Zipcar Bought Out By Avis

Car rental giant absorbs car-sharing pioneer

Car renters, meet car sharers.

Car rental giant Avis will buy car-sharing pioneer Zipcar for $491.2 million, the Associated Press reported.

Zipcar was founded in 2000 and was immediately successful.It now has 760,000 members, and its "Zipcar Lives Here" placards are familiar sights in many American cities and across the Bay Area.

Avis is eager to offer its fleet to Zipcar's customers, and Zipcar's customers may be happy to have the new supply of cars available on high-demand days like weekends.

Car-sharing differs from car-rental in that customers skip lines and go directly to a car on a lot or near a college campus. The car-sharing companies cover the cost of fuel in exchange for a more expensive 24-hour rental.

The deal was good for business. Shares on the stock market jumped 47 percent on Monday, and Avis will save as much as $70 million a year on expenses due to the deal.

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