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After all, vehicle ownership can be expensive — and not even practical for some folks. I’m thinking about the ones who live in densely populated cities with crazy traffic, high insurance rates and scarce parking… and college students, who may be too strapped for cash to afford to maintain a car (let alone the cost of campus parking permits).

But there are times when even the most dedicated user of public transportation needs the flexibility and utility of a private automobile. When I was a student, I would beg one from my family — or if all else failed, rent a car or take a cab (options that were very expensive).

And that’s where Zipcar comes in: The multi-city, car-sharing network enables its members to pick up a fully-gassed, fully-insured vehicle for a short-term need, for $8 an hour (up to $66 for a 24-hour period). It’s no wonder that the Zipcar network has grown to 125 cities and over 250 college campuses around the country.

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Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet