here for a pdf of the Community Car Member Handbook.
here for the Online Orientation.
do I join?
do I pay?
I eligible? What are the eligibility requirements
if I have a foreign license?
do I know what’s on my state Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)?
if I've been in an accident?
do I find the police report for the accident I was in?
I need a credit card?
there group or family memberships?
do I quit?
cars do you use?
do I use the cars?
cars always available?
pays for gas?
are the cars located?
cleans the cars?
I make a reservation if I don't have a computer?
I add time to an existing reservation?
I cancel a reservation?
do I get into the cars?
do I operate a Prius?
I have to worry about locking the cars?
do I use the gas card?
am I billed?
are your office hours?
constitutes an emergency?
I got a parking ticket, what do I do?
the car got towed, what do I do?
if the car breaks down?
if severe winter weather occurs during my reservation and I don't
feel comfortable driving?
What if I leave an item in a car?
I smoke in the car?
about baby seats?
I transport my pet?
about longer trips?
I purchase a gift certificate?
I use carsharing organizations in other cities?
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.
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.
How do I join?
- Fill out
the Online Orientation.
- Receive a
member ID and key fob, which will allow you to access a vehicle you have reserved.
How do I pay?
- On the first Monday
of every month, you will receive a bill from Community Car for the
previous month’s usage. Click here for the 2013 billing schedule.
- Review the
- If correct,
do nothing and your credit/debit card will automatically be billed
on the second Monday of the month.
- If incorrect,
call Community Car to correct any errors.
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 3 years.
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
- 1 or 2 moving
- 1 not-at-fault
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
- Driving while
under suspension or revocation
- Speed contest
- Fleeing an
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.***
at least 3 years of driving experience (permits don't count towards
a completely clean driving record
at least a 3.0 GPA
**18-year-old students who meet the driver requirements can join with
a 2-year driving record and are the ONLY individuals exempt from the 3-year driving record requirement.
***Unofficial transcript and a copy of student
If you have a question about your eligibility, please call
our office at 608.204.0000.
What if I have a foreign license?
can accept applicants from any country as long as they meet our
eligibility requirements. Please click
here for more details.
How do I know what’s on my state Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)?
request your Wisconsin MVR visit the Wisconsin
What if I’ve been in an accident?
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.
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.
Do I need a credit card or debit card?
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.
Are there group or family memberships?
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.
How do I quit?
can close your account by notifying Community Car
in writing (e-mail email@example.com), returning any Community Car property,
and paying your final bill.
What cars do you use?
fleet consists of the following vehicles:
- 2 Toyota
- 4 Honda Fit
- 3 Honda Civic
- 3 Toyota
- 1 Ford Ranger
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!
How do I use the cars?
Community Car by applying
a key fob to access the cars
a car via web or phone
up the car and drive away
the car to the same spot
- Pay each
month for the hours and miles you
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.
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.
Where are the cars located?
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.
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.
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!
Can I add time to an existing reservation?
Yes. To extend your reservation, access the reservation system online or call the Reservation & Emergency Line. If there is no conflict with another person’s
reservation, you can go ahead and extend your reservation.
Can I cancel a reservation?
Yes. You can cancel a reservation from our website or by calling the Reservation & Emergency Line.
Cancellations may be subject to a fee as follows:
- No fee is
charged for reservations cancelled more than 5 hours before the
5 hours to 2 hours before your reservation incurs a $5 fee.
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.
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.
How do I operate a Prius?
Prius has unique start-up and shut-down features. Step-by-step instructions are included in
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.
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 printed on the lower left-hand side of
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.
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).
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.
What constitutes an emergency?
An emergency includes, but is not limited to:
been in an accident.
- You show
up for a reservation and your car is not there.
running late and can’t extend your reservation online because
someone else has reserved the car after you.
locked out of the car.
- The car breaks
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.
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
What about baby seats?
We do not provide car seats. Children must use car seats appropriate
to their age and size.
Can I transport my pet?
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
- 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. You will find
a blanket/towel in the trunk/hatch of the vehicle, but it's a
good idea to bring your own as backup.
- 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
What about longer trips?
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
1136 E. Washington Ave.
4000 International Lane
Madison, WI 53704
2705 Packers Ave.
522 S.Gammon Road
Customer Discount (BCD) Number
has assigned Community Car members a Budget Customer Discount (BCD)
number. Please see the Member Handbook or call 608.204.0000 for
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
- renters must have a current valid driver's license
Can I purchase a gift certificate?
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.
Can I use
carsharing organizations in other cities?
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