New program offers adults (ages 18 and older) with a valid credit card and driver's license the ability to use Smart for Two cars. (Drivers must not have too many infractions on their driving record to qualify.)


I've been looking for one, but hadn't seen the blue and white Smart Fortwo cars with the Car2Go logo around the OSU campus area during a couple of recent visits. I got to see one today and got an up-close-and-personal look at it during a video shoot with Location Manager Nicholas Hill. The cars are cute, even if they are small. Hill says they're also pretty safe and have a heavy steel piece around the outside called a "premium safety cell." (It's the blue area around the car doors.) So far, the Columbus fleet is at 79 vehicles, but should be up to 250 by the end of the year, according to Hill. The company is considering branching out to some suburbs with interest, but is only currently available in Columbus proper. The cars get roughly 34 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway. Say you are running low on gas-no fear-there's a gas card to fill up the tank in the car. Fill it when it's at 25% or less and get a 20 minute credit on your account. The cars can be checked out and returned within a 30 mile area roughly bordering Clintonville, Merion Village, Franklintown and Olde Town East. You can use the Car2Go app to find cars that are available or to make a reservation. If you need to make a "stopover" and run to get some groceries or pick up a pastry and coffee, all you do is take the keys with you and lock the car like you would your own vehicle. Be sure to read about the parking rules. You cannot park in a permit zone and in certain streets designated as "high traffic" areas. Cost for use includes fuel and insurance.

Day trips

Want to venture to Cleveland for the day? Not a problem, but keep in mind that they allow only 250 miles per day with an extra per mile surcharge after the first 150 miles (45 cents plus tax per mile). There's also a maximum amount you can be charged per day, which is $72.99 plus tax.

Reciprocal use program

Traveling to another city that offers Car2Go? If you're a member, all you have to do is swipe your card and check it out like you do in Columbus. Of course, a few of the rules such as parking may be a little different so check out the details before using one. Currently, the program is available in Austin, San Diego, Washington, D.C., Portland, Miami, Seattle, Denver and Minneapolis.

The program is offering free membership sign-up and a free 30 minute use session for a limited time. (Tentatively, the special is offered through Dec. 15. Promo code is CBUS) For more information about the program, watch our video at or visit the website at