Services such as ZipCar, DriveNow, and Car2Go are in, or planning to expand in, many of the larger cities in the United States. The concept is simple: Find a car, drive to where you need to go, park your car, and move on. Some companies, such as ZipCar, require the car to be returned to the same place where it was rented while other companies allow for the car to be left wherever it was parked.
BMW owns DriveNow and Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, owns Car2Go. Both companies have sizable investments in the short-term car rental business, but how viable is car-sharing when compared to car ownership?