I have always loved driving.
Ever since I received my P plates in Year 11, I have enjoyed the feeling of getting behind the wheel of my little Toyota Corolla and zipping around the city.
My first car was a cute blue Toyota Yaris, which I loved dearly. This car was definitely the go-to car throughout school with myself and my friends whenever we needed to make a quick stop at Macca’s at lunchtime..
Now, I drive a black Toyota Corolla (let’s not discuss what happened to the Yaris…), and it really is the perfect car for me to zip around Canberra in. It has also taken myself and Sam on a few trips up to Byron Bay in New South Wales and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, and is always a great car to use for weekend trips up to Sydney and surrounds.
Considering I do enjoy driving so much, when newly launched car sharing service Popcar contacted me to see if I would be interested in trialing their service, I jumped at the opportunity!
For those unfamiliar, Popcar is a car sharing service that provides Canberrans with access to small fleets available to book at any time, with customers paying a fee that is determined by how far they drive and how long they drive the car for.
Popcar members are able to use a variety of Popcar cars that are located in car sharing spots around the city and can make quick and easy bookings via their mobile app. You can simply book for a few hours that you need, or for the entire day, as it is completely up to you.
Popcar is perfect for those who don’t own a vehicle, but need to use one depending on the circumstance, and it’s great for those who are wanting to reduce their carbon footprint and drive only when required.
The Popcar fleet also includes hybrid vehicles, which ultimately creates a healthier environment.
On a relatively warm winter afternoon, my boyfriend Sam and I found ourselves at the London Cct Corner of Constitution Avenue car park armed with our Popcar access passes, ready to drive one of the Popcar sports cars – the Toyota 86.
After signing up online to Popcar earlier in the week and making a booking via their online portal, I received the Popcar access cards in the mail less than 24 hours later. These cards are used to get in and out of the vehicle, and also record your trip.
After making the booking and receiving the access cards, all you need to do is show up at your vehicle at the allocated start time and swipe one of your access cards on the little blue square that’s on the windscreen. Bingo! The car then unlocks and you’re granted access.
The Toyota 86 was in perfect condition upon entry, and looked and smelled amazing!
We were very much in awe at the “sportiness” of the vehicle, as well as the wiz bang technology that is used to access the car. What we later realised was that all Popcar cars are less than 3 years old, which means you are driving a car that is one of the most fuel efficient models, with few kilometers.
Before the car will start, you need to answer 2 questions on the computer that is located above the rear view mirror. These questions confirm that the car is clean and not damaged. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can start the car with the key that is provided. This same device above the rear view mirror also keeps track of your journey, and if need be, can be used to adjust the length of your booking time.
We decided to take the car on a lovely journey up to Mount Stromlo Observatory, where we were able to really test out the sports car features. It was faaaaaaantastic!
The car really was incredible on the road, and provided us with a fantastic journey around one of Canberra’s great locations.
The Toyota 86 takes an ultra low centre of gravity, and combines it with an exhilarating power to weight ratio through its horizontally-opposed boxer engine to make it one of the most enjoyable driving cars available.
Once we completed our drive, we filled up the tank using the credit card which is stashed in the car and allocated for petrol costs, meaning that members only have to pay the joining fee and for kilometer’s driven.
Once you return the car to it’s allocated parking spot, simply lock the vehicle with your membership card and walk away – it’s as easy as that!
For those of you who don’t own a car, or just need to use one occasionally, Popcar is a great option.
Also, for each car sharing vehicle, at least 12 privately owned vehicles are removed from our roads!
Popcar has four stations in Canberra – London Cct Corner Constitution Ave, London Cct car park entry near Marcus Clark Street, Newlands Street car park (near Questacon, and Challis Street car park in Dickson.
We were guests of Popcar.