My wife and I share one car for a variety of reasons and it works out really well. We end up walking a bunch more. We take the bus downtown. I work from a home office so I don’t need a car for a daily commute. Foregoing expense of a car used only once or twice a week. Lots of reasons. Car sharing has been a great way to have the “extra car” when we need it. If I need a car in the middle of the day, I reserve one online for a couple of hours, run my errands, come back and drop it off. My wife and I LOVE the concept for so many reasons.
Now that I’ve buried the lead:
I’m THRILLED that Zipcar is acquiring Flexcar. Why? Completely selfish reasons.
I lived in Boston so my first car sharing experience was with Zipcar. I thought their “execution” on the operations side was excellent. Great website. Great card/entry system. Great refueling. Great phone interface. Great billing system (can see when I used what). Everything was great. Then I moved to Seattle.
Zipcar wasn’t in Seattle, but Flexcar was. I signed up with Flexcar and have been solidly underwhelmed with their operation. Sure, it’s the same sort of thing and its been quite similar but hands down Zipcar was much much better. Flexcar had weird lock boxes and keypads. Refueling numbers on your reservation. Flexcar website doesn’t do positional location of cars (you have to know your neighborhood). Flexcar requires you use your Member ID (2039884) to login instead of a username (ngoodman). I’ve used Flexcar for the past three years and, well, it was adequate.
The news that Flexcar has been acquired (release says merged, but Zipcar is x3 the size of Flexcar) by Zipcar is AWESOME. As a customer of BOTH companies I’m absolutely thrilled that I’ll be able to get the same Boston experience I’ve been missing here in Seattle.
Woo Woo Zipcar.