January 13, 2015

Zipcar Celebrates 15 Years of Making Cities Better Places to Live

BOSTON (January 13, 2015) – When Zipcar first launched in Cambridge, Mass. 15 years ago, smart phones hadn’t been invented, social media sites didn’t exist and “sharing” was a concept relegated to toddlers and libraries. Today, thanks to the success of Zipcar and its members sharing thousands of cars in hundreds of locations around the world, cities have a wider variety of transportation options that reduce parking demand, save businesses, students and consumers money and decrease emissions and pollution. To celebrate its birthday, and to salute its members and their impact on the future of transportation, Zipcar is hosting promotions, events and parties in communities and cities around the world throughout 2015.

Zipcar has grown from its first car, a VW Bug named Bilbo (which was accessed via a key hidden under a rock), to a technologically-advanced, profitable international business. Today Zipcar offers car sharing in more neighborhoods, towns, cities, airports and campuses than any other provider. With a variety of service options, more than 30 vehicle types from which to choose, business, government, university and FastFleet programs and a loyal membership base, Zipcar continues to drive growth and inspire innovation as the world’s leading car sharing network.

Over the next 15 years Zipcar will bring more car sharing to more people in more places around the world. The company is continuing its aggressive international expansion plans in Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions, as well as expanding its domestic footprint.  In addition, Zipcar is continuing the development and roll-out of its new ONE>WAY platform, expanding its presence in airport locations, and constantly upgrading its technology platform to unlock even more possibilities for service delivery and a leading member experience.


Zipcar’s Impact on Cities:

By parking its cars in convenient locations throughout cities and allowing its members to reserve and drive them on-demand, Zipcar upended the traditional one car/one owner model which many government leaders believe has become unsustainable in major cities around the world. In doing so, Zipcar has had a profound impact not just on its members; but also on cities:

  • Every Zipcar helps eliminate the need for up to 15 personally owned vehicles[1]
  • In the absence of Zipcar, one in four members reported that they would have purchased or leased a vehicle
  • A single Zipcar can support the driving needs of about 40 members
  • Zipcar members have reduced collective emissions by more than 1.4 billion pounds of CO2 in just the past year alone [2]
  • More than two million reservations have been taken in a hybrid or electric vehicle
  • Zipcar’s FastFleet and Zipcar for Government  service plans have helped to save cities millions in parking, maintenance and vehicle finance costs
  • Zipcar members report saving up to $600 per month compared to owning a car, money that is often put back into local businesses, restaurants and entertainment.


Zipcar by the Numbers:

  • More than 1.3 billion miles have been driven by Zipcar members in 15 years — that’s the equivalent of a trip past Saturn
  • Zipcars are parked in reserved spots in more than 470 cities and towns and on more than 400  college campuses around the world
  • Today a Zipcar is reserved every six seconds
  • Dozens of companies have been called  “the Zipcar of…” to describe sharing everything from scooters to ties to medical equipment, a nod to Zipcar’s role in pioneering today’s “sharing economy” business models
  • Zipcar’s oldest member is 95 years old
  • Zipcar’s most popular pod is in the neighborhood around Northeastern University in Boston with more than 64,500 reservations since cars were first added to the location
  • In the past 15 years, Zipcar has offered nearly 250 different car models including hybrids, electric vehicles, SUVs, minivans, cargo vans and luxury vehicles
  • Zipcars have had more than 21,500 unique names
  • Zipcar has provided cost-effective and convenient car sharing options to over 279,500 businesses, charitable organizations and government agencies.

“Zipcar has grown from a small startup to become an international, profitable mainstream business that is having a demonstrable impact on cities around the world,” said Zipcar President Kaye Ceille. “We are proud to have paved the way for other innovations in urban transportation and are pleased to see the transformation under way in urban mobility as more and more people turn to access versus ownership. We’re getting closer to our vision of a world where car sharers outnumber car owners every day, and that’s fulfilling.”

Throughout 2015, Zipcar will be celebrating 15 years of making city living better by hosting a series of events and promotions which will begin with a birthday celebration on Thursday, January 15, 2015. Across North America, Zipcar will be saying ‘thank you’ to members who have helped to revolutionize urban transportation with birthday cakes, parties, prizes and fun activities. More information on local happenings is available at www.zipcar.com/15years.

About Zipcar:

Zipcar, the world's leading car sharing network, has operations in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, Austria and France. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for smart, simple and convenient solutions to their urban and campus transportation needs. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR), a leading global provider of vehicle rental services. More information is available at www.zipcar.com.

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Media Contact:

Jennifer Mathews

Public Relations Manager, Zipcar


[email protected]



[1] Millard-Ball, Adam, Gail Murray, Jessica ter Schure, Christina Fox, Nelson Nygaard, Consulting Assoc., Jon Bukhardt, Westat Car-Sharing:  Where and How It Succeeds, Ch. 4. Transit Cooperative Research Program, Report 108; Transportation Research Board (2005).

[2] Martin, Elliot and Susan Shaheen. “Greenhouse Gas Emission Impacts of Car Sharing in North America” (June 2010).