Hertz debuts hourly car rentals

Nation's No. 2 car rental company becomes first major firm with hourly offerings; rentals available at three locations in Manhattan.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Car rental company Hertz is debuting an hourly car rental service at three Manhattan locations Tuesday.

The nation's No. 2 car rental company behind privately-held Enterprise, Hertz is the first major car rental company to offer the hourly rental. Privately held Zipcar has a similar hourly offering in a limited number of cities, including New York.

Hertz is debuting hourly car rentals at three Manhattan locations.

Hertz (Charts) will charge as little as $12 an hour for the car rentals.

"Although New York City boasts one of the world's largest mass transit systems, for small errands, quick day trips, or even lugging groceries, sometimes a personal vehicle is simply the most convenient way to travel," said a statement from Scott Gaines, Hertz's regional vice president for New York.

The offering will be only at three Manhattan locations, not at any of the metropolitan region's three major airports. While Hertz's revenue trails Enterprise, it is No. 1 in car rentals at airport locations.

In addition to Enterprise, Hertz's major competitors are No. 3 Avis Budget Group (Charts) and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (Charts). Both operate the brands included in their corporate names, as well as privately held Vanguard Car Rental, which operates the Alamo and National rent-a-car brands.

Rental car companies reported in merger talks Top of page