Top 7 Zipcar Competitors in 2023

Zipcar is a US-based car-sharing business with a healthy presence in many other parts of the world. It isn’t the first car-sharing business in the market; far from it. Renting vehicles by the hour was introduced way back in 1948, and Zipcar was founded in 2000. However, the company is definitely the most reputable and popular one in the market.

Established by two American citizens, Antje Danielson and Robin Chase, in Boston, MA, Zipcar faced a few top-level management issues in the early stages, which eventually led to the firing of Danielson from the board. The internal troubles later stabilized, after which the company’s business rapidly started growing.

Today, Zipcar is owned by the Avis Budget Group, and it has branches in almost all the urban areas of the US, Canada, UK, Iceland, Costa Rica, Taiwan, and Turkey. The company reportedly had more than a million individual subscriptions in 2016, along with close to 10,000 vehicles running on the streets!

HeadquartersBoston, MA, US
SIC Code7510
StatusA subsidiary of Avis Budget Group
Industry SectorCar Rental
Trading SymbolNASDAQ (ZIP)

You can book a Zipcar vehicle in one of 3 ways – smartphone app, online website, and telephone. You can book one right away or up to a year in advance. You will have several options of cars to choose from, right from the regular hatchback automobiles to luxury vehicles like BMW. Zipcar charges you by the minute, hour, or on a daily basis. You can also book a yearly subscription which is much more affordable if you will be commuting quite often during the year.

Zipcar suffered huge losses during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the incessant lockdowns, there weren’t very many Zipcars on the roads, but the demand had surprisingly risen. Hence, often people were left stranded on their pickup spots, and at other times, there were no employees to assist the customers. Eventually, a considerable number of customers canceled their subscriptions and switched to other car rental firms, which brings us to the company’s competitors.

Zipcar similar companies:

Getaround, Hertz Global, Share Now, Turo, National Car Rental, Enterprise CarShare, Alamo Rent-a-Car.

Who is Zipcar’s Biggest Competitor?

The biggest competitor of Zipcar is Getaround. Founded 9 years after (2009) the inception of Zipcar, by Sam Zaid, Jessica Scorpio, and Elliot Kroo, Getaround acquired a number of local car-share companies, including City CarShare, to gradually expand its business throughout the US. This firm has an annual revenue of $54 million, and it has already raised a total of $600 million for its ever-growing business!

How Zipcar Makes Money

Zipcar already has a lot of cars in its repertoire. They give those cars out for rent to those who need them while bearing maintenance costs, gas costs, etc., and make profits out of the customer’s membership. The parking fees are usually covered by the company since they collaborate with parking areas for preset charges. Most of their bookings are made through their mobile app and online website, but in a few regions, phone booking is also present.

Thus, since Zipcar’s upkeep is high and they mostly make money out of subscriptions, their profits generally aren’t much in the early stages. However, once they have garnered enough customers in a particular region, their profits keep climbing exponentially. It was only recently (the past 5 years or so) that Zipcar’s memberships reached the desired number. And their revenue shot up from about $50 million to over $300 million!

Industry – Car Sharing

First off, car sharing is an entirely different concept from the car rental. Car sharing involves a personalized atmosphere, whereas car rental is a more direct approach to the service. Every business section of car sharing is automated. Bookings are done online (via mobile apps or websites), and the keys are delivered in the form of automated cards which can be swiped to unlock the vehicle. Plus, with car sharing, you can make hourly bookings too along with daily, monthly, and yearly subscriptions.

The best part about Zipcar’s service is that it allows you to make by-the-minute bookings as well. Thus, you don’t have to wait long for your car and its automated Zipcard to arrive. Additionally, Zipcar is known to deliver almost every kind of vehicle that you want. Hatchbacks and sedans are available in plenty, and so are luxury cars like Mercedes and BMW! The age range for driving the latter is above 30, unlike the regular minimum of 21.

Industry – Car Rental

As mentioned in the previous section, car rental and car-sharing are two very different industries. Essentially, car sharing could be considered to be a subset of car rental with a more customer-focused approach. Thus typically, Zipcar does rent out cars making it fall into the car rental category, but due to its customer-focused approach, it doesn’t make as many profits as an above-average car rental company does.

For instance, car rental companies usually provide a centralized pickup which saves them a lot of bucks in gas and overall management. Also, the automated cards for every vehicle drain money as well. Thus, all in all, car rental companies make much better profits than niche car-sharing firms like Zipcar.

Competitor – Getaround

Just about 2 years after its foundation was laid, Getaround, the peer-to-peer car-sharing network, won the prestigious TechCrunch Disrupt New York competition of 2011. It was a commendable achievement since several high-end companies from the industry participate in this competition. And due to its continued dedication to the work and progress in the trade, Getaround managed to receive a $1.72 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration in 2012.

Getaround currently has its presence in over 13 different urban areas throughout the US, and in international waters, it has managed to outshine local car-sharing companies in the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, and Norway. Based in San Francisco, CA, the company has a little more than 550 employees worldwide. Despite Getaround’s global success, the coronavirus pandemic hit its business hard, and it had to fire 150 of its employees. Thankfully, the company has reportedly recovered its footing recently.

Industry – Car Sharing

Getaround is currently ruling the roost in a special niche of car-sharing called the peer-to-peer network. It connects car owners who wish to make extra cash on the side with those who want a vehicle to drive for a certain period of time. Thus, there is not as much initial investment involved here as an actual car-sharing business, but the hard work and contacts required should be considered, and Getaround has both!

After acquiring a couple of popular car-sharing platforms, City CarShare and Drivy, Getaround received over $300 million funding in 2018/19, with its annual revenue back then being about $54 million. Despite facing financial problems during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic period, the company has managed to rise back up to its former glory.

Competitor – Hertz Global

The Hertz Corporation/Hertz Global is the oldest company on this list. It is a car rental company called Rent-a-Car Inc. founded in 1918 by Walter Jacobs in Chicago, IL. It started off with only 12 Model T Ford vehicles, eventually raising the number to over 600 in just about five years. Jacobs continued to serve as the president of the company after it changed hands quite a few times during the following couple of decades.

Did you know that Rent-a-Car wasn’t named The Hertz Corporation until 1953 when John Hertz repurchased the company from its then-owner? Another interesting fact is that Hertz was the first international car rental organization to make its services available in China!

Today, Hertz has operations in over 160 countries throughout all five continents, making it one of the largest car rental companies in the world. The company also owns a couple of other famous car rental brands, Thrifty Car Rental and Dollar Rent A Car.

Industry – Car Rental

Car rental is a larger part of car-sharing sans, the more customer-friendly benefits. For instance, Hertz provides centralized pickup locations as opposed to home delivery of Zipcar. Nonetheless, Hertz covers almost all the areas that car rental has to offer, making it one of the most reputable brands in the industry.

It is not without good reason that Hertz Global has a revenue of over $5 billion, much more than the $300 million of Zipcar. The number of franchised locations of Hertz is a whopping 12,000 internationally. It is currently based in Estero, FL with an employee count of more than 24,000.

Competitor – Share Now

Share Now was formed from the merger of two car-sharing giants, Car2Go and DriveNow. Prior to the merger, Car2Go had its presence in North America, but its services were later pulled back mostly due to management issues of its electric vehicle fleet. Daimler AG, the company that managed to merge the two car-sharing companies to form Share Now in 2008, introduced the new services in Ulm, Germany. Share Now is currently based in Berlin with 16 locations throughout Europe.

Industry – Car Sharing

Share Now has a car-sharing app where customers can book vehicles for commuting. Only five brands of cars are available on the portal – BMW, Mercedes, Mini, Smart, and Fiat. Similar to other car-sharing apps, Share Now also arranges bookings by the minute or a maximum of daily rates. The company generates revenue of $87 million.

Competitor – Turo

Turo is another car-sharing company almost as popular as Getaround and Zipcar. It was launched a bit late, in June 2010 in Boston, MA by Shelby Clark. It serves almost every urban area in the US except New York, and its car-sharing business model was inspired by the likes of Airbnb and eBay. Turo is currently headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with an employee number of over 200. It is owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC).

Industry – Car Sharing

Did you know that Turo was formerly called RelayRides, a brand that had become wildly popular post-2010? As of 2020, Turo had more than 14 million individual subscriptions and nearly half a million vehicles running in 56 different countries, with a revenue of around $76 million. A major part of its operations still come from the US, and it has brick-and-mortar operations in only three of those countries, the US, the UK, and Canada.

Competitor – National Car Rental

National Car Rental is one of the biggest car rental companies in the world with over 2000 locations all around. Founded in 1947, National Car Rental’s ideal audience is business travelers, but it also caters to the general public. However, the major advantage that business travelers have is the exclusive Emerald Club card which allows customers to choose their desired vehicles without having to go through the entire process.

Industry – Car Rental

National Car Rental is based in Clayton, MO with its president and CEO being Chrissy Taylor. Its foundation was laid by 24 different car rental agents in 1947, and its current parent company is Enterprise Holdings. National Car Rental’s revenue today lies somewhere around $17 billion, but especially because it is a part of the giant conglomerate, Enterprise Holdings.

Competitor – Enterprise Car Share

We don’t need to separately say that Enterprise CarShare is a part of Enterprise Holdings since they share the name! Enterprise CarShare is a typical car-sharing platform that allows you to rent a car by the hour at the minimum and on a daily basis max. You can make your bookings via the mobile app or through their official website.

Industry – Car Sharing

Enterprise CarShare is based in St. Louis, MO, and it has its presence throughout the US, Canada, and the UK. The founder is Jack Taylor and the company revenue is nearly a million dollars.

Competitor – Alamo Rent-a-Car

Alamo Rent-a-Car, as the name suggests, is a car rental company founded over 47 years ago in Orlando, FL. After a few acquisitions over the years, Enterprise Holdings was finally able to get a hold of the company in 2007. Alamo’s present revenue is around $3 million.

Industry – Car Rental

Alamo provides rental car services throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Oceania. The company is different from regular car rentals in the sense that it primarily provides budget-friendly vehicles to tourists visiting the said continents.


The Top 7 Zipcar Competitors: Getaround, Hertz Global, Share Now, Turo, National Car Rental, Enterprise CarShare, Alamo Rent-a-Car. A total of more than $51 billion in revenue is generated by these companies, including Zipcar. Over 115,800 employees work for these companies.

Competitor Stats:

Getaround2009San Francisco, CA, US550
Hertz Global1918Bonita Springs, FL, US24,000
Share Now2008Berlin, Germany46
Turo2010San Francisco, CA, US.200
National Car Rental1947St. Louis, MO, US83,000
Enterprise Car Share2009St. Louis, MO, US200
Alamo Rent-a-Car1974Clayton, MO, US7400

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