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Zipcar: A New Way to Rent a Car

Gary North
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Aug. 15, 2009

So, you want to rent a car for three hours. You want to pay only for three hours. No problem.

You want it in (say) 30 minutes. No problem. Maybe.

You don't want to drive to the airport to rent it. You want it closer.

No problem if you're in a major city. Reserve it -- this may take 15 minutes. It may take more, depending on where the car is and where you are.

A friend of mine has a penthouse in London. There are two available cars parked 200 yards from his residence. He can rent one for $49/day. Or $15 an hour. He parks it right where he picked it up.

Incredible? Yes. But it's real. It's Zipcar.


The company is adding cars all over the country. Also outside the country.

If you plan to vacation where you won't be using a rental car except occasionally inside the city, this may be your best solution.

If you don't like standing in line at airports, this is a solution.

If you don't want a 21-year-old "account executive" to call you by your first name, shake hands as if you two were on equal terms in a business deal, and then try to upsell you to a car costing twice as much, this is a solution.

[This Fortune article appeared two weeks later.]

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