By on May 30, 2014

Car2Go London

Car-sharing service Car2Go, whose ubiquitous blue-and-white Smart Fourtwos can be seen parked on the streets of many a major city, will leave the United Kingdom market today.

Autoblog Green reports the Daimler-owned service is vacating its presence in London and Birmingham in the face of “the UK’s strong culture and tradition of private vehicle ownership.” While total membership is over 750,000 around the world, the U.K. campaign — which began in the autumn of 2012 — never climbed over 10,000 members between the two cities.

That said, Car2Go will still monitor changes in the market in the hopes a return will someday be possible. In the meantime, U.K. members who are registered with Daimler’s moovel app and possess a valid license will be able to drive the two-tone Smarts from IKEA to Starbucks in 12 cities over in the mainland.

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34 Comments on “Car2Go Vacates UK Market Due To Tradition Of Private Ownership...”


  • avatar

    While Car-sharing services and call-a-cab apps have merit in the big cities, why is it they pick the absolute smallest, most unsafe vehicles to rent?

    Civic, Dart, Elantra, Sonata, Mazda 3…

    I don’t want a goddamned STUPID Fortwo.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      Because walking testicles driving too fast in heavy cars are thankfully a small segment of the population, so most feel perfectly comfortable in a normal compact car.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Small segment of the population, but certainly vocal. TSS didn’t even bother to read about how Car2go is OWNED by Daimler – which also OWNS Smart.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          Honestly I wouldn’t drive a Smart car for any longer than the novelty would last, and not on the highway, but he’s pretending an average compact car is a deathtrap.

          Sure, if there’s an idiot doing 110 on the highway in a 3-ton Jeep and they hit you, you’re screwed, but that just makes the person in the Jeep a scumbag, not the compact an unsafe car.

          • 0 avatar

            “Sure, if there’s an idiot doing 110 on the highway in a 3-ton Jeep and they hit you, you’re screwed, but that just makes the person in the Jeep a scumbag, not the compact an unsafe car.”

            I can’t help but feel that was a shot at me???

            Thing is, I wouldn’t need to drive so fast if these other people would (could) drive faster.

            My frustration in traffic when we are on STRAIGHT HIGHWAYS and I have to deal with idiots hogging the left lane in a gotdamn hybrid is why I am the way I am.

            I’ve gotta deal with people backing up traffic FOR NO GOOD REASON…

            You can say whatever you want bout’ me. I’ve got to get to my office.

            Why should a productive member of society such as myself be burdened by people who don’t have enough power to merge into 65 mph traffic? Driving GOLF CARTS on the highway???

            And you wanna know the real kicker???

            I have a 10-year “Good driver’s discount” with my car insurance company.

            I couldn’t make that up.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            //

          • 0 avatar
            reclusive_in_nature

            The Jeep owner may be a scumbag, but the guy in the Smart is DEAD. Better a scumbag than dead.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Not to defend the Smart Fortwo’s many other faults, but according to the IIHS it receives Good raing in Moderate overlap front, side, and roof strength, and Acceptable for seats and restraint, and majority Good ratings for injury.

            I’m not really a fan of the smart but my reading has lead me to believe that its steel pod construction is reasonably robust. Certainly safe enough for city driving.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      They’re *supposed* to be punitive.

      If someone is too lazy to get off their dead ass and make bigtruck money so’s they can have a snortin’ V-8 too… serves ‘em right.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Wait, wait, what? The Sonata is small and unsafe? I mean, all of those are safer than my daily driver, but still.

      Also, since car-sharing’s primary customers are people who don’t usually drive, wouldn’t you rather they be in something smaller in case they screw up? Cars wearing the ZipCar/AutoShare logo seem far more likely to be driven in a manner suggesting the person behind the wheel is either confused or utterly terrified.

      • 0 avatar

        I should have mentioned that those car models I named are cars THAT I CONSIDER OK. My fault.

        And I can’t go back and edit it.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          OK, my bad. I was under the impression you were just waiting to crush all of those under the wheels of your JGCSRT8.

          Above I got defensive but will stand by that underpowered cars aren’t the problem, uncomfortable drivers are. I don’t need a Hemi to greatly exceed the speed of traffic.

          I also assume you must have a bit more bark than bite on the speeding issue if you have a clean record.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Uh-uh, not good enough.

            You guys gotta fight now. Clubs at dawn.

          • 0 avatar

            Speeding tickets don’t affect your insurance rates in some cases. Accidents do.

            I NEVER follow close and I NEVER pass close so the front ends of my cars stay spotless until some jerkoff in a Costco parking lot backs into me or hits me with a shopping cart.

            My record is clean from lack of accidents.

            I also have no points added to my license because I only speed on straightaways where I can see no state troopers or cameras.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          Fair enough – and that sounds roughly like a listing of ZipCar’s fleet (along with Minis, 320i’s, and Frontiers).

          Then again, I ride a 30-year old motorcycle as a DD when the weather allows. The Smart’s still a friggin’ tank compared to that.

    • 0 avatar
      Kaosaur

      Mazda3 is unsafe? Maybe a generation ago. The current generation Mazda3 is IIHS’s Top Safety Pick.

    • 0 avatar

      Civic, Dart, Elantra, Sonata, Mazda 3, Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Camry, Accord – those cars are a GOOD useable size and safe enough for most city driving scenarios.

      Not smart FORTWO unless you are only driving around Disneyland.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      You know, over the past year, you’ve become my poster child for that occasional, irrational wish that the government WOULD step in, crush all the big V-8′s, large pickups, and SUV’s/CUV’s; and force drivers into Fiat 500′s and smaller cars for daily commuting use.

      It’d be worth it, just to see the look on your face as they came to confiscate your cars, and issue you an electric Smart as a replacement.

      • 0 avatar
        Kaosaur

        Syke, as much as I agree with you, my friends’ speedshop is making a friggin’ mint right now building and installing supercharger kits for the JGCSRT8. Their customers mainly are flush with cash, a need to overcompensate and no interest in doing anything under the hood of the car themselves.

      • 0 avatar

        Syke

        Would I be better off in a Tesla Performance 85kWh?

        The answer is NO!

        Guns don’t kill people… They are just tools Shane.

    • 0 avatar

      @BigTruck (first post of the day)I wouldn’t, either (want a Smart)–not in the US. But this is UK, where the cities are all very densely populated, the traffic is bad, and the roads are often quite narrow. I might well want a Smart in one of those cities.

      Plus, smarts come with sticks over there.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Actually, Car2Go is the result of the fact that the SmartFor2 was a deserved sales flop. Not wanting to take the loss on the inventory and the production line set up for these cars, Daimler decided to copy the ZipCar model and dump these into a car-sharing service.

      Pretty clever, actually . . . but the cars are still ridiculous. They don’t even qualify as grocery-getters. No room for the groceries.

      • 0 avatar
        bkmurph

        Have you actually tried? I can fit at least one full paper grocery bag in the passenger’s footwell, and another 3-4+ bags in the hatch area.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        I once put a set of S2000 wheels + tires in mine, plus the spare tire for the smart, and a chassis brace for the S. Admittedly, it was pretty much filled up by that load. Also brought home a weedeater and a S2000CR tonneau cover in it (not at the same time). The smart is a good car for honing your Tetris skills.

    • 0 avatar
      Synchromesh

      “Thing is, I wouldn’t need to drive so fast if these other people would (could) drive faster.

      My frustration in traffic when we are on STRAIGHT HIGHWAYS and I have to deal with idiots hogging the left lane in a gotdamn hybrid is why I am the way I am.

      I’ve gotta deal with people backing up traffic FOR NO GOOD REASON…”

      Oh please. I used to drive a first gen Miata in the Boston area. It was just as bad as the Smart. Boston drivers are awful to begin with, add to that a bigger car and you have a problem. Tons of idiots in big pickups and soccer mom SUVs could care less about looking in the mirror before merging. Their motto was “with the weight my vehicle has – let this be your problem, not mine”. I got cut off on the highway relatively often because they forgot to look when merging. Occasionally it was by smaller cars too. I knew those guys could see me so it was a “size is everything” kind of thinking which I’m seeing here. This is the reason I strongly dislike larger vehicles and their drivers. This is also why I love SF. Waaaaay less big cars. Tons of small, compact and sports cars – the way it should be. Let the mastodons stay on the East Coast.

    • 0 avatar
      greebo

      Are you saying the smart are unsafe when the score the highest safety test in NCap Europe

  • avatar
    wmba

    London has public transport that works. As a car nut who lived in London for 5 years, I never needed one and never bothered, and it gets you off your big fat ass walking to the bus stop, tube station or commuter train station. If you really need to get somewhere fast, flag a cab and hang the expense, or call the ambulance for serious cases. You can’t even enter central London in most cars without paying the congestion fee.

    “The new scheme, the Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED), went into effect on 1 July 2013. The ULED introduced more stringent emission standards that limit the free access to the congestion charge zone to all-electric cars, some plug-in hybrids, and any car or van that emits 75g/km or less of CO 2 and meets the Euro 5 emission standards for air quality. As of July 2013 there are no internal combustion-only vehicles that meet this criteria.”

    Mercedes should have known better. “Strong culture of private car ownership”! Utter hogwash and misdirection blaming something else for the obvious.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “Strong culture of private car ownership”

      I too call foo on this. All good Americans know that since the 1920s London has been a leading center of fellow-travelers, mincing ministers and homo spies for the forces of global socialist subversion.

      That’s why I printed my own targets with a toff in a trilby, B&W except for a pink tie. Guys at the range like them almost as much as my George Clooney ones.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “You can’t even enter central London in most cars without paying the congestion fee.”

      The Car2Go cars were exempt.

      Still, you’re right about the alternatives already being good enough. Public transit works in London; using a car as an alternative would probably be more inconvenient in most cases.

  • avatar
    pragmatist

    People who use these services view cars as an appliance and have zero interest in what they are driving as long as they are comfortable.

    When they get on a train they also pay zero attention to the locomotive version pulling it, when they get on a bus they almost certainly can’t tell you what brand of coach it is.

    That’s why they rent these things.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    But, but, but, cars are evil, private ownership is dead, and no one in Europe drives anymore.

    All snark aside, as a visitor of London it is, like other great cities of the world, a place where you really don’t need a car. Between the choices of mass transit, black cabs, and very walkable streets, along with ancient roadways that criss-cross with little reason and were originally designed for a sewer trough and ox carts, driving in London (which I’ve done) is an, errrrrr, adventure.


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