April 13, 2011

There’s a car rental company called Zipcar that lets you rent cars by the hour or by the day. The hourly rates start at $7.50 and the daily rates start at $56 and they are located in most major cities throughout the United States. The price will depend on the type of car you rent and where you live. There’s an application fee of $25 for signing up and a $60 annual fee.

The thing I like about this program is that gas and insurance is included in the price, and we know gas isn’t cheap these days. However, you are limited to driving 180 miles in a 24 hour time span. You can rent compact cars such as the Toyota Prius and Mini Cooper to high performance cars such as the BMW 3-Series. You can also rent pickup trucks for all of your hauling needs.

Who is this program for? People who live in big cities like New York can definitely benefit from this program where the cost of parking is at a premium. Even though I don’t live in a major city like New York, I would be tempted to rent a car once in a while to get away from my old daily driver. The hourly rate for a 3-Series BMW in my neighborhood runs at $15 an hour. I’ve never driven the new 3-Series before so this would be a perfect opportunity to drive one for a couple of hours with no strings attached.

People who are looking to buy a new or used car can use this program to test drive vehicles for a day. You can drive the car on the highway and test how comfortable the ride is. Gas is included in the price so you don’t have to worry about a costly fill-up after a long cruise. You can take it on back roads and see how the car performs on tight turns.

The company was founded in 2000 and has yet to turn a profit. Maybe it’s because of the free gas they’re giving away. I better hurry and rent one before they change their policy.

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