Carsharing as a foreigner in Czechia just got a little easier

The Czech Republic’s largest car-sharing platform, CAR4WAY has announced that it is waiving its deposit fee for foreigners with bank ID. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 12.04.2023 17:00:00 (updated on 20.04.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Prague’s hyper-efficient public transport service diminishes the need for car ownership in a city with notoriously bad traffic. But the pandemic years saw a surge in carsharing which continues to attract devotees due to its cost-effectiveness, convenience, and low environmental impact.

“Based on the rising prices of new and used cars, related services (insurance, maintenance, parking), car sharing will be a big part of the future of the car industry,” said Josef Ciglanský, Marketing Manager at CAR4WAY, Prague’s biggest car-sharing platform.

Ciglanský said that over the past two years, the platform has seen a 200 percent increase in users. He attributes the spike in popularity not only due to the factors mentioned above but in part thanks to city leadership in Prague and Brno municipalities, both of which he said see carsharing as “a great solution for individual public transport inside and between cities.”

With a fleet of 1,400 cars in Prague and Brno, CAR4WAY continues to make inroads in its industry. And now the company has announced it will make it even easier for foreigners to use their service.

Good news for foreigners in Czechia: No more huge deposits

From March 2023, CAR4WAY no longer requires foreigners from a third country to put up to a CZK 10,000 deposit before getting behind the wheel. You simply need to register with your banking ID.

“Most expats living here have a Czech bank. So this is going to open the service to most of them,” said Ciglanský. If you have a banking app you should have a bank ID – you can check the English-friendly to see which banks support it.

The most significant requirement, of course, is having a valid driving license. EU citizens can use their license to use car sharing platforms, but third-country nationals with a license from outside the EU must have a Czech or international driving license. (For those from Britain with questions about a driving license after Brexit, see details on UK driving licence exchange).

Car sharing vs. renting: What’s the difference?

CAR4WAY allows users to drive their cars all around Czechia and all of the EU states. Cars can be driven and returned without the hassle of dealing with a middleman, like a car rental company. It’s a great option for those who want to use a car, but don’t want to own one. You get to choose the vehicle that suits your needs from among the 1,300 cars in the city and for how long you want to use it, whether it’s for five minutes or, in the case of CAR4WAY, up to seven days. The majority of its users spend 25 minutes in the car to get around the city.

Car rental companies usually rent cars for more than 24 hours. While CAR4WAY also offers a car rental service, the average time that a CAR4WAY driver uses one of their cars is 25 minutes. There is always the option of driving a shared car longer, plus you don’t have to return it to the car rental facility when you’re finished. 

A credit card is typically required when renting a car, too, which prohibits a lot of potential users. When it comes to car sharing users don’t have to reserve a car a week ahead of time either and car sharing allows you to drive anytime, you aren’t restricted by a rental agency’s opening hours.

How to get started with carsharing

Driving a CAR4WAY shared vehicle requires just four easy steps. First, register via their application or website. Next, choose a car on the map. Then reserve your car and book it in the app. The car’s location is in the details of the reservation. From there, you have 30 minutes to get to the car, so choose one that’s close to you. Open the car by pressing the “start and unlock” button on your phone. Press “start/stop” and hit the road.

In 2022, CAR4WAY increased usage of its service by 54 percent and an increase of 35 percent in vehicles driven. The most popular car was the Škoda Scala.

Each car in its fleet comes with a refueling card, so you don’t have to pay for gas. The gas card’s PIN number is included in the reservation details. If the tank is less than 25 percent full, you can't finish the reservation; those good samaritans who fill up the tank with the gas card receive 10 free minutes for their next ride.

Prices can range from CZK 6.00 to 12 per minute (VAT included), depending on the make and model of the car. The cheapest is the Škoda Fabia; pricier models include an Audi. Thirteen vehicle makes (eleven of which are automatic) are available from compact and estate to full SUVs and vans.

Added benefits: Parking and airport pick up

Parking around Prague can be difficult because each neighborhood has designated parking for its residents. But when you drive a CAR4WAY vehicle, you can park in any of the blue zones throughout the city without incurring a parking fine. You can even park and pick up cars at the Prague Airport – the company is the only car sharing service at the airport.

Tried and tested: Car4way

  • In the app, the map of the capital is dotted with pins that represent free cars. We were able to easily find a car at Karlínské Náměstí near our office building.
  • We chose a Škoda Karoq. The tank was at 41 percent, which was plenty for the trip.
  • After our relatively short trip, we headed to Radlická and back to Karlín, we were able to return the car to the same area (a great advantage of Car4Way is that you can leave it practically anywhere in Prague).
  • Navigation to the destination was easy as you can connect it to your phone via cable or Bluetooth.
  • It was raining heavily and the rain shields worked great.
  • In the end, we left behind a bag in the car and, while we weren't able to get back to the car to retrieve it, the customer service department responded immediately and created a new loan for us to pick up our forgotten item.

These individual benefits for the driver are nice, but car sharing also greatly benefits other people, too. “A privately owned car 90 percent of the time sits in the parking lot,” said Ciglanský. “On the other hand, CAR4WAY vehicles can replace five privately-owned cars and are in almost all the time in use.”

Car sharing helps the environment, too, by reducing greenhouse gasses and traffic. But overall it’s a convenient solution for those who don’t want the hassle of car ownership. 

“Carsharing is most popular for people aged 25 to 45. And the 18 to 24 segment go for it even more because they don't want to own cars and they are used to renting things like bikes or cars via mobile app. 

If you’re interested in car sharing or just want to learn more, check out CAR4WAY’s website or download their app and try it today. Use the special code BANKID which will give you 30 free minutes with first registration.

This article was written in cooperation with the CAR4WAY a.s.. Read more about our partner content policies here.

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