When we moved to Finland, we decided to leave our two car, suburban lifestyle behind and live life in the center of Helsinki. We walk everywhere and take trolleys, buses, and trains when it’s too far to walk.
It’s really not a big deal. Helsinki has an excellent public transportation system and the infrastructure is set up to make it really easy to get around without a car.
There are times though, when a car is going to come in handy. Trips to Ikea, or a weekly run up to the big shopping center come to mind. It’s possible to huff it back with 30 pounds of goods in your rucksack but a car would just make it easier.
I’ve already signed up for Helsinki’s equivalent of Zip Car (City Car Club, they’ve been around longer than Zip) where you can order up a car via SMS but today our savior, Pirjo Koskivirta at Finland Relocation, sent me a pointer to o2 media, an advertising company disguised as a car rental firm.
I didn’t get it at first. They rent out these cute little Smart Cars for 5 euros/day. The deal is, you need to drive at least 30kms, otherwise they charge extra. I had this image of people driving laps around Töölönlahti just trying to turn over the odometer.
By now you figured it out right? I’m a little slow and it’s late. The value prop here is they just need people to drive around and get impressions for their advertisers on their fancy-wrapped cars. Why pay college interns to do it when they can charge people instead. It’s more environmentally friendly, the renters get a car for cheap, and the advertisers get their message taken into real world situations.