• Dec 18th 2008 at 7:28AM
  • 4
It looks like Hertz has finally heard of Zipcar. The popular car rental agency has just launched a new service called Connect, and it's a lot like the service offered by eight-year-old Zipcar. Connect customers will pay an annual fee that allows them to rent vehicles by the hour -- an arrangement very similar to the one offered by Zipcar. Members go online to make reservations and then use swipe cards to open cars that are parked at lots all over the city. Rather predictably, chic city cars like the Toyota Prius and MINI Cooper are part of the program.

The big difference between the two programs is that where Zipcar has about 5,500 cars in 13 cities, Hertz has 40,000 in New York alone. Right now, Connect by Hertz is available in New York, Paris and London, as well as in Park Ridge, New Jersey, home of the Hertz Corporation. The plan is to add 20 more domestic cities and an equal number of foreign ones next year.

[Source: New York Times]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I had a Zipcar membership when I lived in NY, and honestly it's not
      nearly as convienent (or cheap) as having your own car. Out of 10
      rentals 7 of them were when my truck was in the shop and that was
      before they started jacking rates up to $100 dollars a day. As ckm
      said, it'd be more effective if you didn't have to return the car to
      it's spot, saving you from paying for the hours that it's parked
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now I love Hertz, and use them exclusively to rent, but it doesn't look like this is quite ready for prime time yet:

      1) No mention of the per-mile fee if you go over 180 miles. The company doesn't actually know the rate themselves, as I've just spent 10 minutes on the phone while they try to dig it up. They ultimately said: "the boss is on the phone, and we'll have to call you back."

      2) No minis are actually available in NYC yet, only Mazda 3's, Ford Escapes, a couple of Camry's and some Prius'. They say they are getting 3 in the fleet "soon" but have to find parking. This compares to 44 mini coopers for Zipcar in the area.

      3) Forget signing up if you don't live in midtown, preferably on the west side between 20th and 35th as they have no locations outside that region.

      4) $3.50 per call to talk to customer care and make/change a reservation. A bummer if you're stuck on the road and need to make changes.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Can I still get a Topaz or Sundance if I want one?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hertz is getting killed with their on-rent at the airports(thanks to the economy) and we know they can't hold a candle to the big green in the local market, I don't this will have quite the impact they are hoping for. I feel sorry for HLE stock holders.
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