Why so fancy, Zipcar?

16 Dec

I drove an Audi A3 last week. Under normal circumstances, that’s not a sentence I would have anticipated ever writing. But the Civic and Mini convertible that used to reside in my closest Zipcar spaces have been replaced by the A3 and a Mazda 3.

While I appreciate the novelty of the experience, getting to Spa Sydell to retrieve my forgotten umbrella wasn’t any faster or easier than it would have been in the $7/hour Civic. The A3 cost $4.25 more per hour to rent, and had I been in an accident, would have certainly cost more to fix.

What’s with the luxury encroachment at so many Zipcar spots lately? It’s hard to imagine that people are complaining that the cars aren’t “nice” enough. Of course it’s possible, likely even, that there’s some marketing effort afoot here. What could be better than having people paying by the hour to drive your company’s car around a large city, especially one in which your brand’s popularity has taken off? Have you noticed how many more Audis are on the streets here now than there used to be? That can’t be a coincidence.

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