The Daily Gamecock

Hertz Rent-a-Car program reaches 1 year at USC

Word-of-mouth advertsing drives 400 to register

Hertz Rent-a-Car service recently celebrated the first year of the company’s vehicle share program at USC.

The program, called Hertz on Demand, allows students to rent one of four late model cars — available 24 hours a day, seven days a week — for $10 per hour. Hertz on Demand focuses on using environmentally friendly cars to help reduce USC’s carbon footprint.

“The program gives students, especially international students, the opportunity to venture out after hours,” said Derrick Huggins, director of vehicle management and parking services. “People use the cars to go to the grocery store, go to the bowling alley, go shopping ­— those kind of things.”

Student over 18 with a valid driver’s license can register to use the cars by going to USC’s parking and vehicle management website and signing up. The program requires a credit card to be saved on file in case of damage to the vehicle, but there is no charge to register, according to Rick Evans, of the department of vehicle management and parking services.

After registering, Hertz on Demand cards are issued to access the company website to reserve and access the cars. About 400 USC students are currently registered with the program and it is continually growing according to Evans.

Vehicle Management and Parking Services will begin publicizing Hertz on Demand at orientation in order to inform parents and students about alternative transportation services before the school year begins. While the university and Hertz have not extensively advertised the program, Huggins believes that it will grow with each freshman class and will lessen the need for students to have cars on campus.

“We’re really excited about the potential growth of Hertz on Demand,” Huggins said. “There are four cars right now, and we’re seeing the number of hours used growing every week. After introducing it at orientation, parents may be a little more conservative on giving a freshman a vehicle. It also helps the student realize that ‘I don’t really need a car. They can go out for a few hours and it’ll only cost $2.50 an hour divided among four people.”

Reducing the number of student-owned cars on campus can have several benefits, most importantly by helping to eliminate some of the parking issues at the university, Evans said.

First-year advertising student Angela Cooper learned about the rental service after picking up a flier. She says that many students who don’t own cars can benefit from the program, but that many of them aren’t aware of the existence of Hertz on Demand.

“I find the Hertz rental service to be pretty convenient,” Cooper said. “It is extremely helpful for freshman or other students who don’t have a car on campus. When you need to run errands, you and some friends can split the cost for a rental and load up the car. All in all, this is a great service to have on campus, but it definitely should be advertised more. Sometimes I mention it to people and they don’t know what I’m talking about.”