Avis acquires Zipcar

Robin Wauters, The Next Web:

Vehicle rental services company Avis Budget Group (Avis) today announced that it has agreed to acquire car sharing network Zipcar for $12.25 per share, or approximately $500 million, in cash.

A big move for Zipcar, and a smart move to grow Avis’ business too.

For the uninitiated, Zipcar’s business is “car sharing.” Members can arrange to use cars by the hour or by the day, an alternative to traditional rental services. Gas and insurance are included in a fee you pay as a member.

It’s really useful in urban areas and elsewhere where residents may depend primarily on public transportation, but occasionally need vehicle access to transport people or cargo or to visit places they’d prefer to go to by car.

Avis says it’ll help expand Zipcar’s fleet to have more cars available at peak times like weekends or holidays, so expect to see more Fords and Chevys next to Minis, Volvos and BMWs in Zipcar parking lots soon.