Zipcar Inc. is launching a new program that sounds more like a leasing service than the Boston-based company’s typical on-the-go rental offerings.
The company, which is owned by rental giant Avis Budget Group, will allow members in eight cities, including Boston, to pay a monthly fee to have exclusive use of a vehicle during the workweek.
The fee differs by city, but in Boston it will be $249 a month, allowing the user unlimited access to a vehicle between 5 a.m. on Monday and 7 p.m. on Friday.
The idea is to entice people who would prefer not to own a car but feel they need one for work, such as “reverse commuters” who live in the city but work in the suburbs, said Zipcar spokeswoman Lindsay Wester.
Users will also pay a per-mile fee of 45 cents, which could add up fast. A 20-mile round trip daily commute, for example, could cost the driver an additional $200 a month.
But Wester said the service is still cheaper than owning a car because Zipcar covers the costs of gas, insurance, and maintenance. Plus it guarantees a parking spot for downtown denizens that may otherwise be costly or difficult to find, she said.Adam Vaccaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro.