Avis Budget to buy Zipcar

2 Jan 2013 by BusinessTraveller

Car rental group Avis Budget has agreed the US$500 million purchase of car sharing network Zipcar, with the transaction expected to be completed this spring.

Announcing the move Avis Budget Group’s chairman and CEO Ronald L Nelson said:

“By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our Company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs.

"We see car sharing as highly complementary to traditional car rental, with rapid growth potential and representing a scalable opportunity for us as a combined company.

“We expect to apply Avis Budget's experience and efficiencies of fleet management with Zipcar's proven, customer-friendly technology to accelerate the growth of the Zipcar brand and to provide more options for Zipsters in more places. We also expect to leverage Zipcar's technology to expand mobility solutions under the Avis and Budget brands."

Zipcar launched in the United States in 2000, and currently has over 760,000 members across the US, Canada and Europe. The firm took over UK car sharing club Streetcar in 2010. Users pay an annual fee and then an hourly or daily rate including fuel, insurance and a certain amount of inclusive miles.

The move follows the US$2.3 billion merger of car rental firms Hertz and Dollar Thrifty announced last summer (see online news August 28, 2012).

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Report by Mark Caswell

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