It’s no secret that I’m a fan of car sharing; it has great benefits, like reducing congestion and pollution in urban areas, decreasing parking requirements, and it’s far less hassle and probably lower cost than owning your own car (in Vancouver at least). One of my favourite car-sharing services to use is Modo, mainly because they have a wide selection of vehicles (including the fully electric Hyundai Kona) available in my area, affordable pricing, and are a social enterprise. This article is a Modo review that will summarise some of my key experiences with Modo.
The company begun in BC in 1997 and merged with other local car-sharing coops as it grew. The company’s intent is to, “earn just enough to cover our costs and continue to invest in being the best and most purposeful car share operator in BC”. They have 600+ vehicles mainly in Vancouver, but also in Victoria, Nanaimo, Squamish, and Kelowna.
Modo review – range of [new] vehicles
This brings me to my first point – you have a range of relatively new cars to select from, and you can pick the most suitable one you need. I’ve used a 7 person people carrier, multiple sedans, an all-wheel-drive hybrid, a fully electric car, and some large compacts. Most of them are within walking distance, however one or two specialist vehicles I used my bike or the bus to get to. What’s more is they’re suited to Vancouver roads all year round. I’ve taken all-wheel-drives and an electric vehicle on ski trips that eat up the road easily!
Modo review – booking
When I’ve spoken to friends about car-sharing a main protest or concern is scheduling and cost. Considering scheduling, i’ve always been able to book a local car that suits my needs. And only occasionally am I not able to book my closest first choice. If you’re concerned about the availability of cars, you can book months in advance! And you can cancel that booking and gain a full refund with only 12 hours notice.
Modo review – cost
Looking at cost, there’s probably two main threads to consider. How much you pay for the service compared to similar car rental services, and how much you pay compared to car ownership.
Tackling the first point, Modo is very competitive in its niche spots such as hourly car rental, especially in the evenings. $4 an hour, yes please! Day trip rate including everything (yes fuel) and 250km for $90 – yeah pretty good. It may not be quite as cheap as some car rental deals, but there are the added benefits of super convenient and fast pick up at whatever hour you want, and a much wider selection of vehicles at a cheaper rate.
Considering how much you pay relative to car ownership – firstly you’ll drive probably less, perhaps slightly for the convenience of not having a car right outside, but also as you’ll be more aware paying per trip instead of sinking lots of cash upfront into a car and then forgetting what it’s cost and/or thinking you need to use the car and make use of your ‘investment’. Talking of investment, if you use Modo, you don’t need to make one into a car that depreciates.We looked at typical car sharing costs using empirical data, see the results here.
Modo review – parking
What’s also a dream around Vancouver is that you can park on any metered spot for 2 hours for free with Modo. Truth be told, you can do so with other car sharing services like Evo, however they’re a different type of car sharing service (1-way vs 2-way). If you’re comparing Modo with closer service offerings like classic car rental, it’s a big perk to park easily for free around town. It’s very liberating to be able to park anywhere around town for free (who stays longer than 2 hours?).
You can read more about Modo, and other car sharing companies in Vancouver in some of other articles, such as our car sharing comparison table or our more detailed complete guide to car sharing in Vancouver.
Modo promo code
You can sign up by clicking below and using the following Modo referral code.
- Modo referral code REF28KSS0GB Get to Modo here.
Full disclosure – this referral link will give me a few $ driving credit. Modo sometimes give sign-up driving credit to the new user, but this depends on the promotion running at the time. If you do choose to sign up with this code, I will massively appreciate it and consider it a token of thanks for authoring this and other related posts on car sharing in Vancouver.