05 April 2008

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Rental Cars

Meet Pooky.

Pooky is my new friend in Portland. Pooky is so much more than a rental car. Pooky will help me stick it to The Man.

Since I moved away, I've spent more than $2,800 renting cars in Portland. That's really messed up. What's worse is, those are just the rental fees. I probably spent $250 on gas.

I thought the only alternative to renting a car would be buying a POS car and finding a place for it to live. Still, once you figure in insurance and licensing, it's kind of a wash. Then I found Pooky.

Pooky is a Zipcar.

When I'm in town next month, I'm going to find Pooky, wave my magic fob in front of him, and off we'll go. It will cost me $27 to hang out with Pooky for the afternoon - much better than the $40 the rental car companies wanted. Plus, Pooky comes with free gas.

Unfortunately, Pooky can't help me when I'm in town for a week (Zipcar's long term rates are $66/day), but for a short-term rental this is perfect.

Zipcar used to be Flexcar or they merged or something like that. They gave me a referal link so if you sign up for Zipcar via my blog, you'll receive $25 in free driving credit.

Here are some of the cities that have Zipcar:

Northwest: Seattle, Portland, Vancouver BC
Northern California (San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Stanford)
Southern California (Santa Barbara, LA, Irvine, San Diego, Claremont)
Southwest: Phoenix, Albuquerque
... there are other cities east of the rockies (including Zipcar NYC).

Most of the rental cars are eco-friendly. They gave me a list of 30 cars and half of them were hybrids (Prius or Civic Hybrid). The other options included Scions (xA and xD), a Subaru Impreza and a Mini Cooper. Each car has a name (Algernon the xA, Impreza Ivanka, xD Dave, etc.), my car's name is Pooky.

Hooray, Pooky.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

When I was carless, I was a Flexcar member and it was quite nice. It was especially nice when you could find one of the $45/day cars, but that went away rather quickly. Shawn is still a Zipcar member, even though I have a car. The hybrids are so quiet and nice to drive. Enjoy!