In the framework of the European Mobility Week we tried a new way of taking you around in Brussels: DriveNow – the car sharing platform in Brussels. We believe that DriveNow contributes to a more efficient and sustainable mobility in our city. During one month, we will be testing DriveNow around our city. We will share our experience and suggestions with you. Hopefully, our experience will inspire you to think about your mobility options in Brussels.
Brussels Express team has been busy preparing new projects lately and it was one of those days when all meetings and obligations cram into one.
After an overloaded day, we still had two things to do after work – buy groceries at Chatelain market and meet for a drink with our friends in Marolles. We usually like taking a bike for running errands, but this was not an option this time since we were completely exhausted after a busy day. We didn’t feel like cycling uptown and back again. Thus, we finally decided to give DriveNow a try. We heard a lot about it and now was the perfect time to test it. We have registered online some time ago, downloaded the app, and our DriveNow card was send to us just a few days after. You can simply use the app or your customer card for unlocking the car. With a simple click on the app, we checked the location of the nearest available car – the network has 300 BMW and MINI in Brussels – and soon we were ready to rock in a super cool MINI. We hoped that we would have a chance to try a super cute BMW – the network has BMW 1 Series, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, MINI Clubman or MINI 3-door model – but this fancy MINI was also a perfect discovery.
As mentioned previously, we could open the car with the app but for this first time we used the customer card. We were excited that the process went smoothly. We were a bit puzzled with all the questions at the beginning, such as if there are any damages visible on the car, or if we wanted an additional insurance, etc. However, this only took 30 seconds and soon enough we forgot about these questions, as we loved the flexibility that DriveNow provided. We were able to hop on and hop off anywhere around the business area of Brussels, which covers 59 km2. Moreover, the parking is included in your rental fee, which means that you can park on a legal street parking almost anywhere within the business area for free. Our advice is to just pay attention to the parking signs around. Just remember that it is not allowed to leave the car in parking lots or parking zones for special use (e.g. disabled parking, taxi parking, loading zones, red and orange zones, private parking etc).
Without a hassle of finding the pay machine and paying for the parking, we were able to leave the car as soon as we found the parking spot. We were offered an option to keep the car (on park mode) or to leave it off – we decided to end the rental. After spending an hour and a half at the buzzing market and buying tons of necessary and unnecessary vegetables and fruits the time was running out. We had to drop off our groceries at home first, and then venture out to Marolles to meet our friends. The car that we previously drove was already taken, since we parked it conveniently close to the market. We went on our DriveNow app and we found another car just 6 minutes away. We had the chance to try-out another fancy model and this BMW 1 Series was great as well. GPS navigated us home where we stopped and one of us just ran up to our apartment on the fourth floor to leave all the groceries that we bought. Five minutes later, we were off to our next destination: Marolles, where we arrived with couple of minutes to spare.
Our overall experience? Pleasure and the feeling of effortless mobility and flexibility! Great choice for our lifestyles. After a nice evening in Marolles, which is one of our favourite parts of the city it was the time to go home. Since we had couple of drinks, this time around we were not able to hop into DriveNow; instead, we opted to walk home. We were happy to finally try DriveNow and we will definitely continue using it around Brussels.