sharing?
I investigated all the options I had in Munich/Germany for car sharing.
Honestly, there is a jungle of companies and possibilities, which is good, but it makes it complicated for the customer to select the right one.
In my opinion, there is no one company that fits all requirements.
The main difference is the joining fee, the daily cost and, of course, how they charge, by km and/or minute.
SHARE NOW was fitting my requirements of no joining fee and a cost structure that worked fine for my needs.
You can have a car for 24 hours with a daily fee that it gets smaller the longer you keep it.
Alternatively, you could take it for a few hours and in this case, you get charged for a starting fee (1 Euro) and the time you have it.
On top of it there is a charge for every ridden km.
The third possibility is to be charged by the minute with 200km included in the share, which could be great for the big shopping day.
The petrol is included in the service, and if you return it with a full tank, you get a 5 euro discount on the next drive, or around 25km free of charge.
Othe companies charge a joining fee but it costs less to drive it around.
As a rule of thumb, the higher the joining fee, the cheaper the daily/running costs will be
I mainly drive every second weekend when I go to ski resorts or mountains areas for a hike.
Moreover, I did not want to commit with big joining fee.
DRIVE NOW was the best option for me!
How is SHARE NOW cost structure?
I must say that the cost structures of all the companies could be simplified.
The fact that they include the petrol makes things different from the usual renting process.
Renting a car means that you have two costs:
- daily cost
That’s pretty much it.
With the sharing company, you have multiple factors:
- joining fee
- booking fee
- daily/hourly/minute fee
- km fee
With SHARE NOW there is no joining fee and the 1Euro booking fee (not applicable for daily booking) is neglectable, which makes things much easier.
Here is the app screenshot (more on the app later) when you are in the process of renting the car
The costs above, obviously, depend on the type of car that you select (from budget to lux).
From the third day, SHARE NOW charges a much smaller daily fee, which is usually a bargain, though I can’t see myself using it for so many days in a row.
Special fees apply if you drive overseas, for a second driver, etc (similarly to renting a car).
On a first view, the SHARE NOW cost structure may look complicated, but once you get used to it, then it does make sense.
How do I register SHARE NOW?
This is the second part of my SHARE NOW review.
Was it easier to register?
I believe the process is straightforward if you have a German or European license.
I have an Australian driving license so the process for me was a bit different.
To make things even more unusual, I actually have a German driving license, but it is 20 years old (I used to live in Germany, but too long ago).
My German license is still in the antique red/pinkish folded paper format, but well preserved with clear name, photo and all the required info.
The German driving license, back then, was without an expiration date, so mine is technically still valid.
I decided to register with my German license but SHARE NOW did not accept it.
I do not know the reason for that; it is an official valid document after all.
The annoying thing is that you get an email that something did not work (without the real reason) and that you should contact them.
Unfortunately, there is no phone number, and if you reply to the email, you get an automatic message that they may need up to 7 days to process the reply!
So I decided to upload my Australian Driving License, although it would be valid for only 6 months in Europe, but the app would not take it because it was still processing the pending request.
That was a clear deadlock that luckily was solved a couple of days later by the awesome customer service that accepted my Aussie license.
My take on the process? It should be streamlined.
Making the registration process complicated just push customers away.
SHARE NOW should reply to these problems with a timeframe that is not up to 7 days, but minutes.
The customer service should call back straightaway to make sure problems are solved on the spot and give the confidence to the customer of how supportive is SHARE NOW.
What is SHARE NOW app?
You can do that also on the website, but the app works so much better.
Actually, it is more important than that.
Because when you use the car, you come to realise that the app is used as the key in a few car models and to restart the engine when it’s locked.
Honestly, I still have to understand why the engine gets locked. I guess for safety reasons? Stealing the car?
In theory, it is easy to restart the engine if you know the process.
But there are a couple of issues.
On my first experience, I rented the car to go skiing with my family.
We all split doing different things. I dropped off my kid and wife for lessons and I drove to another area for some snowboarding.
Unfortunately, I left my phone in my wife’s bag. But that’s ok in normal circumstances, isn’t it?
I parked the car (308 Peugeot) and closed it with the key. No worries.
Once I was back in the late afternoon, I could enter it with the keys, but I could not start it. The engine was locked.
Not having my mobile meant I could not start again the engine, even if I had the keys!
Which takes me to the second issue.
I was able somehow to contact my wife (thanks to another skier phone, amazing person) and she tried to start the engine from her place, just 4-5 km down the valley.
No response. Only after several tries it did work and I could start driving it.
After a further investigation back home, I found out that the car always needs internet connectivity to restart the engine.
In my case, the car was parked in a mountain area with a patchy data network, which explains why it took a while to restart the engine. The data signal did not arrive to the car.
I looked into the SHARE NOW website to see if there was a way to avoid this, but I could not find an answer.
How do you use SHARE NOW?
There are a couple of ways to use SHARE NOW to book a car.
You open the app, check the map with the available cars and select the one that you want.
Alternatively, you can pre-book your car, which works perfect for the daily rent as they deliver it metres from your home.
Once at the car, you just start the rent through the app.
Once you finish with the car, you just end the renting time with the app.
As simple as that. A very straightforward process.
My SHARE NOW review with the car
Ok, let’s get to the SHARE NOW review for the car itself.
In my first experience, I selected a Car Category M, and I was assigned a BMW 1 .
As I usually do when I rent a vehicle, I had a quick inspection of the car to see possible existing problems.
The car body was perfect, but one of the tyre (front right) was damaged, to a point that was risky to actually drive it.
I called DRIVE NOW explaining the situation.
The support service was absolutely great, talking German and a perfect English.
They fully understood the problem and, without hesitation, they offered me another car in the same category, 400m from where I was.
They also offered me a free usage of another car, metres from me, to avoid walking with the bags the 400m.
I was fine with the walking, and I was blown away by the great service.
DRIVE NOW has been very apologetic, saying multiple times that this problem should have not happened.
I do not consider it their fault.
This is a sharing service, and it’s all down to the honesty of us customers reporting the problems at the end of the renting period.
Which takes me back to an essential point, inspect the car at the start and end of the service, making photos for future reference.
My second car was a Peugeot 308.
I quickly inspected it and it was all fine.
I opened it, and the interior was left in a bit of a mess.
The previous driver even left his/her mask inside (no comment, really!).
There were cigarettes butts here and there (smoking is not permitted in the car).
Luckily, there was a brush in the boot so I could clean the car a bit before starting the drive.
Again, I have to go back to the sharing concept here.
Sharing means using, not abusing.
Any car sharing service can’t do much on it.
In saying that, DRIVE NOW offers a 30euro cleaning service, but it does not make sense, especially if driving for a few hours or even minutes.
It should be all down to us users
And now my third experience.
After my 2 previous experiences, I felt more confident about the entire process, of course.
I inspected my third car, and I did not find any issue and the interior was relatively clean, as you would expect from a shared car.
It was a key-less car, which was absolutely fine.
Following my experience with the engine start in the mountain, I now fully comprehend how the app is essential in the car operation.
But here again with another issue: “Tyre pressure too low” and the car computer suggested a max speed of 130kmh.
In any other country, that is usually the speed limit, anyway.
But in Germany, without speed limits, that was a bit of a frustration for my F1 Hamilton skills.
It was really a tiny issue, to be honest, but I really wonder how SHARE NOW does the maintenance of these vehicles.
Besides that, my day went smoothly, with no issues or problems. I was a happy man 🙂
Conclusions on my SHARE NOW review
Based on my experience, I can see benefits and drawbacks of the SHARE NOW service.
One thing I have to say is that I will continue the sharing service.
It is going to be more cost effective for my use, besides not having the trouble to register a car, maintaining it and, of course, selling it at the end.
A great advantage of SHARE NOW is that I can park the car wherever I want in my home area for free.
That was another deciding factor for me living in the centre of Munich where car parking costs around 200 euro/month, or more.
SHARE NOW also delivers the car meters from my door when I pre-book it, which is another great benefit.
Once I understood the app and its importance, I paid double attention to keep the mobile always with me.
The fact that the car must be in an area with data connection is still worrying me a bit, mainly if driving to the mountains with untrustable coverage (I hope I can find a workaround about that).
Cost wise, it works for me, but if you plan to drive a lot, DRIVE NOW may be too expensive. Owning a car may be cheaper.
It has to be said that DRIVE NOW offers also a Share Now Pass, that allows to reduce the minute rate, but not the km rate.
This may be a good option if you plan to rent by the minute, not my case.
I feel that the car cleaning and maintenance should be addressed by SHARE NOW.
It would be enough to ask the driver to submit photos at the end of the drive of both interior and exterior.
This would make the user more accountable and surely more aware of how is leaving the car.
I will keep adding more of my experiences to this post.
I will also look for alternatives and see how they compare