Earlier this week, leading car sharing network Zipcar announced that it has expanded its Zipvan cargo van service to Toronto, along with a new trial of a monthly membership. Both of these offerings are designed to make becoming a Zipcar member as cost-effective and convenient as possible for residents in Toronto. This comes just in time for summer, a traditionally busy time of the year for road trips, expeditions and moving.
The Zipvan cargo van service will launch with 15 Ford E-150 full size cargo vans. The vehicles feature two seats in the front and more than six-and-a-half cubic metres of cargo space. This space is big enough for members to transport furniture and musical equipment. The vans also have a rear-view camera to make reversing to unload easier.
The Ford E-150s will be available in Zipcar pod locations around the city – including Liberty Village, Waterfront, Queen West, Danforth and North York. Network members can hire the vans for hourly or daily use, and rates will start at $14.75 an hour and $104 a day. These rates include up to 200km of driving per day, roadside assistance, fuel, parking and insurance.
As for the new monthly membership trial, residents in the Toronto area will be able to choose this option when they join for just $6 per month. This service is added on to the standard one-time $30 application fee. Customers who choose this option will have the choice of adding another member to their account for only $3 per month more – for a total of $9 per month. There is a minimum six-month requirement for this option, and members can switch to the annual plan any time.
Zipcar Toronto general manager Christian Demers says members who are moving apartments this summer or who need to move bulky or large items can take advantage of the convenience of Zipvan’s services. However, they can also take advantage of the SUVs and pickup trucks that Zipcar already offers in several locations throughout the city. Zipvans are also great for local community non-profits and small businesses to help cut the cost of transporting supplies and goods.
Demers added that they know that some residents in Toronto may be considering becoming members of Zipcar, but they want to test it first. They also know that the up-front cost deters consumers from joining a car sharing network sometimes – particularly in the current economic climate. They hope the new monthly membership option will benefit people looking to lower initial cost to join. They also hope it will be beneficial to consumers seeking access to a vehicle only on a seasonal basis – like for a summer or winter trip – without committing to an annual scheme.
Car sharing is a great alternative to the hassle and expense of owning a car. Zipcar members can reserve vehicles for as little as an hour or for several days. Rates start from $9 an hour and $78 per day in Toronto. The annual membership option starts from $65 per year, on top of the $30 application fee; however, other value plans are available too. All membership plans give Zipcar members access to a full range of vehicles.
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