Carsharing in Berlin
Carsharing is probably one of the hottest new trends in Berlin in the last couple of years.
And since the quality of public transport has gone done a lot, we love driving around Berlin in one of the many carsharing cars.
Many carsharing companies like Miles, ShareNow, SIXT Share and Bolt offer their brand new cars for short term rent around town.
There are some big differences between carsharing companies so it is worth to have a closer look and compare them.
We only took Miles, ShareNow (which is a merger of DriveNow and Car2go) SIXT Share and Bolt into consideration as they offer the most cars around Berlin and they are so-called free flow offers.
That means you can pick up the cars and later leave them wherever you want to, as long as it is within the actual business area of the carsharing company.
All you need to do is download their app, sign up, get your driving licence validated (completely online and only takes around 5 minutes) and you can pick up any of their cars.
Be aware that if you do not have a German driving licence, it might not be possible to sign up with any of these carsharing companies.
From experience we know that e.g. Sixt Share will let you sign up with a brand new drivers licence, while e.g. Miles only lets you so if you have your drivers licence for more than a year already.
And of course we highly recommend that you sign up for 2-3 different carsharing companies, as sometimes it might be cheaper to use a different company as well as sometimes you will not find a car with one company close by while with the other company a car is just around the corner.
Miles is a true Berlin based player and also our absolute No 1 pick when it comes to carsharing companies in Berlin.
Miles just recently announced the takeover of the biggest rival WeShare (which was run by VW with a 100% electric car fleet).
That means now you will most likely be driving around with one of the newest electric cars such as an ID.3 or ID.4, which is a lot of fun.
Once you have driven an electric car, you usually do not want to go back to a gasoline powered car.
The thing that sets apart from all other car sharing companies – Miles has a different approach to how to charge for the ride.
Instead of paying for each minute of your rental you only pay for the distance you drive.
This is why we love Miles more than any other car sharing company.
Finally, it does’t matter, if you are stuck in traffic again during rush hour in Berlin.
You won’t be charged for the time you spent without moving, just for the distance you drive.
Coming back to the fleet of Miles: Recently more and more Tesla Model 3 and Y were added to the fleet, which are so much fun to drive.
In order to be able to drive these Teslas you need to have done a few rides with Miles with their standard cars like the ID.3 and ID.4 or Golf Polo, before you get access to these called Premium cars.
Insider Tip1 : Use the code 12G3aT9d96 to get 10€ credit for signing up with Miles.
Insider Tip 2: If you log in you can purchase credit, which will save you another 10% or 15% in costs.
Insider Tip 3: If you are planning to drive to the BER airport Miles is the only company that does not charge an additional fee for parking at the airport.
ShareNow is the biggest carsharing company in the whole of Germany (and number 2 in Berlin).
This is not a surprise as it is the result of a merger between DriveNow and Car2go, which have been competitors in the past and were owned by Mercedes and BMW.
ShareNow is available in many major German cities including Berlin, München, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Hamburg.
How much you pay for a ride with ShareNow, in contrast to Miles, is based on the time you rent the car, instead of the distance you travel (see Miles).
So at night with 0 traffic on the streets this might be cheaper than Miles, so we would always advise to calculate with the help of Google Maps the expected costs of each car sharing company (Google Maps gives you the distance and the expected time with real time traffic data, so you can easily calculate the expected costs).
Right now ShareNow has over 3.300 cars by DriveNow and around 3.000 cars by Car2go all around Germany to rent.
In Berlin, it feels like every second car on the street is one of DriveNow’s BMW 1, Mini (Coupe and Cabrio!), X1 or even ActiveE or one of the many Smarts from Car2Go.
Many people nowadays – especially younger people – don’t see the need to own a car in Berlin, as signing up with ShareNow or any other carsharing company is much cheaper.
There are 2 ways to book a car: Either with the ShareNow App up to 15min in advance or by walking past a car and opening the door with your app.
The ShareNow App is available for IOS as well as Android, and lets you see all available DriveNow and Car2Go cars around your area on a map.
Just choose the one closest to you and make a reservation, which is valid for 15 mins before someone else can book that car again.
Signing up with ShareNow right now is free of charge and you even get a 5€ welcome bonus.
Prices per minute depend on the type of car you choose and start at 0,09€/min.
ShareNow covers the most important parts of Berlin, including Berlin airport BER.
Dedicated parking spots for carsharing cars are located just outside Terminal 1.
ShareNow charges an additional 6€ per trip from or to the BER airport, which makes it still way cheaper than ordering a taxi.
You can park your car anywhere within the S-Bahn ring, and in some parts, like Prenzlauer Berg, Lichtenberg, Steglitz, etc. even outside the S-Bahn ring.
The ShareNow App will show you exactly where in Berlin you are allowed to park the car and where you are already outside their business area.
One of the newest carsharing offers available, and a pretty good alternativ we must say, is Sixt Share.
SIXT Share has one big advantage, which is SIXT has been in the business of rental cars for decades already.
SIXT is the biggest rental car company in Europe together with Europcar and Enterprise.
Therefore they are already a well known and trusted car rental company.
So the decision to enter the carsharing market might not come as such a big surprise.
But what is a big surprise is how SIXT combines carsharing and rental cars in one app.
So no matter if you want to rent out a car for a quick grocery shopping trip or you spontaneously want to drive to the coast for 3 days all you need to do is download the app and start driving.
Cars can be picked up within the limits of their business area or at one of the 500 SIXT stations in Germany.
Right now, at least in our recent experience, Sixt Share quite cheap with a minute based car sharing system where prices start at 0,09€. However, you will always have to pay a 1€ or 2€ unlocking fee.
If you want to rent the car for the whole day prices start at 50€.
Insider Tip: If you got your German driving licence within the last year, Sixt Share is the only carsharing company in Berlin where you can sign up.
All other carsharing companies requiere a German driving licence that is older than one year.
You might know Bolt already as a taxi company and one of the biggest competitors of Uber.
Or you might have rented one of their fancy new e-scooters that you can find around every corner in Berlin.
And now, and this is really cool, Bolt has entered the Berlin carsharing market.
Why is that cool?
Well, first of all they are incredibely cheap with prices for all cars right now starting at 0,11€ per minute + 0,18€ per km and without any unlocking fees.
And secondly, we love that the cars in Berlin are all brand new Audi Q2.
Carsharing Companies in Berlin compared
In order to have an overview of the 3 carsharing companies we took for the prices only the cheapest option into consideration.
|Promotion||10€ discount with code 12G3aT9d96||Free sign up and 5€ Bonus with this link||Up to 60€ discount with this link||None|
|Price||From 0,98€ per km + 1€ unlocking fee||From 0,09€ per minute||From 0,09€ per minute + from 1€ unlocking fee||From 0,11€ per minute + 0,18€ per km|
|Membership||Platinum plan with up to 25% discount and without unlocking fee||Share Now Pass with up to 50% discount on rate||None yet||Non yet|
|Business territory||S-Bahn Ring and some outside areas||S-Bahn Ring and beyond in Lichtenberg and Charlottenburg to Steglitz||S-Bahn Ring and beyond.|
500 Sixt stations within Germany
|S-Bahn Ring and some outside areas|
|Car options||Audi A1|
Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model Y
|Premium cars such as:|
Audi A3, Q2, A4
VW Golf, Passat
No additional cost
Using carsharing cars for your trip from and to Berlin airport
As you might know already the Berlin airport is quite a few kilometers (around 24km from city center to be precise) outside of Berlin and sometimes your flight might be that early in the morning or you arrive that late at night that there is no public transport option available.
In this case you can use Miles, ShareNow and SixtShare cars instead of paying around 50-60€ for an Uber or Bold or 60€ and more for a normal taxi.
In case that there is absolutely no traffic on the streets your cheaper option will be to go for ShareNow or SixtShare, even if they add a premium on top for parking at the BER airport.
In case that you go during peak traffic hours we highly recommend to take a Miles car.
In either way you will be paying between 20-40€ max. for a trip with your carsharing car.
To park your car at the airport you simply need to follow the signs to P4 (carsharing parking).
Enter the carpark and leave the car there – simple as that.
Insider Tip: In case that the carpark is full and you cannot access it, all you need to do is push the service button and explain to the person on the other end that you want to drop off your carsharing car and they will open the gate for you manually.
All of the cars used for We Share were 100% electric – what started with the electric version of the Golf soon was upgraded to ID.3 and ID.4s.
Nothing was cooler than cruising with a brand new silent E-Golf or ID.3 through Berlin.
Who needs a 600 horsepower strong tuned Mercedes or Porsche? That is so nineties 🙂
Furthermore all rides were just around 0,19€ to 0,29€ per minute and the area served by WeShare covered the most important areas of Berlin, even well outside the Berliner S-Bahn Ring.
But as you read before, WeShare was acquired by Miles and the branding will soon disappear for good.
Out of service – Car2go
Car2go was a carsharing company operated by Mercedes Benz, together with Europcar.
As already mentioned before Car2go merged with DriveNow and is available on the ShareNow App.
In Germany, Car2go already operated in 7 cities and offers more than 3.000 cars to rent, which offered a slightly higher density of cars around Berlin.
Whereas with ShareNow you have the choice between many different cars, that are also suitable for 4 people, Car2go exclusively has Smart cars in their fleet.
So if you plan on driving to IKEA to get some new furniture, Car2go might not be your best choice.
But if you only need the car to get from one place to another quite fast, you will come to love those Smarts.
The old excuse that you didn’t find a parking spot won’t be valid anymore, as these Smarts fit in anywhere.
If you don’t feel like driving yourself you might want to check out how public transport in Berlin is working.
And if you are into biking why not try out one of the many new bikesharing companies in Berlin?
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