The idea behind ZipCar is a good one. Instead of having to pay for a taxi to drive you around your city or get on a bus where you might be concerned for your safety, you can do a micro-rental of a car that you simply take from Point A to Point B or beyond if needed. When Avis bought ZipCar, however, it caused a few people to seek out alternatives to ZipCar. Some communities don’t even have ZipCar!
There are a few good alternatives to ZipCar out there right now that can help you obtain a good micro-rental. Let’s take a look at them right now.
1. GetAround – https://www.getaround.com/
Instead of investing in a fleet of cars that you can micro-rent for when customers need to go somewhere, GetAround offers peer-to-peer car rentals that eliminate the agency altogether. You can choose which vehicle to rent on their website and vehicle owners can charge whatever prices they want for you to rent their car. For a share of the rental proceeds, GetAround will even provide additional insurance coverage in case something unforeseen happens with a vehicle.
2. Uber – https://www.uber.com/
Uber eliminates the rental car altogether because it is a taxi-based service. Instead of having to stick your hand out to hail a cab or chase one down, however, the Uber app lets you see what taxis are available near you, lets you hail a specific driver if you want, and will even estimate what your cab fare is expected to be. It works through satellite imaging and for extra security, you’ll even get a picture of the driver of the taxi you select.
3. FlightCar – https://flightcar.com/
If you travel a lot on business, especially through airports, then you know how expensive long-term parking fees can be. Rather than paying these fees, FlightCar allows vehicle owners to rent their vehicle to the organization, who will then turn a profit by renting the vehicle to a vacationer incoming to your home airport. You get a small profit instead of paying sometimes hundreds of dollars to park your vehicle and a vacationer gets a better price for a micro-rental, meaning everybody wins in this scenario. A free shuttle to the airport is also included!
4. RelayRides – https://relayrides.com/
RelayRides is based on the same concepts as GetAround. It is a peer-to-peer car renting service that provides insurance coverage on a vehicle in exchange for a take on the profits of a rental agreement. Because they have offerings in cities where GetAround does not, you may wish to check both agencies for an affordable rental in your area. On the downside, this agency recently had to suspend their operations in the state of New York because it was determined that the insurance they provided wasn’t comprehensive enough.
5. Traditional Rental Car Agencies – http://www.enterprise.com/car_rental/
Believe it or not, the traditional rental car is still a competitive deal to a micro-rental, especially when considering a long-term trip. ZipCar and others like them often offer rentals by the hour instead of by the day, which means you could end up paying twice as much for the same car if you need something overnight. Car sharing also involves some risks, like the renter before you not leaving you any gas, whereas the traditional agency has a check-out process that guarantees results.