Starting my Trip

How do I start my trip once I have a reservation?

To begin a trip, you must:

  1. Regional Specifics This will unlock the doors and disarm the anti-theft device.
  2. You can then retrieve the car key from the key/card holder in the glove box (do not forget to put it back at the end of your trip).
  3. You are ready to go!

You can also watch our short video about How it works.

See also “How do I access vehicles located at “non-communicating” stations (usually underground)?

Can’t find your car?

You can geo-locate your vehicle in the mobile app from the start time of your reservation, unless it is a vehicle in a “non-communicating” station. The exact location of the vehicle will be displayed on the map. There is also a “Locate” button in the reservation banner you can use if necessary.

If the vehicle is not displayed on the map, that could be a sign that the previous member using the vehicle is late. Please do not hesitate to phone our customer service team if you can’t find your vehicle.

Regional Specifics

In Quebec, members frequently use their transit cards to access vehicles, instead of the mobile app, or the key fobs provided by Communauto in some (not all) branches. The OPUS card in the Quebec and Montreal regions, the STO Multi card in Gatineau, or the STS La vermeilleuse card in Sherbrooke can be linked to your account.

Only one transit card can be linked to your account. Once entered, it can be used to access vehicles in all cities in Quebec and Ontario, except Toronto. See “How do I use Communauto in other provinces and countries?”

In Paris, it is also possible to use the transit card available for the Île-de-France region to access vehicles. To link your compatible RFID transit card, you need to enter the card number in the “Personal information” section of your online account beforehand. It is not yet possible to link your transit card via the mobile app, but this option is coming soon. Stay tuned for more information.

Will my co-member be able to access my reservations as well?

Yes. Your co-member will be able to unlock your reservations with their key fob (or compatible RFID card) and vice-versa. However, note that the same key fob (or compatible RFID card) that was used to start a trip must be used to end the trip.

In Alberta and Nova Scotia, your co-member will also be able to unlock your round-trip reservations through their account on the mobile app. The same account must be used to complete the trip.

Please note for FLEX trips that only the member who blocked the car will be able to unlock it. (See “Will my co-member be able to access a FLEX vehicle blocked using my account?“).

See also

  • Authorized drivers

    If I join Communauto, can I allow someone else to drive the car?

    For trips where a second driver would be convenient (i.e. on a road trip), non-member drivers are allowed, as long as the registered member accompanies the non-member in the vehicle while they are driving. The non-member must also hold a valid licence.

    If members of your household want to use Communauto vehicles regularly, they should join as a driver on your membership, so they can book and access cars on their own.

    Other registered Communauto members may drive unaccompanied in a vehicle reserved under your name.

    Always remember, a member who allows someone else to drive a vehicle reserved in their name remains fully responsible to Communauto for the vehicle.

    Can I lend a vehicle to someone else during my booking?

    No, you cannot lend a vehicle to someone else, unless they are also a registered Communauto member, in good standing.

    Always remember, a member who allows someone else to drive a vehicle reserved in their name remains fully responsible to Communauto for the vehicle.

  • How do I access vehicles located at “non-communicating” stations (usually underground)?

    A number of vehicles are located in parking spots where there is a lack of cellular communication, and are therefore “non-communicating”. These are generally stations located in underground parking lots.

    These stations are identifiable:

    • In Canada: by adding “(NoCom)” at the end of the station name
    • In Paris: by adding the words “(S-Sol carte Communauto oblig.)” at the end of the station name. The mention of “carte Communauto obligatoire” means that only key cards or key fobs provided by Communauto will allow access to these vehicles.

    The way to access these vehicles depends on whether or not the vehicle key is stored in the vehicle, and whether or not you use a key card or key fob provided by Communauto.

    Given that there is no cellular communication at these parking spots, please remember that it is not possible to use the mobile app to access these vehicles. (Bluetooth functionality for vehicle access is currently under development to overcome this drawback. Stay tuned for more information.)

    Key not stored in the vehicle

    If the car key is not stored in the vehicle, a message will be displayed in the mobile app, along with a triangle with a key inside next to the vehicle number. If this is the case, before going to the vehicle, you must collect the car key from the lock box located outside the vehicle. See “Are there stations where it is necessary to collect a key or access card before you can access the vehicle?”

    Type of key card or key fob used

    If you have a key card or key fob provided by Communauto, you can use it to unlock the vehicle doors by holding it to the card reader as you normally do.

    If you normally use a compatible RFID card not supplied by Communauto, such as a card from a public transit agency (see Regional Specifics in “How do I start my trip once I have a reservation?“, you cannot use it to unlock the vehicle doors. To do this, you will need to use the vehicle key that you retrieved from the lock box, but you will still need to hold your compatible RFID card to the reader to disarm the vehicle’s engine immobilizer.

    Important: In a “non-communicating” station, if the vehicle key is stored inside the car, it will be impossible to access the vehicle you have reserved, if you do not have a key card or key fob provided by Communauto.

    Requirement to disarm the engine immobilizer after each stop

    Beyond any vehicle access considerations, the biggest difference in using the vehicles located at “non-communicating” stations is that, contrary to what is usually the case, you will have to hold your key card or key fob to the card reader again after each stop you make. This will disarm the engine immobilizer so you can turn the car on again. You will not be able to restart the car without this step.

    There’s nothing complicated here, but you have to remember these steps if you’re not used to using “non-communicating” stations.

  • How do push-button start vehicles work?

    More and more vehicles come with push-button start ignitions. For example, the Toyota Prius V, the Yaris hybrid (in Paris), newer Toyota Corollas, most Kia Rios, the Chevrolet Volt, and Nissan LEAF all have push-button start ignitions.

    To turn on these vehicles, hold down the brake pedal, then press the start button, if not you will remain in Neutral and won’t be able to move. Remember to release the parking brake if it is engaged (always check).

    Even though there isn’t an ignition key, there is still a car key in the glove box, and you should still take this out and keep it with you on your stopovers to lock and unlock the vehicle. Don’t forget to put the car key back in its holder in the glove compartment at the end of your trip.

Updated on March 17, 2022

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