“Have you heard about Car2go nailing customers for DC parking violations?”


“Dear PoPville,

Have you heard about Car2go nailing customers for DC parking violations? I have received two, one from January and one from March, and Car2go is charging me for them; my wife just got one from last month. This is ridiculous. I check out of the Car2go, it locks, I walk away and never have a chance to see the ticket. If I park in a prohibitive spot, so be it, but DC parking is quite inaccurate with the tickets. Of all the tickets I received on my personal vehicle, I have been in the right all but once–that’s because I can take photos of my permit/sign/ticket/etc for evidence. I can’t with a Car2go. Moreover, I’m no lawyer but doesn’t Car2go just waiting and charging customers violate their due process to appeal the ticket?”

72 Comment

  • I’m not a lawyer, but check the terms and conditions you agreed to when you signed up to their service. How tickets are handled is most likely addressed. I imagine if a car receives a ticket and you’re the last person to use the vehicle, they you agreed to pay the ticket without contest.

    • +1

      The best line is “If I park in a prohibitive spot, so be it…” Like that absolves the OP of responsibility. A helpful hint, don’t park in a space that may become a prohibitive space (rushhour, street cleaning, etc.) and there won’t be a problem.

      • Actually, I do not think that is how car2go works. I think if you park in the spot when it is legal, if that spot becomes illegal at some point, then it is not your responsibility. Perhaps rush hour is the exception to that, but I know that is not true for street cleaning.

        I also think car2go system prevents you from ending a transaction if you are parked illegally or on a street they do not want you parking on for those reasons.

        That said, I have had issues with the car telling me I cannot park in certain spots that are clearly legal and always legal for car2go. But then another day it will let me park there. It seems inconsistent.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          That is wrong. You cannot park somewhere that will later become “illegal,” including street cleaning (within 24 hours) (https://www.car2go.com/common/data/locations/usa/washington_dc/DC_Parking_FAQ.pdf). I feel like all this is pretty clear when you sign up. Usually, the car will not let you park in a space that will later become illegal, but it is not the be all, end all. Sometimes it does not work. I sometimes park in a place that has street cleaning within 24 hours, but I monitor the car to make sure it is moved (and if it isn’t, I would move it, but this has never happened).

        • False – you cannot park in a spot that within 24 hours will turn into a no parking/rush hour zone. Though that doesn’t stop people because most of the time the car will be taken before rush hour starts.

          • The way to solve that is to keep an eye on your car on the app and make sure it gets moved. If it doesn’t, sign back in a move it yourself.

        • On your first point, you’re not allowed to park in a spot that doesn’t allow parking at any point (even if you’re parked there when parking is allowed). It usually doesn’t let you end your trip, but it’s still on you if you get a ticket. Not sure what the rules are for parking in a spot where after the fact a temporary no parking sign goes up or something. Also, you can see where you ended your trip and if it was a legal spot, contest it with Car2Go.

          • Car2go will let you park in those places, but you are responsible as the last driver if the car gets ticketed. The easy way to solve this is to keep an eye on the car on your app and make sure someone takes it before the street goes to no parking.

          • It’s been a mixed bag in my experience. Sometimes it will let me end my trip and sometimes it won’t.

          • It won’t let you park in rush hour zones no matter what day/time it is but it will let you park on street cleaning zones at your own risk.

        • I remember signing up and this was pretty clear. You do not park in a space that becomes prohibitive. There are some areas that will allow you to park there, even though they become prohibitive. YOU are responsible for moving that car if no one else does. I remember checking on my signed out car to make sure another driver took it before the street went to rush hour traffic or whatever.

    • +1. its the same for a rental car.

    • The terms and conditions are clear when you sign up. You agree to pay all tickets and wave your right to contest any tickets.

  • I use car2go a lot. They are VERY clear that if you get a ticket, it is your responsibility. You can park in almost any legal spot other than rush hour and street cleaning spots during certain times. I don’t think there is any due process violation b/c you are under a contractual obligation to car2go to pay them for the violation under the terms of use. Car2go is the one dealing with the government.

    • +1. The risk of a ticket being wrong is on you as the customer.

      • Again, that is false. I only found this out after receiving a ticket and being told by Car2Go that I could not challenge the ticket. Typically, they will give you the citation number and reason, but you are not the owner of the vehicle and have no right to contest the ticket. Thus, if you are improperly ticketed, you are charged without and right to contest it.

        • Right. And per the Car2Go user agreement, that risk is on you.

          • Exactly, the risk is on you, the car2go user. It is a price of the convenience of using car2go – you must be extremely careful about where you park.

  • orderedchaos

    I use Car2Go often, and their terms are very clear: You cannot park the car in a location that becomes no parking *within the next 24 hours*.

    So that means you’re liable for tickets within 24 hours after your trip ends if you park in, for example, a rush-hour zone or a street-sweeping zone. You might get lucky if someone else rents the car before those restrictions kick in—but you have to own that ticket risk.

    If you receive a ticket that is time-stamped more than 24 hours after your trip ended then you should not be liable; otherwise it’s on the driver to park wisely.

    • I received a charge from Car2Go four months after cancelling my membership. They were unable to provide documentation of the infraction other than just telling me that it happened. Be very careful when dealing with them and check your credit card statements carefully, because they may not send you a notification that you received a ticket.

    • I wish more people would understand this. Every now and then on my commute to work, there’s a Car2Go vehicle parked in one of the commuter-lanes. Often right next to the “no parking 7-9:30am” sign. If I’m feeling industrious at a red light I’ll send a tweet to Car2Go asking them to move the vehicle but I’m at the point where I might just start calling 311 and reporting them.

  • How about takes snapshot of where you parked and the parking sign in conjunction.. At least you’ll know where you parked and the rules to contest if you need

    • That doesn’t work. You have no right to contest DC tickets as a Car2Go member, and Car2Go refuses to contest tickets on your behalf.

      • This is the reason I don’t use Car2Go anymore. I parked the car exactly where I found it, and got a ticket, didn’t find out until 2 months later, and wasn’t allowed to contest it in any way.

        After that happened, Car2Go started adding fees on top of the charge for the ticket itself – Car2Go’s citation surcharge or something – that doubled the charge for every ticket.

        I’ll stick with Zip Car and Enterprise car share. Car2Go’s system doesn’t work half the time anyway.

  • Hmm, perhaps the District has identified “put bogus tickets on Car2Go cars, since they definitely won’t get challenged” as a new can’t-miss revenue stream.

  • I’ve never had a problem with this (knocks on wood) but I’m very careful to not park somewhere that could get me a ticket.

    However, I could see this becoming a problem due to the habit of DC Parking Enforcement writing a lot of bogus tickets. It’s hard enough to beat a bogus ticket in your own car, but it would be impossible with a Car2Go.

    Further, what is to stop Parking Enforcement from targeting Car2Gos for bogus tickets, knowing full well that they can’t be contested?

    • The market is what will stop them. Judging from the comments on this post, an overabundance of bogus tickets on Cars2Go will lead to an increase in canceled memberships. Which will lead to the Car2Go corporation getting in DPW’s face about it.

      • I’ve gotten two tickets in the last two years with Car2Go. Both times, in hind sight, I was definitely in the wrong. I misread both signs (they were loading zones).

  • I’ve used car2go quite often for the past couple years have never received a ticket. I’m careful to only park in legal spots and never in a rush hour or street sweeping area. When picking up a car I’m frequently surprised at how often they are parked illegally.

    • I haven’t used to car2go in a while, but I used to much more often when I lived in NE. I remember picking up a car that, I kid you not, was parked and logged out in a rec center parking lot in NW. As we got into the car and drove away, I heard some people from the tennis court shout “They’re taking our car!” You want to make sure the car is still there? Don’t log out and keep paying for the service. Some Car2go people really confuse me. It’s a pretty simple system.

      • This is very interesting. I was trying to find a car once in Petworth (near a rec center) and couldn’t find it. I bet someone did the same thing.

      • I’ve seen this in grocery store parking lots too (they park as close as possible to the main road so the GPS thinks it on a public street).

        Boy, I bet they were pissed when they came out with their groceries and “their” car was gone.

  • There’s a Car2Go parked illegally (NO PARKING ANYTIME) on 9th north of V every now and again. Makes it very difficult for residents to pull out of our garage safely. If you park it there, then you’re liable for the ticket.

  • I’ve had one issue with Car2Go tickets. I had parked in (what I thought) was a legal parking space. The system was not working properly that day, so it charged me for a full day when I had only used about 10m. I then protested this to Car2Go, and they waived that fee. Four months later, I got a ticket for parking and another for towing. BUT, the tickets were from different addresses, and it was so late that I would’ve had to pay a late fee on top of the ticket. It took some serious wrangling with Car2Go management, but in the end they dropped all charges. Haven’t had that problem since.

  • I haven’t found DC to be “inaccurate” with tickets. The only parking tickets I’ve received have been 100% my fault–in one case I misread a sign and in another I overslept and failed to move my car for street cleaning. And that’s in 15 years of car ownership here. If you pay very close attention to the signs you are not going to receive a lot of tickets, inaccurate or otherwise.

    And yes, if you choose to join car2go you have to play by the rules, which include not parking in a spot that would require a move within 24 hours. Yes, that obviates a lot of downtown parking, but that’s the risk you take.

    • I received a ticket on a DC holiday, and a ticket for being parked at an expired meter when I had a handicap pass (free parking for double the time), so I can assure you they make mistakes. These things should be VERY easy to avoid. How do you miss the big red pass in the window or the fact that this day is a holiday w/o most parking restrictions? I easily beat both tickets.

    • I have personally watched them write tickets for an entire street of legally parked cars. They KNOW people don’t have the time/energy to fight the tickets, so they just write fraudulent tickets.

  • For everyone who has canceled their membership over this, I hope you’re letting the company know. DC writes a lot of bogus tickets, and will continue to do so, potentially even targeting Cars 2 Go because they’re sure to not be contested. The only thing that will make the company change its policy is if it costs them more in lost memberships than it would cost them in staff time to follow up.

  • What I think car2go needs to do, and it seems to have the ability to do it, is to program its system to understand the parking restrictions on all streets in its territory. If you try to park the car now in a spot that is not in the zone or not legal, it will usually forbid you from ending the transaction and tells you that you have to park elsewhere. Why would it be so hard to try to warn people when they park somewhere that it is rush house and they should not park there, or not to park there if street cleaning is the next morning.

    The street cleaning thing bothers me. I seriously cannot leave a car2go on a Monday night because on Tuesday at 10am it will be street cleaning? That’s absurd. Car2Go should be out moving their own vehicles at night if they want to avoid tickets. Or bargain with the city to not ticket them for a certain payment of some kind to the city.

    I have stopped using them because the system is always trying to tell me I cannot park in front of my house and there is zero reason why I should not. It is not even a zoned block and the only parking restriction on the block is for street cleaning once a week (and no, this isn’t happening within 24 hours of the street cleaning restrictions).

    • How is it absurd that you need to follow the parking restrictions that literally everyone else in the city (besides council members) follows?

    • I think what car2go needs to do, rather than not letting people end their trips in a zone that will go no parking in 20 hours, is to text customers “your car is logged out, but is still in a zone that will go to no parking in X hours. If it gets ticketed, you will be held responsible. Please move the car to avoid this.” Or perhaps, when you log out, have it say “you are parking in a zone that will go no parking in <24 hours. If this vehicle gets ticketed, you will be responsible. Do you accept?" (similar to accepting the uber surge) To not let you park at all will take away too many parking options, especially most of those cars will get moved. But, you have people accept that they will take this responsibility and you have both a record of them accepting that they parked in a limited time space and that they will pay the ticket. If I am going to a friend's house for a couple hours, and their neighborhood has street sweeping in 16 hours, but I will leave in 4, there's no reason why I shouldn't be allowed to park there. I will move it myself in 4 hours if it's still there, but I'm happy to accept responsibility for x car, on x street, if it gets a ticket for some reason.

      Now, Car2go does have satellite malfunctions and will basically block off massive areas from parking. It will, however, log your first parking attempt. If you call Car2Go and tell them this, they will recredit you the money from your first parking attempt.

    • Jesus christ, take some responsibility for yourself and stop parking illegally. It’s not hard.

    • I very much doubt their GPS is this accurate (i.e. to be able to tell legal spots from illegal spots).

  • Everywhere I go in a car in DC I feel like I am consistently dealing with Car2Go cars being parked improperly. Pretty much every Car2Go car I see parked at a meter is parked in-between meters so you can’t legally park at them. They also never seem to pay the meter, so I am not sure how that works?

    Anyway, I have no sympathy for anyone who gets a ticket using Car2Go, since my experience is that they are mostly parked improperly anyways.

    • They don’t have to pay the meter. That’s why car2go pays the city $600,000 per year for every vehicle they register in DC.

      • $600,000 per year per vehicle?? I thought last time this topic came up, it was established that the fee they were paying for their “Zone 9” permits — valid in all 8 parking zones plus at meters — was something like $2,800 or $6,000.

        • $600k sounds more like what they would pay for the whole fleet, so textdoc’s figures sound more like the per car amount.

        • Right you are: I was thinking of their entire fleet.
          “Car2Go pays the District $2,980 per year for each of its approximately 450 Smart cars, because they are all parked on public streets when not in use.”

      • If that were true then Car2Go would be losing roughly $380,000 per car per year, and that number is based on the Car2Go being rented for every minute of every day.

    • parking between meters is actually a good thing because non-car2go’s can park in front or behind the car and “share” the meter. car2go pays DDOT so members don’t have to feed meters. So instead of occupying a whole parking space, a car2go actually frees up more spaces by parking between meters.

  • HaileUnlikely

    It makes more sense if you keep straight who is a party to what. You did not get a parking ticket, as they are issued to vehicles, not to people. A vehicle got a ticket. Car2Go, as the owner of that vehicle, is responsible for paying the ticket. Car2Go thinks their vehicle got that ticket because of something that you did, thus, they are charging you a fee. You can complain about Car2Go charging you a fee if you want to, but it has nothing to do with due process.

  • None of the people who supposedly have beef with Car2Go here seem to be saying they parked legally. People (OP) included just have a problem with having gotten a ticket? Using a Car2Go does not give you the right to park anywhere. Did you park like an idiot? You deserve a ticket. We use Car2Go all the time, park it legally, and have never had a problem. I believe this is what we call a “user” problem. It similar to people who have a problem with speed and red light problem: the real reason they want to get rid of the cameras is they think they have a right to speed and run red lights.

    • Exactly. I see car2go’s parked in entrances, in front of hydrants, and other spots quite a bit. You can park in the VAST majority of curb locations throughout the city, which is an amazing perk. It doesn’t mean you can park in illegal spots, which I think some people just don’t understand.

  • One of the reasons I now use uberx – car2go parking can be difficult and if you’re driving around looking for a spot, not much cheaper.

    • Same here. Finding parking and trying to understand the parking restrictions is not fun.

    • Yeah if I’m going to neighborhood where parking will be a nightmare, there’s no reason to bother with car2go, but it’s good if you’re heading to Bloomingdale or parts of NE.

    • I actually find uberx is almost always cheaper for me. I still prefer car2go many times b/c I would rather drive myself than deal with uber.

  • Its not that car2go doesn’t let you contest tickets, its DDOT that won’t let car2go let members contest tickets. In other car2go cities, the city lets car2go transfer liability to the member so the members can contest tickets, DDOT doesn’t allow for that. car2go pays last month’s ticket in one lump sum to prevent tickets from doubling that can result in the cars getting a boot. And they don’t receive a physical copy, so they have to send a screen shot from the DDOT ticket system (and that system can be delayed which is why sometimes the ticket is more than 30 days old) . car2go obviously doesn’t want members to get citations because that cuts into their revenue stream and can result in members dropping out. Instead of bad-mouthing car2go, speak to your locally elected officials and those in charge of DDOT and ask them to advocate for transfer of liability.

    The car can’t always tell you where not to park because DDOT changes parking signage without notice to the public so at the end of the day, its your responsibility to make sure it is legal parking AT ALL TIMES. So if the parking lane later turns into a traffic lane or a loading zone or a school zone, don’t park there. This is city living people, park responsibly so that this car-sharing network can continue operating…and if you don’t know…ASK them! I’ll call ahead of time before an important appointment to ask where can I park so I don’t have to waste time and money looking for legal parking. The system will tell you if you are parking on a street that has restrictions on BOTH sides like Massachusetts Ave or “I” Street in downtown. But they can’t block out all streets where there is legal parking on one side because that would really take a lot of legal parking away from us. And the car isn’t going to tell you not to park in a handicap space or private lots like the Senate parking lot…you know you can’t park there, so don’t park there! And you can’t end your trip in federal lands like Rock Creek park, national arboretum, the mall…just like your own car, you can’t just leave them there because they will get tickets and towed.

    And you can’t expect car2go to spend all day relocating cars, they could be driving to an illegally parked car and then its reserved by another member and then it won’t be there when the staff gets there, that’s a waste of resources. And don’t we prefer that their resources are used to clean and maintenance cars? Or help a member after a car accident? Just follow the parking rules and everyone will be happy and they can continue to be successful.

    If the ticket is in error, the local office will review it and if its not legit, they will waive it. Which means car2go has to eat the ticket because DDOT won’t eat it. They will always email you in advance before billing you so you have time to review it. And you can request a payment plan too. And if its your first ticket, they might waive it as a courtesy.

    And if the ticket is obviously bogus, they won’t pass it on to the member. They keep a running list of ticketing officers that start to show a trend of writing bogus tickets and then they send it to DDOT to call that ticketing officer out.

    I used to work for them and thats why I know all this. It may have changed since I left but the DC staff all uses car2go themselves and really cares about their members. They put the parking rules in the email signatures, in the email auto response, they made custom inserts of the parking rules to distribute at events. The don’t make money from you getting a ticket, they lose money when you do. the parking rules are in every car and on their website. Again, just call the local office with parking questions and they’ll hook you up with the information that you need

  • As someone who used to use C2G all the time, I’ve found myself using them less and less because of their technology more than parking issues. I’ve never received a parking ticket from a C2G use. I don’t use them regularly anymore because around 20% of the time, the car wont connect to end the trip and tells me to move… not because I’m parked in a restricted area, but because it wont connect. This makes it impossible to count on them for transportation unless I’m willing to arrive 15-20 minutes early every time to drive around looking for another space where it will connect. Often this wont work, and I will have to call to end the trip. Even this is problematic, because they always put you on hold, and this weekend, after waiting on hold for a while, they shunted me to voicemail after which they cut me off! How are we to handle issues like this if their technology fails, and they have no one answering the phones? I once had this issue when parking near Union Station and needed to get on a train…

  • How ironic this post came up on the day I got an e-mail from Car2Go about a parking AND towing tickets (total of $200). I have parked C2G at a specific street near my work at 7am (30+ times) and always relied on someone else to take it before 4:30, when “Rush Hour” is in effect.

    So I could not help but become suspicious and wonder if people did try to take the car, but could not due to technology difficulties. After talking with Car2Go, it seems it was just bad luck that no one took the car before the parking spot became illegal. *sigh*

    I will suck it up as it is my responsibility, but I am definitely going to use this car service less and be smart about where to park it.

    • Even if there had been technical difficulties, you’d still have been out of luck (and rightly so). If you park in a spot like that, the terms of service are clear that you’re running the rick of a ticket. Not sure why this would make you “use this car service less” – they treated you right.

      • Clarification: I did not have an issue with Car2Go, aside from the initial suspicion of whether there was technical difficulties or not. It was just that I got accustomed to being able to park in that area in the morning (weekdays) for a year and half. It is not an excuse, but more of an assumption someone would take the car in the next 8 hours. Mind you, it was perfectly legal parking, not somewhere in front of a fire hydrant or corner like many commenters say.

        I will use the car less as it is impossible to find parking in that specific area that does not have rush hour limitations (I work in a business area, where practically every street is a rush hour street).

        Bottom line: Car2Go *did* treat me right. It just sucks.

    • Yea, I agree with dcd’s comment, You parked in violation of their parking rules and that resulted in the ticket and tow, you put the car at risk. and whats worse, is that if the car was towed, you probably inconvenienced the next car2go member looking for it…which has happened to me before.

  • +1 to everything people have said about the 24 hr rule, and the fact that the ticket is the problem of the person who put the car in the bad spot. However, I got a notification of a ticket from Car2Go that was clearly in error – I hadnt used the car in the time/place that it said I did – I hadnt been anywhere near the site of my supposed ticketed parking spot. So, it wasnt a question of contesting the ticket with the gov’t, but rather, contesting that I was the person who received and should pay the ticket. I raised this w Car2Go, and was able to get them to void it, but was annoyed to have to go through the hassle of proving that I hadnt been somewhere!

  • In all honesty from what i have seen many of the Car2Go patron’s just park them where ever they like, blocking driveways, fire hydrants and crosswalks.. Lets be honest if you think that Car2Go is paying for these violations that’s absurd.

  • Car2go lulled me into a false sense of security by telling me when I was trying to park unlawfully. Sometimes. Then I received a citation notice. Highlights from the notice:

    “the car2go vehicle was ticketed for pm rush hour.”
    “members should not rely on the vehicle to inform you of all restricted parking”
    “Where NOT to Park: NO RUSH HOUR ZONES (At any time including weekends and holidays)”

    Yet it let me park there.

    Fortunately, “As a courtesy to you, our member, we are waiving this citation in this instance…this is a one-time courtesy that will not be available again in the future.”

    I was grateful for the clemency but it did scare me off a bit from using the service, especially when traveling to an area with tight parking. I used to choose car2go over my own vehicle specifically because parking *seemed* more flexible, but then…

    • Yes, the car is not ALWAYS going to be able to tell you where NOT to park. We have blocked out some major arteries in DC such as Connecticut Avenue, 16th street, M street in Georgetown, etc where there are parking restrictions on BOTH sides of the street. However, there are some streets where rush hour restrictions exist on only one side. In those instances we do not block out those streets so that you may park on the NON-Restricted side.

      The car-sharing philosophy aims to reduce traffic congestion and ending your trip in a parking lane that later converts to a traffic lane undermines our mission. We want to make sure the car is LEGALLY PARKED AT ALL TIMES. That is the only way this car-sharing service can function to its full potential and have tangible impact on traffic congestion in the District.

      We have a brief Parking FAQ document that you can find on our car2go DC website http://c2g.cc/Umr8hb with helpful tips on how to end your trip in compliance with DC regulations and the terms of your membership.

      We welcome members to contact us anytime you have any questions about where or where not to park.
      tel 202-887-4999 email: [email protected] twitter @car2goDC

      • Hi Marie. Wow, I wasn’t expecting a reply from an actual car2go employee. THANKS.

        One question: does car2go have any plans to upgrade their system so that only ONE side of a street can be blocked out?

        • Hi Donald,

          Perhaps if you think car2go should have military grade GPS technology, then this can be possible. Otherwise, how are they going to distinguish between one side of the street and another?

          Yours truly,
          Not Marie or any other Car2Go employee

          • Thanks Not Marie, you are correct. Standard GPS systems have a margin of error that would make that impossible. Maybe one day….I am available over twitter if you have any questions about where to park.

            We tried to block out an area on MacArthur Blvd NW where a lot of members were ending their trips on the restricted side and incurring a lot of citations. We got so much push back from members that were upset they couldn’t end their trips on the legal side that we decided to unblock it again. We started blocking streets about 6 months after launch because of the citations our members were receiving and we did this to help members not incur citations. Additionally, we were receiving a high volume of complaints from non-members about our cars blocking traffic.

            We are very open to member feedback so please feel free to contact us with any suggestions on how we can improve the service for you. The DC office (myself included) are all members too so we always try to think about how any changes in the service may impact the member which will also impact us as well. I hope you found this information helpful.

            thanks and happy driving!

  • Hi Popville, Gabby with car2go here. We are committed to helping our members avoid incurring parking violations. To that end, we have a brief Parking FAQ document that you can find on our car2go DC website http://c2g.cc/Umr8hb with helpful tips on how to end your trip in compliance with DC regulations and the terms of your membership. As always, our members are more than welcome to visit or call our local DC office with any questions about where to park. We can be reached at 202-887-4999 M-F 10am-6pm and our office is located at 1710 Rhode Island Ave NW Ste 100

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