By on May 5, 2014

Zipcar ONE>WAY service featuring the Honda Fit

Late last week Zipcar announced their ONE>WAY service, a point-to-point rental product and a clear challenge to Daimler’s successful Car2Go program.

As droves of pesky Millennial descend on the world’s urban centers, the market for on-demand fast access individual transport is swelling. The Avis Budget Group seems to be wasting little time diversifying their (relatively) newly acquired asset, Zipcar. The already popular short-term rental service has announced a new product: ONE>WAY, a point-to-point product in the vein of Daimler’s successful Car2Go operation.

Dubious use of mathematical symbols aside, the product is a no-brainer. Zipcar has significantly better brand recognition than  competitor Car2Go. The latter’s service is offered in only ten American cities – Zipcar is available in a whole bunch of locations. Better still, Zipcar is trumping the Germans in practicality. An agreement with Honda means ONE>WAY users will have access to the 2015 Fit exclusively – a clear win for the Japanese automaker, who will undoubtedly gain massive amounts of exposure in a segment that may not otherwise experience their products.

To be fair, the Smart Fortwo wins in the crucial parking category, as its 73.5 inch wheelbase is tough to beat. But which would you rather take to Ikea?

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22 Comments on “Zipcar Announces Car2Go Competitor ONE>WAY...”

  • avatar

    testing th email…….

  • avatar

    I am SO not clear on the business model here. In Las Vegas, if I want a ZipCar, I can go to the Avis counter at the airport and rent one for $9/hour or $69/day.


    I can go to the Avis counter and rent an Avis car for $29.99/day.

    I see no sense in this. If I had a 3-hour layover, I might as well just take the Avis day rate.

    • 0 avatar

      Odds are, that $9/hour includes gas and insurance, and as a registered member of the program, you’re under way in 30 seconds instead of the 10 minutes or so it takes to get all the paperwork done and the inspection done. Pick it up, drop it off, that’s it. And, you’re not beholden to whatever hours the location holds. Admittedly, airport locations are virtually 24/7, but most of them otherwise (in my area, at least) are open between 8AM and 6-7PM.

      That said, you’re right, at that 3 hour mark, it’s near that point where you just accept you’re going to rent the regular car.

    • 0 avatar

      That hourly rate definitely is a “wet” rental, all gas and insurance included. For most of us here, it may not make sense because we as car owners already have insurance. But if all you have is a license and just need a car for a very short period, this can make a lot of sense.

      It also worth considering all the coverages you typically decline at a normal rental counter. If you tick every block for the “just walk away” level of insurance, odds are that $29.99/day Avis base rate will quickly match or exceed $69. Additionally, by picking up at a neighborhood location somewhere, you may be avoiding those pillow-biter airport rental fees and taxes so many cities are fond of.

    • 0 avatar

      If you are am Avis Preferred member, it will also take 30 seconds to pick up the car you reserved online. But you will find that by the time the various airport fees and taxes are added, it is more like $60/day, not including the overpriced insurance.

      Are Zipcars at airports subject to the crazy fees and taxes? I have no idea, I have never seen one at an airport.

  • avatar

    “pesky Millennial”s

    Of whom my opinion has much improved in light of the “vampire therapy” ballyhoo presently occurring. I would heavily invest in free rides for the kiddies in exchange for a couple pints each of their lovely GDF11-laced blood.

    • 0 avatar
      Abraham Drimmer

      Direct message me for significant savings on direct orders from my personal blood stockpile. I’ve been lurking college campuses with successful athletic programs since 2005, kids these days will believe anyone in a white van with “Blood Drive” written on the side.

  • avatar

    Honda Fit is a great car, but I think Toyota iQ would have been a lot better choice for the application. Smart ForTwo’s size is a huge benefit for the Car2Go’s application as a quick bus/taxi replacement. I definitely won’t be happy searching for street parking when I am charged by the minute.

    I also hope Zipcar/Avis will have large enough of a fleet to make this work. I see Car2Go Smart everywhere in Seattle, and even then there doesn’t seem to be one available when you need it.

  • avatar

    And will Honda still claim zero sales of the fit to fleets?

    • 0 avatar
      Abraham Drimmer

      hmmmm tough to say. Could you link me to a pertinent news story?

      • 0 avatar

        I guess the sarcasm didn’t come across, too short a message this time. It just seems that Honda makes a big point out of having virtually no fleet sales of its cars ( I.e. Any story about midsized sedan US sales winds up having the Accord as the ” winner” excluding fleet sales as it’s percentage to fleets is so low ( despite many Hondas being on rental lots at least here in Canada), Honda claims to have no fleet sales organization, but yet this deal was made with Honda, so what gives? In all seriousness I don’t really care, to me a sale is a sale, I was just making an ( apparently unsuccessful ) attempt at a humorous comment.

  • avatar

    Can we abandon the easier-to-park reference? It may work in a Euro city where people can park on sidewalks and across spaces in a Smart but in the US there either is a legal spot, or there is not. Smart has very little extra to offer in this regard.

    Fit all the way.

    • 0 avatar

      Some municipalities will just leave the curbside as a blank spot to fit as many cars in between two signs as everyone is able to. In my last apartment, I had to park on the street, and on a semi-regular basis, had to bypass spots that just wouldn’t quite accommodate my subcompact (because someone would park about 5 feet from the car ahead of or behind them, creating a useless spot on the other side).

      It’s an oddly specific strength, but being as physically short as it is does have benefits.

    • 0 avatar
      Abraham Drimmer

      As much as I wish I could finally say nothing good about the smarte, what you say just isn’t true in a practical sense. Especially in Miami where I have had the most experience with Car2Go, people just park wherever.

      • 0 avatar

        The real shame for Smart is failing to get that crucial USGA qualification. It is the best golf cart ever made, but isn’t allowed on a single golf course.

        It makes sense in NYC, and possibly some areas of San Fransico (assuming it can get up the hills. A pretty big assumption). It needs to be on the links.

    • 0 avatar

      1. For metered parking, sort of yes. For unmetered parking with residental restriction, the shorter length of smart does open up opportunities.

      2. They are not “easy to park” — visibility is poor and the tramsision in jerky, but as I said it is easier to find spots.

      3. Without the ability to park on any city streets with minimal concerns about parking (rush hour, snow emergency and street cleaning still apply) I don’t see zipcar bringing much to the table.

      • 0 avatar
        Abraham Drimmer

        1. Yes definitely.

        2. That’s a bit pedantic don’t you think? the defining element of difficulty in urban parking is finding a spot. That said I imagine many of the customers that patronize these services are not particularly experienced drivers so I sort of see your point. Sort of.

        3. Not sure, maybe they will provide petter “point of use” service to the customer in the form of better app integration, better website etc., maybe not. The FIT is certainly more useful for a broader range of applications than a Smart.

    • 0 avatar

      Written by someone who has not spent anytime in old coastal cities. In SF or Boston, you want as short a car as possible. Or my own city of Portland Maine, now that we have pay and display instead of meters. Its fit as many cars on a street as possible, there are no lines.

  • avatar

    Both companies are missing a huge incentive for users. When I lived in Sydney I went without car ownership for the first time in my life and joined GoGet. I really liked that they had a range of cars. There were 600 vehicles in Sydney, many within walking distance of my home. I could use a Yaris for general shopping and stuff, a Hi Ace for the Ikea trips, a Hilux flat top for hardware or a Tarago for hauling lots of visitors. It was like having a garage full of cars without any hassle. One card key fits all.
    Being limited to just a Fit or Smart would require ownership of something else.

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