“Loaner Cars”

Did anyone hear the piece Thursday night on NPR about the introduction of a new “car loan” program they’re planning to test in Atlanta?

The premise is that for folks who don’t want the full time hassle of owning a car, or for singletons with one in the shop who don’t want to rent a car, you’d be able to pop into these lots with the swipe of a card (your drivers license, credit card and other info on file) grab a car out of the lot with the keys waiting in the ignition and vroom vroom vroom!

When you come back, you swipe again and are charged $9/hr for use, billed directly to the card you have on file. Bonus points for the hassle free – you don’t even have to gas it up when you bring it back – all the maintenance bits and hassles are included in the hourly rate.

It reminds me of the Decatur Yellow Bikes program a bit…but what do I know, I clearly only heard a fraction of the piece. So who heard it? I think they called them “loaner cars” but Google helps me none.

13 Comments so far

  1. Daniel (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 9:58 pm

    My sister uses FlexCar in DC. It’s awesome. And such a wonderful deal. And searching right now for it, I discovered that it’s in Atlanta – all centered around Emory though… it’d be nice if it was spread all around the city.

  2. Maigh (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 10:23 pm

    Word! Even still, Emory/in town is where many of the singleton/budget minding folk live…I think it’ll get more use there than say – East Point or Roswell?

    Where else would you like to see?

    From the story I heard, the initial spot is just a market test, if it takes off it’ll expand.

    I dig it.

  3. uhh (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 11:33 pm

    Yeah..just like Decatur yellow bikes.. free, non-profit and promoting non-polluting transportation.

    At 9$/hour it will be great for the business traveller.
    Screw programs for anyone on a budget!

  4. Uhh Uhh (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 11:47 pm

    And your point is?

    Nine bucks an hour is too expensive for emergency/necessary car rental? If one chooses not to own a car for environmental reasons, yet needs one in a pinch, this is an unacceptable option?

    No, they’re not bikes. But as great as bikes are, they do have their limitations.

  5. Maigh (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 7:13 am


    There are plenty of things you can’t or might not want to do on a bike…things you can’t carry, maybe a Dr. visit on a rainy day off a MARTA line w/time sensitivity, etc. It’s a nice option for those who want to rely on public transpo or bikes full time, but don’t want to impose on friends continually when they’re in a pinch and need to get somewhere semi-inaccessable.

    No need to get all cycling snobby, I’m all about the bike.

  6. Lori (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 9:00 am

    They’re also adding additional cars downtown and in Midtown soon:

  7. Daniel (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 10:08 am

    Sweet! It works wonderfully in DC (my sister loves it!). My hope is that it can work in conjunction with a lesser mass transit system like we have here in Atlanta.

  8. Dave (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 1:39 pm

    Sounds similar to the Car-Share program in San Francisco. Their program has a lower cost per hour, but they also charge 44 cents a mile, plus a monthly admin fee.

    Still… it’s not a bad deal if you only need a car occaisionally. If you can walk, bike, or use public transportation most of the time, this program might be for you. Unfortunately, most Atlantans don’t fall into this category.

  9. Lindsay Durfee of behalf of The Clean Air Campaign (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 4:43 pm

    Flexcar is not only a great way to encourage people to use an alternative commute, but here’s how you can pay the $40 annual fee without spending a dime. Since you’ll be leaving your car at home, The Clean Air Campaign will pay you $3/day (up to $180) for using an alternative commute. That’ll cover your annual fee and leave an extra $140 to burn a hole in your pocket. Now commuters will have an opportunity that wasn’t there before: to leave their own car at home, clean the air and make a few extra dollars. To learn more about Flexcar, visit http://www.flexcar.com. To learn more about The Clean Air Campaign’s incentive programs, visit http://www.cleanaircampaign.com.

  10. Maigh (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

    Yesssss. Helluva good point there…and I hope “uhh” the bitter budget bicylist picked up what you were layin’ down. Yo.

  11. maggie (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 9:06 pm

    I cannot believe you people think this is a good thing. $9 an hour? You can rent a car for $28 or possibly less a DAY. That’s 24 hours in case you are wondering. Why would you spend $9 an HOUR? You all must be looking for ways to throw your money away.

  12. Maigh (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 9:28 pm

    Ummm…because you only *need* it for an hour? Same reason people rent trucks from Home Depot for an hour or two.

    Why so hostile? Did they steal your business plan?

  13. Tiffany (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 10:26 pm

    This also sounds like Zipcar, which has already been established in the NYC/northeast area and were planning to spread out.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.