Car sharing services like Zipcar and FlexCar have some new competition. U-Haul, best know for renting movers clunky but practical vans and trailers, has started a car sharing service. Like the others, U Car Share allows you to rent a car just as long as you need one. U Car Share's rates are a $25 application fee, a $50 annual membership fee and then $10 per hour or $65 a day. The fees include 125 miles per day, with more miles charged at 40 cents a mile. There is also an overnight rate.

One extra feature of U Car Share is that U-Haul has partnered with The Conservation Fund's Go Zero program to plant trees to help cancel out a trip's emissions. That's fine, but I think that U-Haul has made it slightly less user-friendly to use their cars. Unlike services where you don't interact with anyone to get your car (it's all online and you have a device that opens the car to get the key), U Car Share relies on U Haul offices to conduct the transactions. The company website says, "simply stop by your office location and get the keys to your car. Your trip will be insured and your car complete with a gas card in the glove box" (emphasis added). I'm sure it will be simple for some people, but the anytime ease of an automated system will appeal to many, I'm sure.

The U Car Share service is available in ten cities, including Ann Arbor, Portland, Washington D.C. and Seattle. (See the full list here) and U-Haul is promising "More Locations Coming Soon!" Stay tuned.

[Source: U-Haul, h/t to Matthew]