Photo via Timothy Vollmer/Flickr.

Photo via Timothy Vollmer/Flickr. 

Zipcar’s car-sharing service is now available in Houston, its 27th major metropolitan area. The launch will be supported by a retail office where members can interact with a local Zipcar team.

Starting with 25 vehicles in its fleet, Zipcar offers Houston members a variety of vehicles — from MINI Coopers to pickup trucks — and includes gas, a reserved parking spot and insurance.

The Zipcars will be parked in prime locations throughout Houston, including the downtown area, Midtown and Greenway Plaza/Upper Kirby, says the company. Zipcar expects to expand the service to additional neighborhoods in the near future.

"As the nation's second-fastest growing city, and one of most livable, Houston is a perfect fit for Zipcar," said Kaye Ceille, president of Zipcar. "For car owners who are looking to save money by switching to car sharing and other forms of transportation, or for people who don't own a car but need one occasionally, Zipcar's on-demand pay-as-you-go model and variety of vehicles offer the benefits of car ownership without the cost and hassle."

Zipcar's consumer launch builds on its program with the city of Houston FleetShare program in which Zipcar technology is embedded in city-owned vehicles, says the company. Zipcar has also offered service to Rice University students on campus since 2009.

In addition, the University of Houston and Texas Southern University will be adding Zipcars on and near campus for students, faculty and staff. These programs are expected to launch in fall 2014, says Zipcar.

"I want to welcome Zipcar to all of Houston," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. "This is another major step forward in Houston's ongoing effort to change the way we live and get around the city. Sustainable transportation options offer convenience, are less of a burden on our pocketbooks and also have a big impact on our environment."

Rates start as low as $9 per hour and $73 per day. For membership information, visit