Avis Budget Zipcar Buy Gets UK OK

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (AP) -

Rental car agency Avis Budget Group Inc. said Friday that its $491.2 million acquisition of Zipcar received antitrust clearance in the U.K.

Avis Budget said in January that it will buy the popular car-sharing service to expand its car rental options. It already has antitrust clearance in the U.S.

The deal is expected to close next week.

Car-sharing services like Zipcar have become a popular alternative to traditional rentals in metropolitan areas and on college campuses, allowing customers to get a vehicle for an hour or two for short trips instead of renting a car for a day or using mass transit. The segment has been growing while traditional car rentals have struggled in the current economy.

Avis Budget shares closed up 37 cents at $25.81.