Arlington has an abundance of transportation choices and as much as we like to promote car-alternatives, let’s face it, there are going to be times when you need a set of wheels. We recently had a blog about the corporate program ridehailing app Lyft offers (Uber has a similar program as well) but what about when you need a car for a longer period of time or you need to haul a lot of supplies to or from an event during the workday? If you are already commuting without a car, situations like this are where carsharing can come in handy.
Zipcar, Enterprise, and car2go are the local contenders in the carsharing space and each company offers some form of business account option. Carsharing allows someone to use a car for a set window of time, or by-the-minute in the case of car2go, without having to worry about paying for gas or street parking. By establishing a business account with a carshare provider, a company can simplify its accounting by centralizing all employee carshare expenses in one place and eliminating the hassle of dealing with numerous expense reports for each employee’s carshare use. The business account options offered by Zipcar, Enterprise, and car2go make the carsharing experience more seamless and convenient to use for everyone involved. Even though these companies are all “carshare” there are slight differences in the account options they offer that are worth noting.
Companies with a business account for Zipcar have two main options – they can either subsidize the discounted annual membership fees ($35/year instead of $75/year) for their employees and use direct billing or a company can simply secure discounted weekday rental rates for their employees without utilizing direct billing or securing discounted annual membership fees. Both are great options but it is up to the company to decide which account type makes the most sense for them depending on their usage.
Enterprise’s business account options are more focused on replacing large, underutilized vehicle fleets at institutions but they also have benefits like discounted hourly rates similar to Zipcar’s business account model.
Car2go, as we’ve explained in an earlier blog post, works a little differently than other carshare companies since trips are made one-way and you don’t need to return the car to the parking space you got it from. Despite this fundamental difference, car2go’s business account model is very similar to the other major carshare companies. Car2go business accounts allow centralized direct billing for efficiency and convenience, but unlike Zipcar and Enterprise, a business account won’t secure discounted pricing for users. On the plus side, there is no annual membership that needs to be paid.
All in all, Zipcar, Enterprise, and car2go offer variations on a theme when it comes to their business account offerings. All are great options to have access to at your workplace but it is up to you to decide what makes the most sense for you and your colleagues. There’s nothing to stop you from creating business accounts with multiple carshare companies and using each when it’s most convenient!