It just got easier to drive a car regularly without getting an auto loan or a car lease. The rental-car giant Avis Budget Group recently reached an agreement to acquire Zipcar, a car-sharing network offering more than 10,000 vehicles for self-service rent by the hour or day in urban areas throughout the United States.
The deal could allow Zipcar to be more widely available than the nearly 150 cities in 36 states that currently have the service. Cars are available by the hour for $7.50 during the week and $8.50 on weekends and include gas, car insurance and 180 miles of driving. The types of cars available vary from city to city but include alternative-fuel cars, pickups and convertibles, as well as typical compact and midsize sedans.
Avis Budget agreed to pay $12.25 per share in cash for Zipcar, a 49 percent premium over the company's closing stock price on Dec. 31. The total deal will cost Avis Budget about $500 million. It is expected to be completed in the spring.
Have you used Zipcar? Do you see it being a valuable resource in the future?
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.