What’s the secret of Zipcar’s success?

Q How do customers hire a car using Zipcar?

A Users book a vehicle online for any period from one hour upwards. They unlock it using a phone app or membership card and return it to the parking space before their time is up.

Q How much does it cost to drive one of the company’s vehicles?

A Membership is £59.50 a year and the hourly rate – which includes fuel, insurance and the congestion charge – starts at £6. You also pay 25p/mile after the first 40 miles.

Q What vehicles are available? How many are there?

A Zipcar has over 1,500 London vehicles, mainly VWs and vans.

Q What sort of people use the service?

A Zipcar’s target audience are people living in the inner city who only need a car occasionally.

Q Is Zipcar going to make car ownership a thing of the past?

A Fewer young people in developed countries are learning to drive and the cost of motoring can be punitive. But the revolution has not happened yet: Zipcar still only has 731,000 members worldwide.

Q How much could the car sharing business be worth?

A Avis Budget say the industry could hit $10bn in the next few years.