ReachNow vs Car2Go: Car Sharing Part 2

ReachNow vs Car2Go

UPDATE: As of July, 2019, ReachNow has ceased operation.  RIP ReachNow

One of my most popular blog posts has been my comparison of car share programs: Car2Go vs Zipcar.  So it seemed only appropriate to do a follow up post adding in the new kid in Seattle: BMW’s ReachNow.  ReachNow functions almost identically to Car2Go, so what I said in my previous post comparing Car2Go and Zipcar is basically the same as comparing ReachNow and Zipcar.  Instead I will focus my attention on ReachNow vs Car2Go.

ReachNow vs Car2Go

So far ReachNow is only in Seattle however I can only assume that BMW will expand their program across the country if it makes financial sense.

Here are the main differences between the three major car sharing programs:

ReachNow vs Car2Go vs Zipcar

ReachNow vs Car2Go

Currently ReachNow is offering free lifetime memberships and reduced pricing for drive time of $0.41 per minute (down from the “regular” rate of $0.49 per minute).

ReachNow vs Car2Go

Benefits of ReachNow

  • Easy sign up – all you have to do is take a picture of your drivers license with the app.  Currently there is no fee so there really is no reason not to sign up even if you think you’ll only use it once or twice.
  • Car choices – With Car2Go there are few options; you know you are getting a SmartCar.  Some cities have electric SmartCars, so far Seattle does not.  With ReachNow you have the option of the all electric i3, the quite sporty 3 Series, or the functional/fun MINI Copper (either 2 or 4 doors).  All of the ReachNow cars are more powerful and a better ride than the Car2Go SmartCar.
  • No “Score” – Car2Go gives you a score out of 100 (based on your driving skills, accelration, breaking, etc).  When you get low it threatens that you might lose your membership if you don’t drive with better fuel efficiency.  I always get annoyed by the tsk tsk from Car2Go.  ReachNow doesn’t have this “feature”.

Benefits of Car2Go

  • More cars – there are 750 Car2Go vehicles available in Seattle compared to 520 ReachNow vehicles.
  • Simple – I find the Car2Go vehicles to be a lot easier to use.  You get in, type in your PIN on the touchscreen, and you are ready to drive.  ReachNow (like Car2Go) has a uniform interface on each car but it uses a joystick like interface that is kind of clunky.  On a couple of occasions I have been unable to end a trip.  UPDATE: Car2Go has now introduced additional Mercedes Benz vehicles at a premium price.
  • Easy to Park – Car2Go vehicles are tiny.  Some people say they are a golf cart.  But it does make parking possible in just about any space in Seattle.
  • Larger Home Area – Car2Go can be driven and parked anywhere within the city limits of Seattle.  ReachNow has a smaller area where you can pick up/drop off your vehicle; although I expect that will change.  Also, Car2Go is available worldwide so once you are a member you can use a Car2G0 in any city it is offered.

ReachNow vs Car2Go

A note on Zipcar

Recently Zipcar has been piloting a one-way trip program.  So far it isn’t as easy as ReachNow or Car2Go as you still need to park it in the designated spot.  It will be interesting to see if Zipcar tries to go head to head more with the free floating car share programs.

At the end of the day comparing ReachNow vs Car2Go is an exercise in minutia.  It is like comparing Lyft and Uber.  They are very similar programs.  Right now ReachNow has a bit of the edge as they have better vehicles for the same price.  If the price goes up, the edge would go to Car2Go in my opinion.  However, I am guessing most people end up with accounts with both ReachNow and Car2Go and then go with whatever program has a vehicle that is closer when needed.  The real question is does Seattle have enough demand for two free floating car share companies?

What’s your opinion on ReachNow vs Car2Go vs Zipcar?

8 thoughts on “ReachNow vs Car2Go: Car Sharing Part 2”

  1. Car2Go is starting to offer B-class vehicles in some cities.
    You say Reachnow has easy sign up process – but it’s really no different than the other companies – just the “take a picture of your drivers license” part.
    Note that Zipcar One>Way requires the user to specify the return location (from their list) and time, unlike the other companies (but the trip is easily extended and destination changed.)

    • Thanks for your update! I didn’t realize that Car2Go is introducing new cars. All three car shares are pretty easy to set up, you are correct. I just found ReachNow slightly easier.

  2. One big difference is Car2Go has been offering $10/hr deals which is a lot better than ReachNow, which charges by the minute until you reach $50 or three hours.

  3. Yep, Car2go now offers Mercedes cars, I’ve used one yesterday and the experience was great. These cars are a little hard to find, because the map in the app doesn’t show Smartcar vs Mercedes, so you’ll have to tap them individually to find one. Starting the Mercedes is a little awkward at first, the park button is left under the steering wheel and the stick shift (it’s automatic) is on the steering wheel as well. Took like 5 minutes until I figured it out. Initial learning curve I guess (and there is a little instruction sticker which I noticed too late).

  4. I just started using ReachNow in Portland. It’s nice to drive a fancy car for the same price as car2go for now. I don’t like that you have to lock the car door using the app or card to send the trip because I don’t want to carry the card and it adds about 30 seconds to the trip while I wait for my phone to communicate with the service, possibly while standing in the rain (why I might have taken the car in the first place), while car2go just had an option on the screen for end trip.
    I think this article could go more in depth with comparing further options, like how ReachNow allows you to take the car on a trip as long as you return it to the home area, but I’m not sure about car2go. With the cost of car insurance, it’s looking more and more attractive to sell my car and just use these services, and I hope that happens more and more until there are self driving cards bc I think it’s absurd that our cities are littered with everyone’s personal vehicles parked on public roads.

    • With Car2go you can only use the on-board computer to complete your trip, but only when driving a Smart car. When you drive a Mercedes, completing the trip can only be done using the app, which is indeed a little cumbersome and takes some time depending on the connection.


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