I learned to drive when I moved to California from New York; almost no one in New York City owns a car (unless they are rich) because with easy public transportation and parking that costs upwards of $20 an hour, the obviously smarter transportation choice is either a cab or the subway.

Hertz has recognized this and they have adapted the Velib concept of hourly bike rentals in urban centers of Paris, to cars, in cities like New York, Boston, London, and Paris. They have recognized that people who live or travel to densely populated cities with good public transportation and sparse parking, might want a car for just an errand or a day. This is even a great option if you have your car in the shop for a few hours and the repair facility does not offer a loaner. College campuses are also a great location for this new Connect concept because some students don’t own cars and may actually try something new, less expensive, and handy; one location here near Los Angeles is the Pepperdine University Campus in Malibu.

Costs start at $6.80 an hour with a $50 yearly fee, and the rates include up to 180 miles a day, all gas (each car comes with a gas card), insurance, and road side assistance. Cars include the thrifty gas sipping Prius or Camry, and just about the only restrictions are that you must be at least 18 years old, you can not drive to Mexico, smoke, or have a pet in your car.

Everything is high tech in a nice simple way; you book on the phone or online to join and they send you a Hertz Connect card which allows you to unlock your car with a swipe on the windshield. Once you make a reservation, they will email and text you directions to your car location. Keys are inside along with a gas card and the paperwork. When you are done, just park it where you found it and swipe your card to lock up. You can even use your card in London or Paris!

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