Zipcar Tests the Waters with "Zipvan" Cargo Van Service

By Trevor Dorchies | December 02, 2011
Move over U-Haul, there's a new guy on the block. Zipcar, the car sharing company that provides vehicles to members for a low fee, is expanding into light-duty van rentals. The new program is currently a pilot, with six vans situated in San Francisco and Oakland; that number rises to 15 by early January next year. These vans can be rented starting today for hourly or daily fees starting at $14.75 hourly and $99 a day. This includes gas, insurance, parking, roadside assistance, and up to 180 miles of driving per day. You must be a member of Zipcar though before you can get your hands on one. The Zipvan program has gained popularity through features such as being self-serve; members won't have to deal with waiting in line and other headaches that come along with renting a vehicle. Zipcar will be evaluating this short-term program over the next few months to see if it's worth going full time in the U.S. and Canada for 2012. This program was spurred by success it saw overseas in the United Kingdom, with 40 percent of people surveyed saying they'd use a cargo van if it were offered. "Based on the success we've seen in London and the enthusiasm from our members expressed through our Zipcar member survey, we're thrilled to launch this pilot in San Francisco," said Scott Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Zipcar. "Whether you're planning a move across town or about to make a new purchase for your apartment or a business with an occasional need for a larger vehicle, transporting large items in the city is a real hassle.  Zipvan aims to make it more convenient and more affordable to move 'stuff' around." Zipvan will utilize Ford's E-150 cargo vans equipped with a 225-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8 engine. A gaping 230 cubic feet of cargo space waits in the back of the van, capable of carrying a queen size mattress or an assortment of furniture or equipment. The E-150 comes equipped with two front seats for a driver and passenger while all other space is dedicated to cargo. Have you used Zipcar in the past? Would you try out Zipvan if it was offered in a city near you? Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Source: PR Newswire