90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW

What’s The Future Of Zipcar?

Avis is buying Zipcar for $491.2 million, expanding its offerings from traditional car rentals to car sharing services. Pictured here is a a Zipcar is parked at a lot in New York on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Avis is buying Zipcar for $491.2 million, expanding its offerings from traditional car rentals to car sharing services. Pictured here is a a Zipcar is parked at a lot in New York on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Zipcar was once a scrappy startup that introduced the revolutionary idea of car-sharing. Now it’s been bought by the rental car giant, Avis.

Zipcar’s original founder and the Boston Globe’s innovation economist join Radio Boston to talk about what lies ahead for the company.

Guests:

More:


Other stories from this show:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • midtempo

    Good.  Zipcar is a great idea at a bad price.  You can rent a car from Enterprise for an entire weekend, 250 miles max plus metered miles thereafter, for $38 with ALL taxes and fees.  $38 will get you 2 hours with Zipcar.  Maybe 3 if you’re lucky. Zipcar also requires an application fee and a monthly/annual membership fee. I own a car now (and still don’t use it to commute on weekdays), but before I owned, I got started renting from Enterprise on weekends. I looked into Zipcar because it seemed appropriate, but their rates are not competitive.

    • Transporationnerd

      I would love to know where you rent a decent car for $38 for the entire weekend including insurance and gas for your trip.  I have played the numbers with zipcar and renting and half the time, zipcar is cheaper, half the time the rental car is.  Numbers are numbers, and apples to apples is who I like to compare things.  Add the gasoline and insurance into your calculations and things get more accurate of the real costs.  Thanks!  I would be glad to share my own calculations I did.

  • Cusanno

    I for one, love the outside-of-the-box thinking and entrepreneurial spirit that Zipcar generated, and I am happy for the founders that they were able to sell their concept.  On a personal note, I have a daughter in college far away who is desperate to be able to have access to a car in order to get off campus for food, supplies and appointments, but she is too young to rent a car.  I’m hoping now that Zipcar is owned by a national company, perhaps they will bring the concept to her campus.  It sure would improve her mental health to have access to a car on occasion!

    • Pointpanic

      I’m tired of such misleading cliches like “entrepreneurial spirit” . I thought “public” radio was to be more focused on citizenship rather than marketing and consumption.

  • http://twitter.com/CarShareDirect CarShare Directory

    The best things about carsharing is:

    - loose your drivers license, car rental companies won’t rent to you- carsharing stores your drivers license information so you can keep on driving;

    - self serve, no need to wait in line for a potentially rude customer service rep;

    - rates are all inclusive which is easier for business persons to reconcile receipts at tax time;

    - 24/7 access, currently only airport locations offer round the clock access;

    Of course, sharing has it pitfalls with dirty cars, late renters, etc., but all in all, it is a great alternative especially for regular users.

Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

  • Listen: Weekdays, 3 p.m. on 90.9 FM
  • Live Call-In: (800) 423-TALK
  • Listener Voicemail: (617) 358-0607
Most Popular
This site is best viewed with: Firefox | Internet Explorer 9 | Chrome | Safari