No Car With Zip Car

I’d like to kick a couple of cars to the curb. Car ownership is a major financial drain. The insurance costs, standard and unexpected maintenance, and the escalating cost of gas make me cringe when I look over the bills. I noticed that some cities offer car rental by the hour. I visited and discovered an alternative way to drive. Europeans already have a history of this kind of car sharing, ZipCar only started in the U.S. about 10 years ago.

Why own two cars or even one when you can rent one cheaper? After adding up the high cost of car ownership, and considering that a car sits on the street or driveway for many hours or days at a time, renting can make sense.

I’d love a better public transit system where I can ride to the downtown museums, restaurants, or sports arenas and not worry about parking fees or parking availability. I’d love to step off efficient public transit and walk right up to the front door of my destination and not walk too far on those cold, snowy winter nights. If there were other options out there, I’d give up my multiple car household and scale back to one.

But as long as I’m married to my husband, this won’t happen. We own four cars. Or I should say I own one car and my husband owns three. He drives an old model sportscar,  a rusty truck from the mid ’90s, and a four-year old sedan.

I drive a 10 year old car which fits my personality. My main car-shopping priorities: buy a car that starts up when I turn the key and gets me to the places I want to go. I don’t care about the newest design or a luxury brand name.

When I brought up the topic of renting a car by the hour, my husband was completely against it. But I said we could rent a truck for those shopping trips to Lowes. We could rent a sportscar if we feel a desire to drive fast and stylish (that would never be my desire, but just saying if it was). We can rent a second sedan if we both have to drive long distances in separate directions.

This won’t happen. My husband loves the ownership factor. His cars, his decision to drive what and when he wants. Rental is not part of his mindset. No surprise there, he is a child of the Motor City after all.

Also no surprise, Detroit doesn’t offer the rent by the hour car service. We live to drive. I’m just the oddball in the mix.

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