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Avis Buys Zipcar for Nearly $500 Mil

Further evidence of car-sharing boom.

by on Jan.02, 2013

Ford Chairman Bill Ford and Zipcar Chairman Scott Griffith with a Zipcar Ford Focus.

The car-share business has just gotten a big vote of confidence from rent-a-car giant Avis, which is buying Zipcar for $491.2 million.

The move is the biggest deal yet in the nascent market for alternatives to traditional automotive rental systems where users might seek a set of wheels for trip of as little as an hour. Founded in 2000, Zipcar is generally seen as the leader in the car-share market and now claims 760,000 members.

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“By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs,” Avis Chairman and CEO Ronald Nelson said in a statement accompany the Wednesday morning announcement.