Shared cars in a parking area in Beijing. [Photo: Chinanews.com]
Following the rise in popularity in bike sharing, car sharing is now also gaining ground in China's big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Chengdu.
It's as simple as downloading an app and getting registered. And often a shared car can be cheaper than using a taxi.
According to China News Agency, by uploading driver's license and ID card information using the App, you can even use share cars without having to pay a deposit.
The App shows car locations and return points, and all the information on available cars, and once booked the car will be kept for five minutes, after which a billing system kicks in automatically. One company is offering cars for 1.5 yuan (0.2 US dollars) per kilometer and 0.14 yuan (0.02 dollars) per minute.
Most of the share cars are new energy vehicles, reports China News Agency.
"I feel it's convenient and inexpensive", said Ms. Zhang in Chongqing. She also added that "I used only 99 yuan to have a car-share for a whole day."
However, others say it's not always convenient, as users need to take the car and return it to a certain location.
Also, sometimes there are not enough share cars available, reports China News Agency.
"Traffic controls, restrictions of cars and other problems encourage licensed drivers to consider share cars", said Fu Cong, COO of a car-renting company in China.
The price of share cars is often cheaper than taxis, Fu added.
Many experts think that there will be a big boost in shared cars in the coming years, reports China News Agency.
"People will use them only when necessary, and at other times they will be put aside, so there won't be extra traffic pressure", say traffic experts.