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Car-sharing and car-pooling explained

The sharing economy has given Belgium a number of new mobility options.

Perhaps most visible is Cambio, which can be found in all major and minor cities throughout the country.

Cambio can be a bargain if you're not going far; in order to keep the service for city-based short hops and errands, the time is cheap and the fuel is free – but it's the kilometre count that drives up the price. A typical monthly invoice for users of Cambio can go from €23 for infrequent users to €200 for those who use it every day.

Cambio stations can be found throughout the city and they are often placed at or near public transport interchanges. The Cambio app can help you find and book your ride, and Mobib cards can double as Cambio access cards.

Zen Car also offers a fleet of rechargeable electric cars in Brussels. Compared to Cambio, there are fewer stations, the fleet is smaller, and the price is slightly higher, but it's an attractive option for those who care about the environment.

Other companies offering car-sharing include BMW Drive Now and Zipcar. These two new entrants use a system called “free floating” – meaning there are no fixed stations to pick up or drop off a car. You find your nearest car using an app and can leave it in any roadside parking place for the next user. Also keep an eye out for Scooty, an electric scooter-sharing scheme due to launch in Brussels' EU district soon.

Car-pooling

Carpool, run by Taxistop, is a nationwide database of drivers and passengers looking to share the price of a ride. Itís ideal for those who want to share their daily work-home commute.

Schoolpool is an offshoot aimed at the parents of school kids. For those who wish to go further afield, there are plenty of long distance car-pooling options, the most well-known being BlaBla car and Karzoo. VAP is an online, membership-based hitchhiking service. Totally free, the idea is to make hitchhiking safer and more transparent.

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