Zipcar makes car sharing sexy, not sorry.

Reviews of cars, trucks, and other autos.
Sept. 5 2006 12:14 PM

Key Party

Zipcar makes car sharing sexy, not sorry.

Listen to the MP3 audio version of this story here, or sign up for Slate's free daily podcast on iTunes.

(Continued from Page 1)

That's why the pricier your Zipcar, the more low-key its branding. The econoboxes sport jaunty decals on their passenger doors. A 325i has discreet black "zipcar.com" lettering on its trunk lid but nothing on the front or sides. I drove a silver BMW from Boston to Bar Harbor and back over Memorial Day weekend. I caught plenty of guff from Mainers for my Massachusetts license plate, but not one word about the URL.

My only beef with the service is they need to wash the cars more often. A rented 3 Series is cool, a dirty one is not. With a bit more bling, Zipcar could erase the stigma from car sharing once and for all. What they need is a halo car—a tastefully posh Bentley Continental GT garaged at AT&T Park for high-rolling Giants fans. How about $100 an hour? At that price, it shouldn't say Zipcar on it at all. It wouldn't need to. People would know.

Paul Boutin is a writer living in San Francisco.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.