Wartburg College students no longer need to worry about being stranded on campus without a car.
U-Haul Car Share will make a Toyota Prius and a Scion XB available beginning in mid-August for either an hourly or flat rate to members of the college community who meet eligibility requirements.
“People really love it,” said Cassandra Allen, project manager for the U-Haul division, which is on 22 campuses nationwide. “We are there to solve the residential campus dilemma of not having a car when it’s needed and to match campus’ sustainability efforts.”
Anne Duncan, Wartburg’s environmental sustainability coordinator, sees it as an incentive to forgo bringing a car to campus.
“My hope is that U-Haul Car Share will service the college community in two ways,” she said, “independence for the carless and motivation to be carless. This program will allow more independence for our large population of international students and students who choose to not bring cars to campus.”
The U-Haul Car Share hourly rate is $4.95, plus 49 cents per mile, which includes gas and insurance, plus roadside maintenance and customer service.
“Around nine miles, the hourly rate is no longer effective,” Allen said, “so a computer automatically kicks in the flat rate.”
The hourly flat rate will be $8.50 for the Scion XB and $9.50 for the Prius with 180 free miles, she said, with the cost difference based on the cars’ price tags.
Duncan said students should look at the expense of having a car on campus for limited use.
“When you consider the ever-increasing costs of owning and maintaining a vehicle, I think it really makes you ask, ‘Is it worth it?’” she said. “For a student who only needs a car for shopping trips, it may be significantly cheaper to be a member of U-Haul Car Share than have a car payment and worry about gas, insurance, maintenance and parking.”
A U-Haul Car Share membership requires completing an online application at www.ucarshare.com with notification of acceptance within 24 hours.
Eligibility requirements are different for drivers 18-21, who must be moving-violation free, and those 22 and over, who can be disqualified for having excessive-speeding tickets (10 mph or more over the limit) or drunken-driving citations, among other concerns.
During the first 90 days, the one-time U-Haul Car Share membership fee will be $15 — discounted from $25. Allen said the fee covers the cost of researching driving records. To help offset the cost, members will receive $20 in free driving credits during the first 60 days after signing up.
Reservations can be made online or by phone, contingent on the availability of the car. In addition, smartphone apps are forthcoming.
Members will receive a PIN to unlock the car and use with a gas card. The keys are tethered to the steering wheel. The cars will be available on a 24/7 basis and must be returned to the designated area.
Duncan requested both car models for Wartburg. While the Prius is the iconic “green car,” the squared-off Scion XB with its high roof is roomier and can haul more items.
Allen said the number of U-Haul Car Share vehicles on participating campuses range from six at Virginia Tech to one at smaller schools. Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, started with two and added another two.
“We can add vehicles depending on the demand,” she said.