Are You Worried Avis Will Change Zipcar?

The car rental giant will purchase the Cambridge-based car share company for $500 million. Are you worried Avis will change Zipcar for the worse? Or do you think the move make sense?

Car rental giant Avis will buy local car-sharing service Zipcar for $500 million. Avis and Zipcar both said the car sharing company will remain in the area (Zipcar has plans to move from Cambridge to the Boston Seaport), and that the start-up culture remains an important aspect of Zipcar.

Zipcar users are famously loyal and protective of their service, which allows users to rent cars for as little as an hour at a time. Zipcar users hold their membership card over a card reader when they pick up a car and drive off. That's a far cry from the time-consuming, paperwork-heavy method of traditional car rental services.

Are you a Zipcar user? Are you worried that Avis will ruin the service? Or do you think the marriage of car sharing and traditional car rental will give you more options? Will ownership by a stable, traditional car rental company provide Zipcar with the financial stability to grow in Boston? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Phil Lindsay January 03, 2013 at 04:20 PM
I'm sure it will change for the worse. It already had been since they went public. I recall the green VW bug days and helping to scout out locations in Dorchester. However, if they put Zipcars on Nantucket Avis will get my vote. Sort of doubt it though as the rental guys out there like their market the way it is...
Christina January 03, 2013 at 04:48 PM
the only good thing would be if Zipcar/Avis had a frequent driver point program... I use zipcars pretty much every day for work and it's kind of frustrating because so many others use rental cars and then benefit from tons of points to be used personally.
Bill Davidson January 03, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Zipcar seems to need help in two areas, fleet maintenance and customer service. Hopefully Avis can provide a positive influence.
David England January 03, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Avis should enable Zipcar to expand more rapidly, but I can't see how the Zipster culture continues, now that it's owned by a mega-corp. A lot of shareholders who bought at the IPO price and held will lose about 1/3 of their investment. That's a big hit for their loyalty to the concept.
Kathy G January 04, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Without knowing what changes Avis will make it's difficult to speculate. I agree that it would be good to have a points program. For awhile Zipcar gave points for Amtrak which was great. I too remember the VW bug days - Members knew the staff and it was small and exciting but also dirty cars and cars that needed maintenance. Things have improved since then.


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