I’m one of the rare ones here in Arizona. I don’t own a vehicle.
It’s confusing to folks, too, when I say that I sold my car right before coming to Thunderbird, in Los Angeles of all cities. “Didn’t you know you were going to be living in Phoenix?” I knew. It was a grand experiment- could I go without a car in the urban sprawl of Arizona?
The answer is, well, kind of. Making friends with cars has helped. So has Uber, the taxi cab service. But sometimes, you need a car to drive. That’s where the UHaul Car Share comes into the picture.
UHaul Car Share operates a lot like ZipCar. You pay an hourly rate for a Prius or a Ford Focus, and that should be it, right? Wrong. My experience this week isn’t what I expected.
For one, I didn’t expect the per-mile fee. Zip Car includes up to 180 miles free per day in its rentals, why not UHaul? Second, entering and exiting the vehicle is a process. There is a keypad on the door of the car that allows you to unlock the vehicle, but in my experience found it finicky and cumbersome. I set off the alarm accidentally several times. It’s extremely awkward in a crowded mall parking lot.
The biggest gripe I have is with the stickers plastered on the side of the vehicles. What if you’re on a date? Do you think someone would enjoy being picked up for dinner in a U Haul? Zip Cars have similar stickers, but they at least have a nicer logo. And, if you’re driving into Scottsdale, chalk up at least $40 for your total drive. That’s an expensive few hours!
To make a long story short, I’m currently looking into renting or buying a car again. The experiment was fun while it lasted, but at the end of the day, I need wheels in Phoenix.