Friday, August 28, 2009

Markets In Everything: Hourly Car Rental Takes Off

FORTUNE -- For drivers who already share movies via Netflix and stream music rather than buying CDs, the idea of sharing a car is the natural extension of a hip, financially smart, and environmentally conscious urban lifestyle.

After all, drivers who give up their cars and switch to Zipcar say they save an average of $600 per month. Car sharers report reducing their vehicle miles traveled by 44%, according to Susan Shaheen of the University of California at Berkeley, and surveys in Europe show CO2 emissions are being cut by up to 50% per user.

You can now find Zipcars in most major U.S. cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, and New York, and in college towns like Ann Arbor and Chapel Hill, as well as in Britain.

Perhaps the clearest indication of how big the car-sharing market could become is the entrance of rental giants such as Hertz (HTZ, Fortune 500), Enterprise, and U-Haul. Hertz launched a service in December in New York, London, and Paris that freely copies Zipcar, right down to the forest-green tones of its website and emphasis on a caring "community" of users.

Originally posted at Carpe Diem.


At 8/28/2009 11:39 AM, Blogger Cabodog said...

We'd love to be able to "rent a behemoth." Rather than be stuck driving our big SUV full time, we'd rather drive a small car around town and have easy access to a rental/shared SUV for the times we need it for towing and big trips.

Enterprise will likely fill that role at some point, making rentals as easy as renting a DVD from Blockbuster or RedBox.

At 8/28/2009 12:01 PM, Blogger Marco P. said...

Here in Amsterdam as well:

At 8/28/2009 1:38 PM, Blogger KauaiMark said...

Saw them in Boston earlier this year. Neat idea in parking deficient cities.

At 8/28/2009 3:39 PM, Blogger OA said...

Their daily rates seem comparable to regular rental cars. It's their hourly rates that are very intriguing.

At 8/28/2009 3:48 PM, Blogger 1 said...

Who cleans out the ashtrays?

At 8/28/2009 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Who cleans out the ashtrays?"

The same person who changes the sheets at the one-hour motels.

At 8/29/2009 3:40 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"The same person who changes the sheets at the one-hour motels"...


Very good Walt G...


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