Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Car Club

I've been meaning to do it for some time now, but I finally signed up for a car club today, City Car Club. It's similar to Zipcar, in that you pay a one time membership fee, and then you can rent the car on an hourly or daily basis. It's cheaper than just regular car rentals, plus it's a lot more convenient, as it's all self-serve through the website. You sign up to use a particular car at a specific time, using the website, and when the time comes, you just go to where the website says it's parked, and swipe your RFID membership card across the reader at the corner of the windshield, and the car unlocks for you. They track how far you drive and everything automatically, so you don't have to keep track of mileage, fuel costs, etc.
I'm rather excited about the whole idea of driving again, but also quite nervous. It's been two months since I've driven, the longest I've gone since I got my full license 10 years ago. Even when I had my Miata at the shop in pieces to be painted, I had a rental car for part of that time.
While the cars I'll have access to won't exactly be "zoom zoom", at least they'll be somewhat interesting in that they're European models I've never driven before, and nearly all of them are manual transmission, thankfully. Getting familiar with driving here is just the first step along the way to getting a Miata here, in my mind. Besides, it'll be really nice to be able to pop out into the countryside for a day on the weekends.

On an unrelated note, I was out at the boardgame meetup again tonight. Last week, I decided not to go, because it was on the same night as the UEFA Champion s League final, and I would have been hopping on the tube to come home at the same time as all the drunken football fans, so I just stayed home. I had a blast there this week, and played two new games. The first one was called Robo Rally, and was quite the mayhem with 8 players. It's quite an odd game, where you have robots that you have to race to various flags in order, to win, where you have to "program" you robot a full round in advance. At one point, about halfway through the game, I asked "out of curiosity, how many of you are programmers?" All seven of the other players raised their hands.
The second game was called Titans: The Arena, which was sort of a betting game, which I though I'd be horrible at, expecting (for no real good reason) for it to be something like poker. It wasn't at all like poker, and I actually nearly won, being displaced on the very last round. It's quite an interesting game, and I'd love to play it again sometime, not that I understand it better.


Anonymous said...

Hey, that does sound a lot like ZipCar! Do they also include a gas card in the car so you don't have to pay up for gas? It'll be interesting to compare user notes on these services. I like ZipCar a lot, although lately some of the cheaper cars near my place are starting to show serious signs of "public use". Now that ZipCar has been around for a while some of their cars are starting to show a bit of age, so how they deal with that will be a telling indicator of the company's health, I think.

Derek said...

Yeah, it's quite similar, if not nearly identical, right down to using the gas card to pay for gas, and being billed for the mileage later. The only reason I didn't sign up for Zipcar, is that they don't have any cars near my place.