Saturday, November 19, 2011

Enterprise To Offer WeCar at Military Bases

Carsharing companies have been targeting college and university campuses for many years, and now WeCar by Enterprise has opened up another market - military bases.

The deal is with Army Air Force Exchange Service (PXs in common terms) will initially offer car sharing at Fort Carson Army Base in Colorado, Fort Bragg Army Base in North Carolina and Kaneohe Bay Marine Base, Hawaii with 2 or 3 vehicle locations on each base.

Rates are $10 per hour including gasoline and state minimum liability insurance with a $500 deductible.  Daily rates are $65 per day ($70 on weekends) with 200 miles included.  Chevy Malibu and Ford Escapes are the vehicles being offered in the initial launch.  The service will be available to those 18 years and older that meet the driving history requirements.

Future expansion is planned for Hawaii's Hickam Air Force Base, Schofield Barracks Army Base and Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army Base in Washington state.

“Our goal is to provide an alternative to ease the transportation burden on military bases, where convenient transportation may be needed for duty-related activities and other errands,” said Ryan Johnson, assistant vice president for WeCar and Rideshare for Enterprise.

The carsharing option could be attractive to servicemen and women on a short duty assignment to a particular base or as an occasional second car for families living on-base.

Enterprise, which has been careful in how it approaches carsharing, seems to be trying to position carsharing in such a way that it compliments, rather than competes, with its core car rental business.  As I have written before, I believe that carsharing companies only offering "state minimum" liability coverage are doing a disservice to their customers and set a bad precedent for carsharing as an alternative to vehicle ownership.  

Still, it's an interesting move by Enterprise and we will watch it with interest.