Car Sharing Going Mainstream?

Avis just bought Zipcar.

If the major car rental companies feel like they need a car-sharing presence (Hertz and Enterprise already have one), does this signal a shift in how car sharing is perceived?

5 Comments

5 Responses to Car Sharing Going Mainstream?

  1. Allan
    January 2, 2013 at 11:24 am Link

    Is car-sharing just distributed car rental? The idea of storing rental cars closer to where people live is great, as is providing hourly rentals. I see this as a good thing, not terribly unexpected. We’ll see what happens next.

  2. Chris Smith
    January 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm Link

    This Planetizen commentary suggests that perhaps this is not mainstreaming, but instead that Zipcar may have just “jumped the shark”:

    http://www.planetizen.com/node/60000

  3. dwainedibbly
    January 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm Link

    Car-share succeeds partly because it is “cool” and not big business. Avis is definitely “uncool”. Expect complaints. OTOH, it does make sense if Avis can figure out a way to easily move vehicles between the 2 fleets so that each can have enough cars to meet high-demand periods. (Weekends for Zipcar, Tues-Thurs for Avis.)

  4. Dave B
    January 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm Link

    Going Mainstream? Zipcar is already about as mainstream as it can be in US cities, given how much we continue to cater to cars and car trips in the US cities. Unless you’re paying a bunch of money to rent a parking place, owning a car is still quite cheap, making it a reasonable investment for most people.

    And you have to admit 700,000 members is a pretty respectable number!

    Will Avis screw it up as the article suggests? They could but I doubt it.

  5. Dave B
    January 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm Link

    Going Mainstream? Zipcar is already about as mainstream as it can be in US cities, given how much we continue to cater to cars and car trips in the US cities. Unless you’re paying a bunch of money to rent a parking place, owning a car is still quite cheap, making it a reasonable investment for most people.

    And you have to admit 700,000 members is a pretty respectable number!

    Will Avis screw it up as the article suggests? They could but I doubt it. Here’s my take:
    http://carsharingus.blogspot.com/2013/01/some-thoughts-about-avis-zipcar-deal.html

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