Peugeot uses smart card for car hire scheme
Peugeot is using a smart card for a new car rental scheme it is piloting in the UK after its establishment in France.
Its new rental service uses a ‘Mu card’’ to give them access to an online account. The card works in a similar fashion to a prepaid card, with customers topping up points.
Once a card has been bought for a one-off £10 fee, they load points onto the card which can be exchanged online for the rental of numerous Peugeot ‘transport solutions’ which include:
Cars, Vans, Scooters, Mountain bikes, Roof boxes, GPS units and other accessories
The principle behind the same is that of other car rental schemes such as Zipcar where members rent a car only when they need one. Rather than owning a motor they can use their Mu card to arrange transportation as and when necessary.
Peugeot says the scheme is going to grow fast and will be deployed in 9 European countries between now and 2011.
The Zipcar hire programme is the world’s largest car club, with 80,000 vehicles speeding along all over the globe. Zipcar operates in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. It uses a ‘zip card’ to enable the member to access the specific rented car and lock it when returned. The company estimates that for everyone of its own cars used by members, it manages to keep 20 privately owned cars off the streets.
How Zipcar works
The rules are pretty simple – a year’s subscription covers congestion charges, parking fees, petrol, insurance, cleaning and maintenance fees, plus 60 miles of free driving, after which you can pay an hourly or daily fee. You book the timeslot you want at the web site and head towards your nearest drop off point, where you can open the car with a Zipcard swipecard that Zipcar mails to you.
Zipcar in April acquired the car sharing service, Streetcar bringing together these two companies to create a single, global brand.
The companies will ultimately operate under the Zipcar brand, with Streetcar founders and executives Andrew Valentine and Brett Akker retaining their leadership positions with Zipcar. The deal will benefit Streetcar and Zipcar members by offering more vehicles, a greater variety of hybrid and other green cars, and more locations. Streetcar members will have access to Zipcar’s global network of vehicles located in cities in the United States and Canada.
“In the near term, the more than 400,000 members of both companies will benefit from more cars, more convenience and enhanced technology,” said Scott Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Zipcar. “In the longer term, when considered along with our investment in the largest car sharing company in Spain in late 2009, this transaction gives us a very strong base from which to expand to additional European markets.”
Zipcar also recently launched an electric car club in London.
For personal driving: Zipcars can be reserved by the hour or day. All rates include the cost of insurance, maintenance, parking, and even gas. Rates start as low as $6.00 per hour and $56 per day in North America and £4.20 per hour or £34 per day in the UK. Rates vary from city to city and by vehicle and reservation type. Initial membership fees are $75 (based on Occasional Driving Plan; $25 application fee and $50 annual fee). In the second year, members only pay the annual fee. Lower membership fees apply in for university affiliates, Philadelphia and London. For additional rate information, please visit Zipcar.com.
Zipcar for Business:
Zipcar also has a business-to-business product that offers organizations discounted hourly and daily rates Monday through Friday and has special “7-to-7” rates that allow businesses to drive Zipcars from 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday, from only $42, with gas, parking, and insurance included.