College changes car share service from Enterprise to Zipcar

Reid Walker

Staff Writer

Zipcar has replaced Enterprise as the on-campus rental car service this year. Zipcar markets its product to millennials as a smart alternative to both owning a car and using traditional rental car services; it claims its service relieves on-campus parking congestion, reduces carbon footprint, and provides a simpler payment system and reservation process. The car sharing system employs a mobile reservation process, by which students and faculty can reserve a car on campus any time for a single hourly or daily fee that includes gas and insurance.

Zipcar’s convenient, millennial-marketed approach is not the only reason Davidson switched to it from Enterprise. “The new arrangement with Zipcar saves the College and SGA over $13,000 per year. We believe Zipcar’s marketing and promotion efforts will increase participation in the program,” Jeff Mittelstadt, Davidson’s Director of Sustainability, said.

Mittlestadt also points out that Davidson students who have a membership on campus can use any other Zipcar location across the country. Moreover, Zipcar gave free memberships to returning students who had originally had a membership with Enterprise on campus.

Zipcar stresses that its product is a better environmental alternative to traditional car rental services, as well as a better economic alternative. The company’s focuses on simplifying the car rental process, reducing carbon footprint, and relieving auto congestion in cities and on college campuses are the major reasons the College switched providers for student and faculty car rental services.

Registering for Zipcar at Davidson is simple and easy, and it does not require getting a form from anyone on campus. While the Davidson Sustainability office oversees the Zipcar service, renting cars now goes entirely through the company. To sign up, one must go online and register at zipcar.com/davidson. The process involves putting in basic information like your name, license number, credit card, and billing address. Rates on campus for Zipcar are cheaper than normal Zipcar rates. At $7.50 per hour and $69 per day, they are a dollar cheaper per hour and eight dollars cheaper per day compared to normal Zipcar rates. In addition to the hourly and daily fee, it is necessary to pay a $15 fee for a year of membership.

After completing the application and registering to receive a Zipcard in the mail, students can reserve a car through the Zipcar mobile app at any time. Short videos on the website – less than ten minutes total – go over the basics of Zipcar, and more complex and varied FAQs are outlined on their website in a clear fashion.

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