RIP East Coast-West Coast Car Rental Feud
Zipcar, the by-the-hour rental outfit from the East Coast will merge with Left Coast darling Flexcar, creating a nationwide car-sharing cabal. The old Flexcar brand is out, and members will now have the luxury of renting from both fleets in the few cities where both companies operate.
Zipcar's rates aren't as low as some daily car rental services, though you can't just rock up to a location and drive away as with other car rental agencies. (Zipcar also includes gas and insurance, making the rental process painless.) You'll first need to sign up for a Zipcard; the cheapest option includes a $25 application fee, a $50 annual fee with hourly rates that start at $10. After you get approved, all you need to start driving is your Zipcard, which will unlock the doors when you walk up to whatever vehicle you've reserved.
With the merger, the fleet is available in a bunch of cities, including New York, Boston, DC, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, LA, San Diego, Atlanta and London. The UK cars even come with the London congestion charge ($16.50) pre-paid.