Get In and Go With Gig Car Share

It's easy to get around the Bay Area thanks to Gig, the car-sharing service from AAA.

A driver walks to a GIG car on a quiet street in the San Francisco Bay Area
More than 500 Gig vehicles are available to Bay Area residents.
Courtesy Gig Car Share

Since it launched in 2017, Gig—an acronym for "get in and go"—has allowed users to pick up a car in one location and drop it off in another within the HomeZone, which includes multiple California cities (San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Emeryville, Albany, and El Cerrito), and Seattle.

“GIG Car Share gives Members the freedom to drive when and where they want, but without the cost and responsibility of car ownership,” says Portia Meneau, vice president of Smart Mobility. GIG is a key component of AAA's Smart Mobility initiative, which helps Members bring new transportation technologies into their everyday lives.

How It Works

You don't have to be a AAA Member to join (although Members do get the added benefit of a 10 percent discount). Just download the Gig app onto your phone, scan an image of both your driver's license and yourself, and provide your credit card details. Once approved (which can take as little as five minutes or up to 7 days), you're ready to access one of the available hybrid Gigs, which each seat up to five and come equipped with a roof-mounted bicycle rack. Costs are charged directly to your card and include liability insurance and up to 100 miles per trip, at either per minute, per hour, 8-hour bundle, or day rate—whichever is cheapest. (Trips over 100 miles include a $0.50 per mile surcharge on top of the daily rate.) Gas, AAA roadside assistance, and parking in the HomeZone are all included.

There are more than 350 Gig vehicles parked in the HomeZone throughout the Bay Area—the boundaries of which are displayed on the app. In the Seattle HomeZone, there are also more than 350 Gig vehicles. The app displays what cars are available, so once you've located one near you, you can unlock it with the app and push a button on the car's dashboard to start driving. Gig covers the cost of fuel for Members. To make refueling as quick as possible, Members can pay out of pocket and get reimbursed. They can also use a fuel card located inside the driver-side visor.

You can also request a Gig Card, which uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) to lock and unlock the vehicle without the app, which comes in handy when cell phone coverage is spotty.


At Your Service

By its nature, Gig is intended to be on demand. According to Meneau, it’s all about freedom and convenience: Locate the nearest available car on the app, jump in, and drive off. No reservations or planning needed. Thus, cars can only be reserved up to a half-hour ahead of time—assuring that one is available for you when you need it. The app's "park and come back" option means you can drive your Gig car to the grocery store and know that it will be there when you finish shopping.

You can also go anywhere within the contiguous United States (excluding Illinois and Texas) for as short or long as you want, so long as you end your trip in the original HomeZone. Gig vehicles are not allowed to leave the country at any point.

This article was first published in June 2017 and last updated in May 2023.