Autolib: Paris’ Electric Carsharing Guide & Review
Autolib is an electric car sharing service in Paris where members can use green cars parked all around the city to drive anywhere and park anywhere an Autolib station is, which is almost every 1km.
To become a member you must find a hub station which is marked by a large car type of window booth in the middle of the sidewalk.
There you can access a machine which you can use to contact a representative and provide them with your details, such as drivers’ license, passport, and credit card.
After your details work out and you select a type of membership service then you are given an RFID badge to pass over the sensor of a car to unlock it, the keys are in the ignition or nearby and you’re ready to drive!
Cars are equipped with GPS and you can download an app to find and reserve cars and parking spaces ahead of time. There are even bigger Utilib* cars designed for workers and artists who prefer a bigger trunk instead of backseats.
There are currently two types of memberships:
- AUTOLIB’ 1 AN
- Autolib’ Premium is the best plan available. For €10/month, you get access to a car 24/7, with unlimited reservations (both car and parking spot) and the best price per half-hour.
- COST: 10€/month + €4,66 for 20 minutes then €0,23 per minute
- This is the membership I have, best for locals and frequent drivers.
- PRÊT À ROULER
- Prêt à Rouler is a servicing plan: With no subscription cost, it lets you rent a Bluecar all year round for €9,50 per half-hour. Reserving the Bluecar costs €1 per reservation.
- COST: 0€/month + €6,33 for 20 minutes then €0,32 per minute
- This is best for visitors or those that will be using it sporadically.
I’m a firm believer in green comfort and coming from America, the land of automobiles, I’m not used to walking for hours or taking a metro everywhere I go. I have a Vespa I love to use when it’s warm out but when I’m going out at night, doing a photo shoot, or staying somewhere I prefer to use an Autolib.
Even though I still use the metro during high traffic times since it is faster most of the day, I prefer to enjoy the city from the outside, even if I am stuck behind a bus at Place de la Concorde who’s not letting me pass. It’s such a thrill, almost hitting that motorcycle at the Star or Circle of Death (i.e. Place de l’Etoile) keeps me on my toes!
So much more fun than the metro!
I honestly never thought about owning a car in Paris, unless I ever decided to move to the outside of Paris. I started dating my boyfrench two years ago who lives on the outside of Paris, where there is no metro, just a tram, and bus to get you into the city, but since he has a car and came into the city to visit me I had no problem with that.
He quickly grew tired of all the driving in so offered to get me a car so I researched what those Autolibs where that I saw all over town. And that is how this all got started.
I must say that is not a paid advert or sponsorship of any kind, I just truly love Autolib because of their innovation and concept.
Although, the cars could use an update, both on the screen and the physique, as the computers sometimes freeze and sometimes don’t even turn on all together, which could is terrible for someone who doesn’t have a data plan on their phone and is relying on the car’s GPS navigations to get somewhere.
The cars themselves are a little on the ugly side, but I think that is also to deter away criminal eye, yet there must be a better system in place to clean them more often as they are most of than not dirty.
In conclusion, I think if you want the convenience and comfort of a 4-wheel automobile without the hassles of thinking of parking, insurance and gas then this is for you!
On the other hand, if you want a car you can enjoy and appreciate its beauty, cleanliness, speed, and horsepower, this isn’t it.
OVERALL SCORE: 7/10
|Park spaces every ~700m
Convenient app & reservation system
No gas or extra charges
No maintenance worries
Two models (Utilib for workers uses the backseat as a hard trunk)
|Unclean, unsightly cars
Unreliable GPS screen