Driving Zipcar in Houston? How one Houstonian makes it work

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- If you drive around Houston, you know owning a car can be expensive: there's the gas, the maintenance and general upkeep. But there's a way you can get around without actually owning a vehicle -- and drive yourself.

Bill Fulton gets around Houston without a car and without a problem.

Fulton tells Eyewitness News, "I live in Midtown, I work near Rice in the Texas Medical Center, I commute by light rail, but whenever I need a car at either end, I simply rent a Zipcar."

Zipcar's Nathan Huber said, "Zipcar is the largest car sharing company in the world. It's member based, and you can reserve cars by the hour or by the day."

After paying a $25 application fee and registering for a plan, members receive their Zip cards and can reserve a car, each with its own special name.

"I've reserved Deirdre about 20 to 30 times since I moved to Houston," Fulton said. "I'm very fond of Deidre. Deirdre and I have a very close relationship."

When you arrive to the car, you use the Zipcard with the registered reservation to scan in, and you'll find the keys inside.

Huber explained, "When you pick it up, gas is included, insurance is included, the first 180 miles is included. We clean our cars every seven to 10 days, so you'll always have a clean car. Cars start as little as $7 an hour, and depending on what kind of car, since we offer such a wide variety, luxury vehicles such as BMWs or Mercedes are $14 an hour."

The cars go right back to the pick-up spot, and when you drop it off, just use the Zipcard to scan out.

For Fulton, the service is totally worth it. He said, "Zipcar is cheaper and more convenient than owning a car."

Currently, Zipcar is accessible in Downtown, Midtown, Upper Kirby, and the Galleria areas. Also, for those heading to college without a car, Zip-car is available at University of Houston, Texas State University, Rice University, and is coming to Prairie View very soon.
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