Carsharing in Berlin
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Transportation is changing. Commuting to work in your own car is outdated. Parking spaces are turning into cycle lanes. And even the concept of the taxi is about to change.
While US chauffeur service Uber has been banned from Berlin for undermining the city’s pre-digital taxi business model, carsharing services like Car2Go are making it less and less necessary to own a car.
WebMagazin compares the most popular and innovative means of transport Berlin has to offer.
How to decide

Even when it comes to carsharing, Berlin has no shortage of ways to getting around. What matters most is whether you take quick and spontaneous trips or longer, planned journeys.

At €39 and €35 a day or as little as €2 an hour, Flinkster and CiteeCar cars are catered more towards the latter. Per-minute rental customers pay more for the extra flexibility of being able to pick up a car without booking it or dropping it back to a centre.

The per-minute rentals (Car2Go, DriveNow and Flinkster Multicity) all have roughly the same price per minute (28c to 31c) and per day (€59), but each service has its own advantages.

Are foreign driver’s licenses accepted?

Most rental services in Berlin will accept a foreign driver so long as this is also valid in Germany. Registered citizens that took their driving test outside the EU are only able to use their foreign license for the first six months in Germany, and may have to provide an official translation before their license is recognised.

Car2Go

  • Price per minute: €0.29
  • Price per hour: €14.90
  • Price per day: €59
  • Extra fees: €19 registration, 29c per km after 50km
  • Number of cars in Berlin: 1200
  • Seats: 2

Ahead of London and Vienna, Berlin has the biggest number of Car2Go cars and the widest urban area of availability in the world. With over a thousand cars, Car2Go is by far the most popular carsharing service in Berlin.

A Daimler-Benz business, this brand paved the way for a host of new transportation business models when they launched in Berlin in 2012.

Although they fit less passengers than the BMW equivalent, Car2Go’s Smart car are easy to park and even easier to find around Berlin. To protect the car from wear and tear, their interiors are kitted with hard-wearing materials.

DriveNow

  • Price per minute: €0.31 (3c more for a Cabrio)
  • Price per hour: €23 (3 hours), €45 (6 hours), €64 (9 hours)
  • Price per day: €59
  • Extra fees: €19 registration, 29c per km after 200km
  • Number of cars in Berlin: 900
  • Seats: 4/5

A collaboration of BMW and Sixt, DriveNow is Car2Go’s biggest competitor in Berlin. For the extra 2-5c per minute, DriveNow customers can choose from a more stylish and spacious variety of cars ranging from Mini coupés to a BMW 1 Series.

As with Car2Go, you can park your rental wherever you like within the area of the Ring S-Bahn and there’s no extra parking costs. Prepaid customers can drive for as little as 24c a minute.

CiteeCar

Carsharing citeecar berlin

Screenshot: citeecar.com

  • Price per minute: hourly only
  • Price per hour: €2 (€1 between 0:00 and 17:00 during the week) + €0.24 per km
  • Price per day: €35 + €0.24 per km
  • Extra fees: €30 fine for returning the car late
  • Number of rental centres in Berlin: 177
  • Seats: 5

Based in Berlin, CiteeCar is aimed at customers that need to rent cars for a longer, scheduled trips. Like Deutsche Bahn’s Flinkster service, cars need to be pre-booked and driven between one of the 177 rental centres around Berlin.

Even if it’s less convenient than Car2Go or DriveNow, CiteeCar trumps all other carsharing services with an hourly rate that almost matches renting a bike.

Flinkster (Mini)

  • Price per minute: hourly only
  • Price per hour: €2.30 (€1.50 between 22:00 and 08:00) + €0.18 per km
  • Price per day: €39 (€29 from second day onwards) + €0.18 per km
  • Extra fees: €50 registration (free with a BahnCard)
  • Number of cars in Berlin: 350
  • Seats: 2 (larger cars available at a higher price)

Deutsche Bahn’s answer to carsharing is a little more complex than Car2Go and signing up is a bit like deciding on the right phone contract.

Unlike its competitors, this rental service gives members a choice between various models of car, ranging from the more affordable mini (priced above) to a more expensive van.

Rentals need to be booked using the app and dropped back to one of the Flingster centres in Berlin.

In cooperation with Citroën, Flinkster also provides the Multicity carsharing service like Car2Go that allows customers to hire electric cars for €0.28 a minute or €39 a day without any extra fees.

DB Call-a-bike

db call a bike carsharing berlin

Image: BERLIN – JUNE 2: DB Cycle Hire in Berlin on June 2, 2013. Call a Bike is a bike hire system run by Deutsche Bahn in many German cities, with a system of authentication codes to lock and unlock bikes. via Shutterstock / copyright: pio3

  • Price per minute: €0.08
  • Price per hour: €4.80
  • Price per day: €15 (€9 with a BahnCard)
  • Registration fee: none
  • Number of bike stations in Berlin: 130+
  • Seats: 2

Carsharing doesn’t always have to be with a car. Deutsche Bahn Call-a-bike stations are usually less than a ten minute walk away in the city centre.

As with similar rental services, the further out of the city you go, the harder they become to find. Although a day with a bike costs as much as an hour with Car2Go, you need to bring the bike back to the nearest bike station when you’re done.

You can park your bike between bike stations with the built-in lock, but unlike with popular car-sharing models, the clock will keep ticking.

Regular cyclists are better off going for the yearly membership for €48 (where the first half hour every day is free), or just buying a bike.

Feature image: BERLIN – DECEMBER 30: Christmas illuminations Friedrichstrasse, on December 30, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. The Friedrichstrasse is a major culture and shopping street in central Berlin. via Shutterstock / copyright: Bocman1973

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