Shopping with Enterprise CarShare

HybridLiving in a city like NYC where owning a car can be such a hassle, and cheap car rentals can be hard to find (especially last minute), car sharing services like Enterprise CarShare or Zipcar can be such a savior. I’m in the process of redoing my apartment so the amount of errands I need to run where a car is so necessary has been stacking up. Usually I can get away with putting it in a taxi but when it comes to the big stuff and even more so going out to the boroughs (ahem to Ikea) nothing tops a car.

Fortunately, Enterprise gave me the opportunity to test out their CarShare service. The four destinations on my list were Ikea, Target, Home Depot and Kmart. Even though the only item I wanted to purchased from Ikea was the HOVET mirror, by the time I checked out of the store it was dark (that place has a legit time vortex), so I cut the trip short to just go to Target after and call it a day. At Target I got my white board and storage containers for all of products. ‘Tis the season to be more organized! Since both of these stores are in downtown Brooklyn, the convenience of a car was such a blessing. Home Depot and Kmart are in the city so it wasn’t a tough break to shelf those errands for another day.

Target organizer photo 1

Enterprise made it easy! I signed up online, picked up my rental card from their offices (mailing it is also an option), and then booked a car through their website. My closest pick up location was three blocks from my apartment so that made my life easy. Plus I got to drive my very first hybrid! All I had to do was unlock the car using my card and I was good to go. I was also able to extend my reservation from the road by just calling customer service. Fortunately no one had a reservation on my car after me so I wasn’t penalized, I just had to pay for the extra hour.

If you’re feeling inspired to rent a car, and wondering which to use, Enterprise CarShare or Zipcar here’s the low down: Both offer (3) different plans that include gas, insurance and up to 180 free miles per day.  They both have a one time membership application fee of  $25, but be forewarned I heard from a friend ZipCar is more stringent with applicants who have points on their  driving records than Enterprise. Where they differ in benefits are the actual plans and potentially the pick up locations.

ZipCar’s plans are based on frequent of use: Occasional, Monthly and Extra Value.  Occasional has no commitment and comes with a $60 annual fee. The Monthly and Extra Value plans forgo the annual fee and charge monthly fees instead. Learn more HERE:  ZipCar is pretty rigid with their rules on reservation pick-ups and returns so if you tend to run late, be prepared to pay late fees of $50-$150.

Enterprise is more flexible and will only charge a late fee if your tardy return delays someone else’s rental. (As I mentioned, just call them from the road and they should be able to extend your reservation).  The CarShare membership also has three plans, except they are based on the type of vehicles offered as opposed to frequentness of use – Economy, Classic, and Premium.  All three plans have an annual fee of $40 and have varying hourly rates that are slightly less than ZipCar’s but are contingent on what time of day and if it’s a weekday or weekend rental (see hourly and daily rate details HERE:

The other thing to factor when choosing the most optimal plan is where the pick up locations are. Having Enterprise so close was big added value.

Hopefully this is helpful. Happy driving!

{Disclaimer: I had the application and annual fee waived and offered a $100 gift card used toward the hourly fee to test out Enterprise CarShare.}