7

I am a big fan of cycle sharing plan velib in Paris. However, on our next trip to Paris I will be traveling with company, where cycling is not an option. I just learned of the existence of auto lib', which is quite similar to velib, but with electric cars. Their plans seems reasonable.

However, one of the disadvantages of velib is that at times finding a drop off point with available slots, can be a challenge. I wonder how this is with auto lib'. At the velib' stands there are maps showing nearby drop off points.

I wonder how this works with auto lib'. I guess getting out of your car to read a panel, while you block the street because of the lack of parking space is not really advisable.

More general, does autolib' cater tourists, or is it more for the "riverains"?

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With a bunch of rates and subscription plans available, Autolib does indeed cater for both locals as well as tourists.

Finding a spot to park can sometimes be challenging. Fear not, there's an extremely useful app which shows you available cars as well as vacant/occupied spots on a map. Using the app will of course require a data connection in your phone. Moreover, upon booking you can reserve your return parking spot in advance, for free, for a time frame of 90 minutes from booking time. This should get rid of the inconvenience of having to look for a free spot when returning the vehicle. Quoting from the Autolib terms and conditions:

S'il le souhaite, l'Abonné/l'Utilisateur pourra réserver une place de stationnement à l'arrivée sur une Station pendant une période limitée à quatre-vingt-dix minutes à compter de sa réservation.

Personally I have used the service a couple times when public transport was not an option (nighttime, distance, etc) and everything went smoothly. Other reviews on the web will tell you a different story. It will be up to you to faire la part des choses.

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