We love city living, but you might agree there are some downsides to urban life. Traffic, parking, and the rising costs of living are increasing rapidly, especially in big cities like Melbourne. The good news is you can make those issues less severe by swapping owning a car with car share. Car ownership comes with loads of costs and hassles that you can reduce or completely avoid with car share. Plus, car share gives you access to a whole range of vehicles very few people would be able to own themselves.
The number of options for Melbourne car share has increased a lot in the last decade, as the growing tens of thousands of Australians discover the freedom of car share. This article will dive deep, and give you a solid comparison of each of the traditional Melbourne car sharing networks, so you can pick which one suits your lifestyle the best.
And yes, GoGet is one of those Melbourne car sharing networks. While we think we’re the best car share service in Melbourne, this article is bigger than us. If we can convince you to use any Melbourne car share network instead of owning a car, then we’ve done our job. With that out of the way, let’s get started with our Melbourne car share comparison!
A short history of Melbourne car share
Melbourne was the second Australian city to see a car share network established, with GoGet Car Share coming to Melbourne in 2004, a year after we were founded. Melbourne councils and the Victorian government have been very supportive of car share, so the growth of car sharing in Melbourne has been strong ever since.
GoGet was originally founded as Newtown Car Share in 2003 by two friends in Sydney. The company changed its name in 2004 when it expanded to Melbourne. The oldest Melbourne car share pod still in use is on Union Street in Northcote – it was installed on November 20th 2004!
GoGet was Melbourne’s first car share network, but it was soon followed by Flexicar, then known as Flo Carshare. Flo Carshare was started by a group of university students, and received early funding from Shell. Flo Carshare was renamed Flexicar in 2006 and was bought by Hertz Australia (the car rental company) in 2010.
Since then, the options for Melbourne car share members have increased massively! GoGet and Flexicar each have hundreds of cars across Melbourne, and new companies have launched Melbourne car share fleets. The three other traditional car share services in Melbourne are Green Share Car, Popcar, and RACV Car Share.
How Melbourne benefits from car sharing
Multiple international studies, as well as Australian research that used GoGet data, shows that for every share car placed in a suburb, around ten private cars are removed from the area. That means lots of Melbournians use car share instead of owning a car, or instead of buying a second car. The research also found people tend to drive around 50% less once they join a car share network.
That’s huge news! As fewer people own cars and drive less, Melbourne becomes less congested with traffic and parking across the city becomes less competitive. That means when you do need to drive somewhere, it’s a much easier and more pleasant experience. It also gives the council more flexibility to create green space, and to improve infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport that doesn’t impact motorists.
Car sharing is also great for the environment. Fewer cars, and less driving means lower emissions, and a cleaner Melbourne. Because one share car reduces the need for ten private cars, car sharing helps reduce our overall consumption of the material and labor that goes into building and transporting cars and their components.
So, Melbourne car sharing makes a direct impact on your city. But the positive impacts don’t stop once you leave Victoria.
Melbourne car share network sizes
There are five car sharing networks in Melbourne. Collectively, there are over 1,000 Melbourne car share vehicles across the city, making Melbourne one of the largest car sharing cities in Australia!
GoGet Car Share is by far the biggest Melbourne car share network, with over 600 share cars in Melbourne. GoGet operates in four other cities (Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, and Sydney) and has over 2,700 share cars across Australia.
Flexicar is the next biggest car share network in Melbourne, with a little over 300 cars in Melbourne. Flexicar also has small car share fleets in Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney.
Green Share Car is almost exclusively Melbourne based, with about 80 share cars in Melbourne. Green Share Car also has a couple of cars in Perth.
Popcar is Sydney based, but the company has a little over 25 share cars in Melbourne. It also has a half dozen or so cars in Canberra.
RACV Car Share has a little over 21 share cars in Melbourne, and doesn’t have cars in any other cities.
Melbourne Car Share vehicle locations
So where can you find Melbourne’s car share vehicles? There are cars available all across the city, but your options will vary greatly depending on which service you’re a member of.
GoGet Melbourne car share locations
GoGet is the original Melbourne car share network, and has the biggest car share network in Melbourne. As a result, we have the best coverage of the city, with more vehicles in more places, including well over 100 cars in the CBD alone.
We also have over 50 cars in Southbank and South Melbourne, and around 50 near St Kilda. GoGet car share has consistent coverage over Melbourne’s suburbs as far north as Preston, as far south as Elsternwick, east to Hawthorn East and west to Yarraville and Maribyrnong.
GoGet also has 12 cars in two locations at Melbourne Airport, 15 cars at La Trobe University, and seven cars in Springvale (including five vans at IKEA). You’ll also find GoGet car share vans at every IKEA in Melbourne, as well as at most Kennards Self Storage locations.
Click images for larger versions.
Flexicar Melbourne car share locations
Flexicar has the second largest car share fleet in Melbourne after GoGet. With a little over 300 share cars in Melbourne, there are a few dozen cars in the CBD and on the south side of the river. There’s consistent suburban coverage as far south as Elwood and as far north as Thornbury. There are also share cars in some select spots outside of the main network, including some of the outer suburban universities, Geelong, and Melbourne airport.
Green Share Car Melbourne car share locations
With over 80 cars, Green Share Car does a decent job of covering the Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs with share cars. There are around 20 cars in the CBD, and about a half dozen on the south side. The coverage thins out north of Fitzroy and south of South Melbourne, but there are Green Share Cars as far south as Elwood, and as far north as Essendon.
Popcar Melbourne car share locations
With only a couple of dozen cars, Popcar doesn’t cover the entire Melbourne area with car share vehicles. Broadly speaking, there are three groups of Popcar vehicles. There are about four cars in Northcote, and about twenty in South Melbourne, and about ten in St Kilda.
RACV Melbourne car share locations
RACV is the smallest and newest Melbourne car share network with only 21 or so cars, so they cover the smallest amount of Melbourne. There are around four share cars in the Melbourne CBD, around two in Southbank, then another dozen in the inner suburbs. There are RACV cars only as far north as Carlton and as far south as Balaclava.
Which Melbourne car share network is best?
So which Melbourne car share network is the best? At the end of the day, the best network is the one the works best for you. If there’s one network with cars near where you live or work, then that’s probably the car share service for you, even if it doesn’t have the most share cars across Melbourne.
If that’s not a factor, you can probably guess which network we think serves Melbourne best. GoGet has more Melbourne car share vehicles than every other network combined, which means better coverage across the city and the suburbs. With GoGet vans at partner locations like IKEA and Kennards Self Storage, and with cars at locations like shopping centres and the airport, there’s more likely to be GoGet share cars where and when you need them.
Most car share services have similar pricing, so it’s unlikely your rates will vary much between the services. If you happen to be a student, senior, or a business, GoGet can offer some seriously competitive rates with special plans for those groups. With that in mind, we think it’s hard to turn down GoGet’s Melbourne car share network.