Reasons to try car shar­ing this week

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE -

For most Mal­tese peo­ple, not hav­ing 24/7 ac­cess to a car is a ter­ri­fy­ing propo­si­tion. But, with mount­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal and health con­cerns, the grow­ing cost of car own­er­ship and a move to­wards cleaner, health­ier modes of trans­port, many are look­ing to reach a com­pro­mise that is bet­ter for the planet and their wal­lets.

GoTo car shar­ing – which launched in Malta last month – prom­ises to bridge the gap be­tween var­i­ous modes of pub­lic trans­port and ease the fi­nan­cial bur­den of driving, all while be­ing kinder to the en­vi­ron­ment. Here are the main ways GoTo is mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

Cleaner trans­port

With a stag­ger­ing 47 cars be­ing reg­is­tered each day across the Mal­tese is­lands, pol­lu­tion is a se­ri­ous con­cern, and a grow­ing num­ber of deaths are be­ing at­trib­uted to air pol­lu­tion each year. The GoTo shar­ing scheme helps to cut down on ve­hi­cle emis­sions in two ways. Firstly, ev­ery car in the fleet is elec­tric. That means they pro­duce lit­tle noise and no ex­haust fumes. Se­condly, GoTo is part of a Trans- port Malta ini­tia­tive aimed at di­ver­si­fy­ing Malta’s trans­port use. Car shar­ing is a cheaper al­ter­na­tive to car own­er­ship and is the per­fect com­ple­ment to other modes of trans­port, such as cy- cling, walk­ing and pub­lic trans­port thanks to its flex­i­bil­ity.

It’s good value

Own­ing a car is ex­pen­sive, as any­one who has had to sit down af­ter re­ceiv­ing a mo­tor in­sur­ance quote will tell you. The cost of the ve­hi­cle it­self is just the be­gin­ning – reg­u­lar main­te­nance, road tax, in­sur­ance and fuel costs quickly add up. Malta’s small size means that, traffic not­with­stand­ing, the time mo­torists spend ac­tu­ally driving is rel­a­tively short, which means all those ex­penses seem even more un­nec­es­sary. Car shar­ing lets users adopt a pay-as-you-go ap­proach to car use, bring­ing the costs and the com­mit­ment down sig­nif­i­cantly. Aside from a low monthly mem­ber­ship fee, GoTo users only pay when they use a car, down to the minute, so there are no ad­di­tional car-re­lated costs to bud­get for.

Park­ing is eas­ier

GoTo has se­cured re­served park­ing spots in 68 lo­cal­i­ties around Malta and Gozo, with a planned 225 charg­ing sta­tions to be in place by the end of 2019. These in­clude lo­ca­tions in the Three Cities, Val­letta, Sliema, Msida Birkirkara and San Gwann, as well as Mgarr, Kercem, Vic­to­ria and Xewk­ija in Gozo. With 150 GoTo cars at present, users are able to park in one of the GoTo park­ing places. Given the park­ing sit­u­a­tion in most parts of Malta, hav­ing a des­ig­nated park­ing space to go to is an in­stant win­ner!

On-de­mand avail­abil­ity

Se­cur­ing a GoTo car is as easy as fir­ing up the mo­bile app and check­ing the live map to lo­cate the near­est free ve­hi­cle. That’s it! You’re ready to roll at a mo­ment’s no­tice and you can even make quick stops with­out end­ing the hire. When plans change quickly or you’re run­ning late, GoTo is the per­fect solution that’s cheaper than a cab and faster than pub­lic trans­port!

How does it work?

GoTo users will first be asked to reg­is­ter on­line. Regis­tra­tion is free and will re­quire some per­sonal info, credit card de­tails, and a clear pic­ture of your driving li­cense and ID card. Ver­i­fi­ca­tion is com­pleted within 24 hours and new users will be no­ti­fied when their regis­tra­tion has been suc­cess­ful. Users will also re­ceive a phys­i­cal GoTo mem­ber­ship card by post.

Mem­ber­ship is free for the first two months, af­ter which you will be charged €7 a month for ac­cess to all GoTo ve­hi­cles. You can can­cel your mem­ber­ship at any time, at no ex­tra charge. Mem­bers are then charged €0.28 per minute of car use, with a rate of €0.14 per minute for short stops. Pre­paid and Sav­ings pack­ages are also avail­able. For more in­for­ma­tion or to down­load the app, visit

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