16 May, 2013, 12:00 ET
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the cost of education continuing to rise and today's generation of graduates struggling to pay off student loans, 2013 grads are seeking smart solutions to get what they need, without piling on more debt. A survey conducted by Zipcar in May 2013 found that when asked what 2013 graduates are most looking for, more than 68 percent of respondents stated grads want financial stability over other choices including an on-demand lifestyle (16 percent), freedom (12 percent) and travel experiences (five percent).
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Ditch the Debt; Zip into the Future
When asked about graduate transportation choices, the survey found:
- Sixty-five percent of graduates do not own a car;
- Forty-nine percent of graduates do not plan to bring a car with them to their next endeavor after graduation;
- Nearly 70 percent believe graduates would benefit from joining a car sharing service;
- Graduates' biggest concerns about owning a car post-graduation are parking availability and cost.
The Millennial generation carries the most debt and is one of the most underemployed in years. Two-thirds of college seniors who graduated in 2011 had student loan debt, with an average of $26,600 per borrower. Meanwhile, unemployment for young college graduates remained high at 8.8 percent in 2011.*
"After years of hard work, today's graduates are faced with large amounts of student loans to repay beginning immediately after graduation. Many recent graduates aren't able to afford the high cost of car ownership – and the last thing they need is to pile on more debt," said Zipcar President Mark Norman. "Giving 2013 graduates a Zipcar membership provides them with all of the access and convenience of a personally-owned car, without the high price tag, associated loans and hassles, and gives them a powerful head start on the road to affordable, sustainable living."
Cost Savings with the 'Gift of Zip'
Zipcar, a more convenient and cost-effective alternative to car ownership, has operations in 21 major metropolitan markets and on over 300 college campuses throughout North America. As younger drivers increasingly opt out of car ownership due to the costs associated with gas, insurance, parking and maintenance, Zipcar members report saving an average of $600 per month, or more than $7,200 per year, compared to owning a car. At a time when gas prices and insurance premiums are high and car ownership in big cities and on college campuses is not always feasible, Zipcar delivers a cost-effective and hassle-free transportation solution that can be leveraged in all Zipcar cities and Zipcar campuses in North America, the UK, Spain and Austria.
For members of this year's graduating class who will not have access to a personally-owned vehicle for their next phase of life, parents, friends and family can give the gift of Zip though purchase of a graduation "Zipcertificate," available online at www.zipcar.com/grad. Zipcertificates start from $50, and can be redeemed for Zipcar membership, as well as an unlimited number of driving credits to put toward vehicle reservations.
Every Zipcar reservation includes the costs of gas, insurance and 180 miles of driving per day, and hourly rates start from $8.50. Reservations can be made online or by using Zipcar's iPhone or Android applications on a mobile device, and Zipcars can be reserved for as short as an hour or for up to four days. For more information on Zipcar, visit www.zipcar.com.
The 2013 Zipcar Graduation Survey included 510 respondents located throughout the United States. The survey was distributed to an external audience using the CVENT survey tool.
Zipcar is the world's leading car sharing network with operations in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Austria. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for smart, simple and convenient solutions to their urban and campus transportation needs. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR), a global leader in car sharing and vehicle rental services. More information is available at www.zipcar.com.
*Project on Student Debt: Student Debt and the Class of 2011 http://projectonstudentdebt.org/files/pub/classof2011.pdf (October 2012)
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