SOMETHING BORROWED: Avis is leaping into the car-sharing service business by buying Zipcar for $491.2 million, aiming to capture a new type of customer and technology that will vastly expand its car rental options.
SOMETHING NEW: Car sharing has become a popular alternative to traditional rentals in metropolitan areas and on college campuses, allowing members to get a vehicle for an hour or two for short trips instead of renting a car for a day or using mass transit.
CAR KEY: The acquisition will help Avis better compete with Enterprise and Hertz, which have their own smaller car-sharing services.
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