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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

ZipCar- The Airbnb For Vehicles

ZipCar was founded by Robin Chase and Antje Danielson. It is a car-sharing American company with Avis Budget Group as its parent company. Founded in the year 2000, today it is one company, most people prefer to use when it comes to renting vehicles.

A Brief About Robin Chase- The Co-Founder Of Zipcar

Many people wondered about who, Robin Chase is and why is she so famous? Robin is a women entrepreneur whose main business is related to transportation. She co-founded the Zip car and made it reach a new milestone. Today, the company is the largest car-sharing brand with excellent services. Not only is she the founder of ZipCar, but NUMO and Veniam were also cofounded by her and she is the CEO of BuzzCar as well.

The Story Of How It All Began

It was Robin’s daughter Linnea and Antje Dan’s son Max, because of which both the women met. Both the mothers met each other in kindergarten but bonded well on their trips to a park in Massachusetts where their kids use to play in a tire swing. While the chase was a housewife who graduated from the business school of MIT, Danielson was a Geochemist at Harvard. Both the women became more profound when they started chit-chatting while supervising their children in Park. It was chase who started telling Antje, how eager she is to put her business degree to some great use, to become a successful woman entrepreneur. It is then when Antje also spoke about how she wants to quit the academic world to open her own company and later discussed  Chase with her husband. Her husband is very encouraging and enthusiastic told Antje to ask Chase if she will be interested to become a business partner. 

It was in the year 1999, in the month of October when Antje told Chase about her plan to open a car-sharing company which chase loved so much. She but wanted to discuss it with her partner to see if he is ok with the whole arrangement. Soon, chase and Danielson had their first official business meeting.

At present, the firm has its headquartered in Boston, with around 8,60,000 members in countries including UK, Spain, Canada, Austria, and the USA. They have 26 offices spread in different cities in America. It was only in January 2013, the companies profile grew after Avis buying it for USD 491 Million. Not many know but both the founders are no more a part of the company and left it around 16 years ago because of disputes and power struggle. Even today, they both are not on talking terms. Today, Tracey Zhen is the president of Zipcar. 

The Functioning Of Zipcar

The business model used by Zipcar is very simple yet stands out from the other rental car companies.

  • In the early years, the core strategy of Zip Car was to provide a vehicle for the short term without any hassle at an inexpensive and affordable price.
  • Service and convenience, core competencies, technology for customer interaction are the different strategic resources.
  • They partner with different businesses and universities to reach the maximum public
  • For making the service convenient and faster for the customer, they use to keep the cars in a public place instead of some remote area
  • To make sure that the overheads of the company are low, Zip car used technology for interacting with customers to a very minimum.

It is very easy to avail of the services. One just has to follow these simple steps:

How To Avail Of The Service Provided By Zipcar?

It is mandatory for one to become a member prior to deciding to rent a car. The members get to view the available vehicles and book the self car through android and IOS applications, via phone and internet. The booking can be done even 30 minutes before actually needing to rent a car and the amount that needs to be paid is just for the reserve. A member in America is entitled to receive 120 miles for the initial twenty-four hours and post that it is 9.3 miles for every additional hour. The “extra value plan” and Occasional Driving Plan” are the available plans for which an individual can sign up. On reserving a car every time, the member receives an access card. The reservation also includes the insurance of the driver, Car’s gas, Fuel reimbursements for every gas station that doesn’t approve the gas card given by Zipcar, and not but not the least up to USD15 is reimbursed for car maintenance items like refilling the window wiper or car washes. A Zipcar that is rented can be used in any city which has Zipcar. Below is a list of the cars mostly available while opting for zip car services.

Subaru Impreza  Mazda 3  Mercedes-Benz GLC Nissan Rogue Nissan Frontier Dodge Grand Caravan
Kia Forte Honda Civic BMW X3 Ford Edge Toyota Sienna
Hyundai Elantra Subaru Impreza Mercedes-Benz C-Class Ford Escape Honda Odyssey
VW Jetta

Honda Civic

Kia Soul

VW Golf

Toyota 4Runner
Honda Fit Honda HR-V
Nissan Sentra Kia Sportage
Mazda CX-5
Subaru Crosstrek
Honda CR-V

The Rule Sheet Of Zipcar

Below are six simple rules that need to be followed:

  • Report Damage

Before renting the car and using the service, the member must inspect the inside out of the car. The member should report if they come across any damages, low fuel, or a dirty car.

  • Keeping it clean

One of the most basic rules is that the thrash should be thrown out and no personal belongings should be left in the car.

  • Smoking is prohibited

Each member or person present in the car should make sure that they do not smoke inside the car, not even with the windows down.

  • Fill’er up

The member should always leave the car with one-fourth of the total fuel capacity and should use the fuel card that is given while booking the Zipcar.

  • Return on Time

Every member would be charged a late fee if they do not return the car within the time they have been allotted. In case of emergencies or any other situation, it is best to call them and ask if it is possible to extend the reservation.

  • Pets in carrier

Be it any kind of pet from dog to bird, there is a pet carrier in each Zipcar, where the pets are supposed to be kept throughout.

Zipcar Timeline

1999: Robin Chase and Antje Danielson met in Cambridge and later decide to become partners
June 2000: First debut of Zipcars in the streets of Cambridge and Boston. USD 75000 was raised by chase and part of it being in form of angel investors just before launch
February 2002: Had offices in Newyork and Washington DC
December 2002:  Raised USD 4.7 million in series B round
February 2003: Scott Griffith became the CEO of Zipcar by replacing Chase who was still on the board of directors
November 2006: Expanded in Europe and opened an office in London
October 2007: Zipcar merged with Flex Car. Mark Norman became the president and is still the chief operating officer
June 2009: Launched the Zipcar app for ios devices
April 2010: Streetcar was acquired by Zipcar
December 2010: Raised USD 21 million from Pinnacle Ventures and Meritech Capital Partners in a round of venture funding
April 2011: The firm went public with earning a market value of USD 1 billion
July 2012: Expanded its presence in Europe and acquired carsharing. at, which was an Austrian company
November 2012: Reached a point where had 11000 cars, 700 employees, and 767000 members across the USA, Europe, and Canada
January 2013: ZipCar was acquired by Avis Budget Group

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Kiara Dawson
Kiara Dawson comes from an Engineering background, with a specialization in Information Technology. She has a keen interest and expertise in Web Development, Data Analytics, and Research. She trusts in the process of growth through knowledge and hard work.

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