Zipcar alternatives in Boston

Zipcar is a popular car-sharing service that allows members to reserve vehicles for short periods, typically by the hour or day. The service is convenient for those who only need a car occasionally or don’t own a car themselves, as it eliminates the need to purchase, insure, and maintain a vehicle. However, Zipcar may not be the best option for everyone, especially in a city like Boston, where many other transportation options are available. In this article, we’ll look at some alternatives to Zipcar in Boston that can help you get around the city without needing a personal vehicle.

Car Rental Services

One alternative to Zipcar in Boston is a traditional car rental service. While these services typically require a longer commitment than car-sharing services like Zipcar, they can be a good option for those who need a car for a longer period or a specific vehicle type. Some of the car rental companies that operate in Boston include:

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Enterprise is one of the largest car rental companies in the world, and they have several locations throughout Boston. They offer a wide range of vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, vans, and trucks.
  • Hertz: Hertz is another major car rental company that has a presence in Boston. They offer a variety of vehicles, including economy cars, luxury cars, and vans.
  • Avis: Avis is a well-known car rental company with several locations in Boston. They offer a range of vehicles, including economy cars, SUVs, and vans.
  • Budget: Budget is a budget-friendly car rental company with several locations in Boston. They offer a range of vehicles, including economy cars, SUVs, and vans.
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Car-Sharing Services

In addition to Zipcar, several other car-sharing services are available in Boston. These services work in a similar way to Zipcar, allowing members to reserve vehicles for short periods, typically by the hour or day. Some of the car-sharing services that operate in Boston include:

  • Car2Go: Car2Go is a car-sharing service that allows members to rent cars on a pay-as-you-go basis. The service operates on a point-to-point basis, meaning that users can pick up and drop off the car at any location within the service area. Car2Go has a fleet of small, fuel-efficient cars ideal for city driving.
  • ReachNow: ReachNow is a car-sharing service owned by BMW, and they have a fleet of luxury vehicles available for rent in Boston. The service operates on a point-to-point basis, and users can choose from various vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, and electric vehicles.
  • Maven: Maven is a car-sharing service owned by General Motors, and they have a fleet of vehicles available for rent in Boston. The service operates on a round-trip basis, meaning that users must return the car to where they picked it up. Maven has a range of vehicles available, including sedans, SUVs, and electric vehicles.

Public Transportation

Boston is home to an extensive public transportation system, which can be a great alternative to Zipcar for those who don’t need a car regularly. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates a network of buses, trains, and ferries that serve the greater Boston area. The MBTA also operates the “T,” which is Boston’s subway system

and consists of four lines: the Red Line, the Orange Line, the Blue Line, and the Green Line.

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In addition to the MBTA, there are several other public transportation options in Boston. The Silver Line is a bus rapid transit service that operates in the city, and several ferry services connect various parts of the city.

One of the advantages of using public transportation in Boston is that it is often faster and more convenient than driving, especially in the city’s congested downtown area. In addition, the MBTA offers several discounts and fare programs, including discounts for students, seniors, and disabled riders.

Ride-Hailing Services

Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are another alternative to Zipcar in Boston. These services allow users to request rides from drivers who use their vehicles to transport passengers. Ride-hailing services are convenient because they can be accessed through a smartphone app, and users can typically request a ride within a few minutes of making a request.

One of the disadvantages of ride-hailing services is that they can be more expensive than other transportation options, especially for longer trips. However, they can be a good option for those who need a convenient and flexible way to get around the city, especially for short or late-night rides when other transportation options are unavailable.

Bikeshare and Scootershare

Boston is also home to several bikeshare and scootershare programs that allow users to rent bicycles and electric scooters on a short-term basis. These programs can be a great alternative to Zipcar for those who want to get around the city more sustainably and actively.

The Hubway bikeshare program is operated by the MBTA, with over 200 stations and 1,800 bikes available throughout the city. Users can rent a bike for a single trip or purchase a membership that allows them to use the bikes on an ongoing basis.

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In addition to the Hubway program, several companies offer electric scooter rentals in Boston. These companies typically have a fleet of scooters available for rent on a pay-as-you-go basis, and users can unlock and ride the scooters using a smartphone app.


In conclusion, there are many alternatives to Zipcar in Boston that can help you get around the city without needing a personal vehicle. Whether you prefer a traditional car rental service, a car-sharing service, public transportation, a ride-hailing service, or a bikeshare or scootershare program, there is an option that will suit your needs and budget.