Most people don't really think about car rental until they go away on holiday, but if car-sharing service car2go takes off in the UK like it has in Europe, it might become a preferable option for some city-based drivers.
First launched in the UK in London last year, the Daimler and Europcar-run service is now expanding to the UK's second-largest city, Birmingham.
If you haven't heard about car2go before, or the concept of a car-sharing service, here's how it works.
Car-sharing companies provide a fleet of vehicles that can be used for more or less any short-term period, with a nominal fee charged according to that period.
Rather than hiring a car for a day when it might only be required for a few hours, car-sharing lets you use it for those few hours. Even minutes, if that's what you require - most charge a small, per-minute fee, so picking up a car simply to drive ten minutes across town will only set you back a few quid.
In car2go's case the car you'll be driving is a Smart Fortwo mhd, and the per-minute fee is 35p. The former means you get an easy-to-park, fuel-efficient, automatic, satnav-equipped and air-conditioned car whenever you need it; the latter is an all-inclusive cost with parking, fuel, maintenance and insurance all thrown in to your 35p per minute.
car2go's Birmingham fleet comprises 250 Fortwos all parked within a 21 square-mile area of the city - specifically, the area between Oxhill Rd, Pershore Rd, Vicarage Rd, Highfield Rd, City Rd, Grove Park, Stratford Rd, and Aston Park.
Users of the service can park in any Pay & Display bay or other suitable parking area within that area absolutely free.
The service itself is easy to use, too. After paying a one-time fee of 29.90 - the cost of an average one-day rental with most companies - drivers can either search for a car via website or the car2go app, or find one parked on the street.
Swipe your car2go membership card on a scanner mounted on the windscreen and away you go. The 35p/minute rate is charged to your account, but the first 30 minutes is free for every user.
Some industry analysts will tell you that car-sharing is the future of urban transportation. Owning a car in the city is certainly a pain these days, with parking charges, fuel, worries about damage and leaving your car on the street more trouble than it's worth for some.
The service also prevents your car from simply sitting idle on the days you aren't using it - many city residents will find it more cost-effective to pay for the few minutes they do drive, rather than the dozens of hours they don't.