387 days ago
 

Hertz will equip thousands of its vehicles with Zipcar-style, pay-as-you-go tech

This year rental car chain Hertz will expand its landgrab of the hourly rental market by equipping its existing fleet of vehicles with technology that enables them to be rented by the hour, day or week — on the spot.

Customers who sign up for a membership can use electronically coded membership cards to unlock the vehicles and select their rate option, such as by the hour or by the day—without having to visit a company office.

By the middle of 2013, Hertz plans to make tens of thousands of its 375,000 vehicles in the US available for reserving on an hourly basis, says Paula Rivera, company spokesperson.

The technology is being co-branded with Shazam, the mobile app for recognizing tunes.

In late summer, Hertz will partner with Lowe’s home improvement stores nationwide to have Hertz 24/7 vehicles on their parking lots available for rental.

By end of 2013, members in Hertz’s loyalty program who have Gold status will be able to use 24/7 service seamlessly.

In autumn 2013, Hertz’s by-the-hour product, Hertz on Demand (which was originally called Connect by Hertz), will be promoted as “24/7” in a US advertising campaign.

The move will more directly put Hertz into competition with Zipcar, which was recently acquired by Avis at a half-billion-dollar price tag, an hourly rental service run by Enterprise, and Daimler Chrysler’s upstart Car2go.

As of today, Hertz has 1,600 vehicles across more than 800 locations. Membership is required to receive an electronic key card to activate vehicles, and 230,000 have signed up to date. There is no membership fee, and fuel costs are only complimentary for the first 20 miles driven per day. A typical rate in $8 an hour for a compact-size vehicle.

hertz 24/7

The news was revealed at Hertz’s investor day this morning.

These pay-as-you-go services are targeted at local residents, though out-of-town visitors who have memberships in one country in the  largest programs, Zipcar and Hertz On Demand (now called, 24/7), can book a vehicle while visiting a foreign city.

 
 
Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill is a London-based reporter for Tnooz. He's also a regular contributor to BBC Travel.

Follow him on Twitter, Google+, and his personal site .

 

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  1. Curious Reader

    So reading your article I have to wonder, how exactly is the technology co-branded with Shazam? I’ve read several articles on this and have spoken with several different tech people that all agree that this is a false statement. Able to explain this a bit further for us?

     
    • Sean O'Neill

      Sean O'Neill

      The Shazam logo appears in the app, the image of a radar symbol that Shazam has branded appears in the app, and there may be cross-promotions via the Shazam app and the Hertz app.

      I’ve added an image that the company supplied to demonstrate.

       
 
 

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