Founded in 2005, HourCar is a car-sharing nonprofit in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and one of the longest standing car sharing clubs in the United States.

HourCar qualifications:

  • At least 18
  • Valid license
  • 1 year of fully licensed driving (not on a learners permit)
  • No major traffic violations in the last 3 years
  • No drug or alcohol-related violations in the last 7 years

If you are 21 or older, with at least three years of driving experience, you don’t have to be perfect, but you are only allowed a maximum of one minor violation in the last 18 months and a maximum of two major traffic violations in the last three years.

The fleet is more than 60 cars and there are more than fifty hubs.

HourCar is subscription based and your payment includes gas, insurance, maintenance, and registration.

Gas is handled with a gas card on the back of the keypad. You enter the odometer and a number on the gas cap. You get a $4 credit for filling the tank.

Keep reading for pros and cons of joining HourCar.

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The Good

  • Plan Options
  • Student, Faculty, and Nonprofit Discounts
  • Reservations

Plan Options

Users can get individual or household accounts. Businesses and nonprofits can also get an account.

There are a variety of plan options, with all different rates and fees, hours, and limits, depending on the type of plan that would most benefit your usage. Most include a $25 application fee, annual or monthly membership fee ($65 per year or $7 per month, $0 for flex plan), and different hourly rates depending on the time of day, type of membership, and hub access.

For members, daily rates run between $70-$80 per day. This is really, pretty competitive when it comes to car sharing clubs.

Student, Faculty, and Nonprofit Discounts

If you a student or faculty member of a local accredited college or university, you may be eligible for discounted rates. In addition, you may be able to have either your application or membership fee waived.

Reservations

HourCar is a reservation-based car sharing system, on a first-come, first-served basis. The max reservation limit is 72 hours and the minimum is 30 minutes.

The Bad

  • Wait Time
  • Application Fee
  • Complicated Plans

Wait Time

While sometimes new members can be set up the same day, that isn't always the case. This isn’t a car sharing service that you can find and join, all in one day. Once you submit an application, it can take one to two business days. If you need to to be expedited, you can contact customer service to ask, but the team isn’t able to guarantee

You also have to wait for a Metro Transit Go-To card to arrive in the mail. This card is used to get into each car.

If your license and driving history are from the following locations, the company will contact you for more information:

  • California
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Any foreign countries

Application Fee

There is a $25 application fee for all members. Most other car sharing companies either leave out the application fee or waive it during promotions. Perhaps HourCar does the same, but there is no indication currently.

Complicated Plans

he HourCar plans include application fees, membership fees, hourly rates, and per-mile rates. The different plan options also include overnight fees and availability, as well as hub access options.

The Bottom Line

HourCar is a car sharing nonprofit for people in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. It offers lots of membership options for users to choose from and gives discounts to local students, faculty, and non-profit groups. This car share has been around since 2005, and has had time to work out many of the system’s kinks.

At this time, we need a little more feedback from users before we can recommend this car sharing membership. Let us know about your experience with a quick review below.

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