Hertz Connect Car-On-Demand Service Starts in NYC With iPod and RFID Tricks

Hertz is jumping into Zipcar's territory with its new Connect service, offering short-term rentals via membership for young urban folk to load up on gourmet groceries or Swedish particle board furniture.

Zipcar users will be familiar with the process: book any available car at any time, get its location via text or email, wave your RFID membership card by the door to unlock it. Inside you'll find iPod connections and GPS standard, with a variety of fleet options to choose from ranging from "Personal" to "Jet Set." Fees break down with a monthly contract commitment of $50 a month, with per-hour rates anywhere from $8.50 to $12 depending on your plan.

It's only starting in NYC this week (and also running in London and Paris), but expansion is in the cards, of course. The Hertz folks also say they're working on one-way rentals that allow you to drop off the car at your destination, which is something Zipcar can't do. [Hertz Connect]