ZipCar, found online at ZipCar.com, is a company which specializes in “car sharing,” which they describe as a good alternative to the costs and hassles of owning or renting a car, and more flexible than public transportation.
For people who are looking to minimize their transportation costs, ZipCar says that members of their service save up to $500 per month over the costs of owning a car, and that they are more convenient and often more affordable than a rental car service.
They also act as a beneficial alternative to public transportation in the situation that you need to go somewhere that isn’t easily accessible, or you need to transport something that will make taking public transportation difficult.
Unlike other car sharing companies like Car2Go which only service one particular city, ZipCar has multiple locations in cities all across the United States. If you are interested in becoming a member, they say it only takes a few minutes to apply online and then you will receive your ZipCard in the mail.
Once you have your ZipCard, you can reserve a car from a nearby location. Each car has an identifying name on a tag in the rear windshield. Once you find your car, take your ZipCard and hold it – don’t wave it – over the card reader located in upper corner of the windshield on the driver’s side.
Once the reader beeps, the car is unlocked. The keys will be waiting in the ignition. It is important that ZipCar users never remove the keys from the car – they are always supposed to remain in the car. You can both lock and unlock the car just by using your ZipCard.
The rates of membership plans and rentals are determined by your residential location. Their most popular membership plan is the “Occasional Driver” which lets you rent a car by the hour or day, whenever you need to. This plan requires an annual fee and a one time application fee. All plans include gas, insurance, and up to 180 miles of driving per day.
If you have experience with this service, please leave your ZipCar reviews below.