WeCar arrives on Iowa State campus

Matthew Nosco

A new resource is now available to students without vehicles in Ames. WeCar, a car sharing program and branch of Enterprise Rent-A-Car company, is now operating on Iowa State’s campus.

The company has a unique business model: renting cars to members for short increments in a completely automated process.

ISU students can sign up for the service on the company’s website, wecar.com.

“The application fee of $20 is being waived for current students, and the first year’s membership fee of $35 is debited back to the customer’s account towards their first rentals,” said Breanne Bolin, business rental sales executive with WeCar.

“We offer two different rental periods,” Bolin said. “Our rate is $8 per hour to rent the car, and we offer a ‘date-night’ deal for $35 from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m. the following morning. All of our rates include the price of fuel and insurance for the vehicle.”

WeCar currently has two vehicles on Iowa State’s campus, one located in the Eaton Hall parking lot and the other by Linden Hall. Once a customer has been authorized for membership, they obtain an electronic key that provides them with access to a vehicle after reserving it through the company’s website.

Ismael Pinto, junior in psychology, said that he can see the value in such a service as a student who hasn’t had a vehicle in Ames since he moved here.

“I can see having to borrow their car all the time being a burden on your roommates and friends,” Pinto said. “I would try something like this out.”

“Our service is particularly convenient for people living on campus, like freshmen, who don’t have a vehicle in Ames,” Bolin said.

The WeCar service has received support from the LiveGreen Initiative as a move towards sustainability at Iowa State. The ability to have multiple students share the vehicles rather than having to own their personal cars is intended to reduce Iowa State’s carbon footprint.

The company is already located on 13 college campuses and expects to expand to 20 in the near future, Bolin said. The company also operates in urban areas and contracts out to large businesses.

“We are basing ISU’s model off of what we did at Princeton. We started with two cars there, and now we are up to around 20,” Bolin said. “We expect Iowa State to grow as rapidly.”