What is Zipcar and How Is It Affecting the Rental Car Industry?

by Zachary

Zipcar is an innovative alternative to buying or renting a vehicle. Cars are expensive to own. The monthly payments, maintenance, gas, insurance, etc. are some of the greatest monthly expenses in most households. Renting a car can also be costly for people who only need to use a car for a few hours, and for such reasons, Zipcar is revolutionizing the car rental industry.

Traditional Rental Car Companies

Rental car companies provide tremendous value and service to a number of people the world over. In fact, more people are choosing to rent a car over owning car in areas where it is unnecessary to have a car every day. People realize that owning a car simply to use to travel long distances is no longer necessary or viable given the costs involved and the affordability of renting a vehicle. People actually save money by renting a car only when they truly need one rather than to pay for the astronomical daily and monthly expenses related to owning a vehicle. Individuals who live in smaller towns may still benefit from owning a vehicle; however, this traditional path is even changing in smaller markets as renting a car becomes more affordable and accessible.


Zipcar is changing the way people view owning a vehicle and renting a car. Zipcar is a car-sharing company dedicated to reducing the number of vehicles on the roads while making the lives of anyone who chooses to be car-free more convenient and affordable. Zipcar is available in most metropolitan cities in the US and even in a few other countries. Members pay a low yearly membership fee in addition to an hourly rate. Gas, insurance and other amenities are covered by your membership fee.

Advantages of Zipcar Members

The advantages of Zipcar are many. Nearly everything can be done via your mobile or the electronic membership card secure with an RFID chip. You even unlock the vehicle with your membership card so you never have to worry about waiting for keys from the previous drivers. You will also be eligible to use any Zipcar the world over. Unlike most car rental companies, you can simply reserve the vehicle for an hour or two rather than an entire day. They have plans for business and student needs in additional to your personal needs. People use the service to move, visit large retail stores in the suburbs, impress clients or dates and much more.

Affects to the Rental Car Industry

The rental car industry will maintain their leadership, for the time being, as intercity, interstate and cross-country car rental companies; however, they are adapting their traditional business models to secure a portion of the growing market catering to people who wish to be car-free. More and more households are adjusting their attitudes and dependencies on cars. Zipcar has taken notice and provides a solid business model with incredible convenience for members worldwide.

The rental car companies are monitoring these are all insights and lessons closely. Over the past several years, rental car companies started greatly diversifying into leasing and the offering of a number of more convenient services. Those companies that have not yet adapted will most certainly take note of the rising competition and address such changes to secure their industry positions.

Whether you are renting a car, a member of Zipcar or using both, you are contributing significantly to reducing dangerous pollution levels. You are also reducing the dependency of oil throughout the world, saving a significant amount of money and driving fewer miles in general. Those of you who choose to rent and to use car sharing are truly making a difference in the world.

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