“Car-sharing is a great idea, and also works in practice,” the Stiftung Warentest report's authors said.
They gave five of the nine car-sharing programs they examined a rating of “good”, while the others ranked “satisfactory”, in a study published in the October edition of the group's magazine.
The researchers said they were impressed with the ease with which one could book a car, and by the overall condition of the shared vehicles.
People who drive fewer than 7,500 kilometres a year could save up to €1,000 euros a year by abandoning their cars and taking part in a program, according to the study.
The car-sharing companies take care of all repairs, tire changes, inspections, and insurance, and some offer a wide array of different types of vehicles the participant can use – from compact cars to vans.
There is a good availability of cars in Germany's larger cities, where not just the traditional car-sharing programs but also some of the local car dealerships offer cars for short-term use.
In May, Deutsche Bahn announced it was working on a partnership with BMW, Daimler and other companies to create a new nationwide car-sharing network.