community car logo

Member Handbook

Click here for a pdf of the Community Car Member Handbook.

Click here for the Online Orientation.

 

About Carsharing

What is carsharing?

 

Membership

How do I join?

How do I pay?

Am I eligible? What are the eligibility requirements for membership?

What if I have a foreign license?

How do I know what’s on my state Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)?

What if I've been in an accident?

How do I find the police report for the accident I was in?

Do I need a credit card?

Are there group or family memberships?

How do I quit?

 

Cars & Parking

What cars do you use?

How do I use the cars?

Are cars always available?

Who pays for gas?

Where are the cars located?

Who cleans the cars?

 

Using the Cars

Can I make a reservation if I don't have a computer?

Can I add time to an existing reservation?

Can I cancel a reservation?

How do I get into the cars?

How do I operate a Prius?

Do I have to worry about locking the cars?

How do I use the gas card?

How am I billed?

What are your office hours?

What constitutes an emergency?

Oops, I got a parking ticket, what do I do?

Oops, the car got towed, what do I do?

What if the car breaks down?

What if severe winter weather occurs during my reservation and I don't feel comfortable driving?

What if I leave an item in a car?

 

Miscellaneous

What about insurance?

Can I smoke in the car?

What about baby seats?

Can I transport my pet?

What about longer trips?

Can I purchase a gift certificate?

Can I use carsharing organizations in other cities?

 

 

 

 

About Carsharing  

 

Q: What is carsharing?

Carsharing is a membership-based car service available to qualified drivers in a community. Members of a carsharing organization share access to a fleet of vehicles, which are available 24/7 at self-service locations. Members pay for the hours and/or miles they drive.

 

Carsharing helps reduce the number of cars in an urban area and supports a shift away from automobile dependency and towards sustainable mobility.

 

Carsharing began in Switzerland and Germany in the 1990s and spread to the United States via Portland in 1998. By 2012, there were more than 806,000 members in over 26 carsharing organizations in the United States.

 

 

back to top   

 

 

 

Membership

 

Q: How do I join?

  1. Fill out an application.
  2. Complete the Online Orientation.
  3. Receive a member ID and key fob, which will allow you to access a vehicle you have reserved.

 

Q: How do I pay?

  1. On the first Monday of every month, you will receive a bill from Community Car for the previous month’s usage.
  2. Review the bill.
  3. If correct, do nothing and your credit/debit card will automatically be billed on the second Monday of the month.
  4. If incorrect, call or email Community Car to correct any errors.

 

Q: Am I eligible? What are the eligibility requirements for membership?

You must be 21 or older* and you must have held a valid driver's license for the past 1 year. 

 

You are eligible for membership if your 3-year driving record shows one of the following:

  • A clear record
  • 2 regular speeding violations (1-10 over limit)
  • 1 regular and 1 intermediate speeding violation (11-19 over limit)
  • 1 intermediate speeding violation
  • 1 or 2 moving violations
  • 1 not-at-fault accident

 

You are not eligible for membership if your 5-year record includes any of the following:

  • An alcohol- or drug-related offence, including refusal to submit to test
  • Hit-and-run
  • Driving while under suspension or revocation
  • Speed contest
  • Fleeing an officer
  • Speeding excess (over 20mph over limit)

 

*Full-time students at UW-Madison, Edgewood College and MATC can join at age 19 or 20.** These applicants must meet the following additional requirements and submit proper documentation.***

  • Have at least 1 year of driving experience (permits don't count towards this history)
  • Have a completely clean driving record
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA

 

**18-year-old students who meet the driver requirements can join with a 1-year driving record and are the ONLY individuals exempt from the 1-year driving record requirement.

***Unofficial transcript and a copy of student ID

 

If you have a question about your eligibility, please call our office at 608.204.0000.

 

 

Q: What if I have a foreign license?

We can accept applicants from any country as long as they meet our eligibility requirements. Please click here for more details.

 

 

Q: How do I know what’s on my state Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)?

To request your Wisconsin MVR visit the Wisconsin DMV website.

 

 

Q: What if I’ve been in an accident?

Our insurance carrier will consider Motor Vehicle Records with an at-fault accident on a case-by-case basis. An at-fault accident is one in which the police determined that YOU caused the accident.

 

 

Q: How do I find the police report for the accident I was in?

Contact the police department that responded to the accident. For the City of Madison, check the Police Department's Accident Information website. If you do not find the accident online, call the Madison Police Department at 266-4072 and have them check the hard copy files.

 

 

Q: Do I need a credit card or debit card?

To keep billing simple, we prefer that you pay by credit or debit card, but we will accept a refundable security deposit and allow you to pay cash in advance. Please call our office for more details at 608.204.0000.

 

 

Q: Are there group or family memberships?

YES!  You can save money and share a Community Car membership plan with your family or co-workers. We offer a variety of group memberships for households, businesses, non-profits, and UW departments. Click here for more details.

 

 

Q: How do I quit?

You can close your account by notifying Community Car in writing (e-mail memberservices@communitycar.com), returning any Community Car property, and paying your final bill.

 

 

back to top   

 

 

 

Cars and Parking

 

Q: What cars do you use?

Our fleet consists of the following vehicles:

 

  • 3 Toyota Prius
  • 4 Honda Fit
  • 2 Honda Civic
  • 3 Toyota Yaris
  • 1 Ford Ranger pick-up truck

We choose Hondas and Toyotas because these brands have a record of reliability and a commitment to making high gas mileage cars. Our truck allows people to forgo the purchase of a large vehicle for infrequent hauling needs and to instead use our vehicle on those rare occasions!

 

 

Q: How do I use the cars?

  • Join Community Car by applying online
  • Receive a key fob to access the cars
  • Reserve a car via web or phone
  • Pick up the car and drive away
  • Return the car to the same spot
  • Pay each month for the hours and miles you drive

 

Q: Are cars always available?

Cars are available most of the time, but we cannot guarantee availability. You can reserve a car up to 3 months in advance. To get a convenient car when you need it, we recommend making your reservation at least 1 day in advance.

 

 

Q: Who pays for gas?
Community Car pays, but members are responsible for leaving the car with at least 1/4 tank of gas. Members will find a gas card in every car for this purpose. 

 

 

Q: Where are the cars located?
Click to view the map of Community Car locations.
Bright green signs mark Community Car parking spaces. These spots are reserved just for Community Car vehicles.

 

 

Q: Who cleans the cars?
Community Car staff inspect and clean each car every 3 weeks, but our members are expected to support these efforts by tidying up and removing trash at the end of their reservations. If a driver finds a messy car, the driver may take the car to a car wash, send us the receipt, and receive a credit toward the next bill.

 

 

back to top   

 

 

 

Using the Cars

 

Q: Can I make a reservation if I don’t have a computer?
Yes, Community Car has a 24-hour Reservation & Emergency Line. The phone number is 866.305.1122. Call to make, cancel, or check on an existing reservation. The phone reservation system costs you $2 per call, while the Web reservation system is free. All Madison Public Library branches have Internet access.  You can also use your SmartPhone and iPhone to access our mobile site!  The moblie site is:  reserve.communitycar.com/m

 

 

Q: Can I add time to an existing reservation?
Yes. To extend your reservation, access the reservation system online or call the Reservation & Emergency Line or use the mobile site. If there is no conflict with another person’s reservation, you can go ahead and extend your reservation.

 

 

Q: Can I cancel a reservation?
Yes. You can cancel a reservation from our website or by calling the Reservation & Emergency Line or use the mobile site. Cancellations may be subject to a fee as follows:

  • No fee is charged for reservations cancelled more than 5 hours before the reservation time.
  • Canceling 5 hours to 2 hours before your reservation incurs a $5 fee.
  • Canceling less than 2 hours before your reservation incurs no fee, but you pay for the time reserved.
  • More details regarding these and other fines are in the member handbook.

 

Q: How do I get into the cars?
Use the key fob attached to your account to unlock and lock the vehicle's doors. The vehicle key is inside the car.

 

Q: How do I operate a Prius?

Each Prius has unique start-up and shut-down features. Step-by-step instructions are included in the cars.

 

 

Q: Do I have to worry about locking the cars?
YES! Every time you exit the car you must FOB OUT to lock the car!  It is extremely important that you ALWAYS lock the car with your Community Car key fob. Your reservation is not complete until you lock the car by FOBBING OUT. If you fail to FOB OUT at the end of your reservation, you will be charged a $50 DID NOT FOB OUT fee.

 

Q: How do I use the gas card?
Find the gas card in the glove compartment.  At any major gas station, use it like a credit card.  Your authorizing number will be the 4-digit number on the card (NOT your Community Car ID).  You will also need to enter the odometer reading.  Note that the card is blocked for purchases of all non-automotive products.

 

Please call Community Car IMMEDIATELY if the card is missing.

 

 

Q: How am I billed?
Community Car sends our members an email (or paper) invoice on the first Monday of the month. Payment is due on the second Monday of the month (reflecting the previous month’s usage).

 

 

Q: What are your office hours?
Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM or by appointment.  You can reach the office at 608.204.0000.   For emergencies at any hour or to make a reservation, call the Reservation & Emergency Line at 866.305.1122.

 

 

Q: What constitutes an emergency?
An emergency includes, but is not limited to:

  1. You’ve been in an accident.
  2. You show up for a reservation and your car is not there.
  3. You’re running late and can’t extend your reservation online because someone else has reserved the car after you.
  4. You’re locked out of the car.
  5. The car breaks down.

In the event of an emergency, call the Community Car Reservation & Emergency Line at 866.305.1122 so we can assist you.  Additional emergency numbers can be found in the glove box. 

 

 

Q: Oops, I got a parking ticket, what do I do?
Any parking and/or traffic violations that you incur while using a Community Car are your responsibility. If you fail to pay your ticket(s), we'll add it to your bill with an additional $10 processing fee.

 

 

Q: Oops, the car got towed, what do I do?
If you will be late in returning the car call Community Car immediately so we can make arrangements for the next driver. Please get the car from the appropriate lot immediately and pay the associated fine. Again, parking and traffic violations that are incurred while you have use of a car are your responsibility.

 


Q: What if the car breaks down?
First, please contact Community Car by calling the Reservation & Emergency Line at 866.305.1122 to report the situation. The problem may be something we can walk you through. All emergency numbers can be found in the glove box.

 

 

Q: What if severe winter weather occurs during my reservation and I don't feel comfortable driving?
If severe winter weather occurs during your reservation, you can cancel your reservation free of charge. Simply let us know your reason for cancelling by contacting us at the office at 608.204.0000, emailing us at memberservices@communitycar.com or calling the Reservation & Emergency Line at 1.866.305.1122.

 

Q: What if I leave an item in a car?

If you leave a personal item in a Community Car, feel free to call the office and ask about it.  If we have not found the item, we will ask you to schedule a short reservation to retrieve it.  By making a reservation, you can guarantee that the car will be available when you stop by, you can unlock the car independently, and you can resolve the issue at any hour of the day.

 

 

back to top   

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

Q: What about insurance?
You do not need your own insurance to drive Community Car vehicles.  As a member of Community Car, you are covered by our insurance (a $1,000,000 policy that covers property damage and bodily injury for which a Community Car vehicle is liable).  The cost of insurance is covered by membership fees, but you are responsible for the first $500 of the $1,000 deductible if you are at fault in an accident.

 

 

Q: Can I smoke in the car?
NO, smoking is not allowed in any Community Car vehicles.  You will be assessed a $150 cleaning fee if it is determined that you were smoking in one of the vehicles.

 

 

Q: What about baby seats?
We do not provide car seats. Children must use car seats appropriate to their age and size.

 

 

Q: Can I transport my pet?

Your pet cannot ride with you in the Prius C at 10 E. Doty.  Your pet can ride with you in any other Community Car vehicle. Members must adhere to the following guidelines:

 

  • Pets must be transported in a pet carrier or "pet taxi" provided by the member/owner.
  • Members must place a blanket/towel under the pet carrier.
  • Any pet hair or mess must be cleaned immediately by the member.
  • If the mess is excessive, the member must take the vehicle to the carwash. You may be subject to a Dirty Car Fee or may need to pay for more extensive cleaning if your pet leaves a mess that you do not clean up.

 

 

Q: What about longer trips?

For your longer trips, we suggest you reserve a vehicle through Budget Car Rental.  To make a reservation, visit www.budget.com or call one of Budget's local offices:

 

Downtown                   

1136 E. Washington Ave.                          

Madison, WI 53703            

608.251.2181                    

            

Airport

4000 International Lane

Madison, WI 53704

608.249.5544

 

North Side

2705 Packers Ave.

Madison, WI 53704

608.242.0429

 

West Side

522 S.Gammon Road

Madison, WI 53719

608.836.4026

 

Budget Customer Discount (BCD) Number

Budget has assigned Community Car members a Budget Customer Discount (BCD) number. Please see the Member Handbook or call 608.204.0000 for this number.

 

Qualifications

All renters must meet Budget's standard qualification requirements:

  • renters must be at least 21 year of age
  • renters must have a major credit card ($200 minimum authorization)
  • renters must be at least 25 years of age to rent with a debit card ($500 minimum authorization)
  • renters must have a current valid driver's license

 

 

Q: Can I purchase a gift certificate?

YES! We can customize a gift certificate for you - just give us a call at 608.204.0000 or email us so we can assist you. 

 

 

 

Q: Can I use carsharing organizations in other cities?

YES! Community Car has partnered with some of our carsharing friends to make using carsharing in other cities like Minneapolis and San Francisco possible. Call us at 608.204.0000 for more information.

 

 

back to top   

 

 

 

who it works
car locations
is it for me
join now
rates
FAQ

No Answer?

 

Submit your question to

info@communitycar.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Answer?

 

Submit your question to

info@communitycar.com

about us news transportation madison map contact home