Zipcar is a car-sharing service. Zipcar gives customers on-demand access to a vehicle of their choice whenever they need one.
Customers pay a monthly or yearly membership fee. In return, they’re able to rent one of Zipcar’s vehicles at a fairly reasonable rate whenever they need some wheels.
By using the service, members can get a car for an hour, a day, or for however long they need it as long as someone else hasn’t booked the vehicle during that time.
Currently, the company has more than 10,000 vehiclesavailable in 500 cities across the United States, Canada, and several European countries including Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, New York City, Toronto, and more.
It’s particularly popular in cities where people don’t own cars but may need one from time to time to take a day trip, go to Ikea, or even pick up groceries.
It’s also very popular in college towns because many college students don’t own cars but occasionally need access to one.
Ultimately, Zipcar is an excellent alternative to both car ownership and car rental for folks who don’t drive regularly but want to drive sometimes.
How Does Zipcar Work?
Zipcar makes it super easy to get wheels and get out on the road.
All you have to do is head over to their website and sign up for the service. Then, you can pick a plan and wait for Zipcar to verify your driver’s license. As soon as they clear your license, you’re free to start booking rides.
When you want to book a ride, you log into the app or head over to their website and start looking for cars in your area.
The company has vehicles parked in designated parking spots and lots all over. These spaces are where you’ll pick the car up and where you’ll drop it off when you’re done with it.
You can choose from a variety of different makes, models, and styles so you can book your vehicle with confidence.
Once you find a car that suits your needs, you’ll book it for the hours or days during which you want access to it. You choose your own pickup time and drop-off time.
If the car is booked by someone else during a particular time slot, you won’t have the option to reserve it (that time slot will be grayed-out in the booking interface).
At the start of your reservation, you’ll head to the location of the car. Zipcar lets you know the exact address and cross streets and will help you make sure you find the vehicle.
Once you reach your reserved vehicle, use your Zipcard to unlock the car. You won’t be able to open the car unless you have your Zipcard on hand.
The keys are located inside the vehicle, usually in the center console. Then, all you have to do is start it up and hit the road.
You’re free to use the car for whatever you want (as long as it meets the company’s Terms and Conditions), so sit back and enjoy the ride!
What Kind of Cars Does Zipcar Have?
The company offers a range of different car options. In total, they have about 30 different makes and models. They have a variety of different vehicle styles, so you can always find something to accommodate your needs.
They have smaller sedans like the Ford Focus for when you need a set of wheels with four seats and a small trunk. This is perfect for instances when you want to pick some friends up at the airport or grab some groceries.
But, if you need an SUV to move some larger items or cruise around with a bigger group, they also have Subaru Crosstreks and other models along those lines.
They even have a few luxury vehicles like Mercedes and BMWs, too. So, if you need a set of fancy wheels to cruise around in, Zipcar can take care of you.
Of course, you’re going to pay a bit more money for a large SUV or a luxury vehicle. Whereas a lower-end car runs as low as $8-$9 per hour, an Audi or BMW could cost you as much as $30-$40 per hour.
The exact car selection varies from city to city. Not every make and model is available in every location, and some towns have a relatively small range of vehicles.
To see what’s available in your area, sign up for the service and browse their catalog. If you enter your zip code into the search browser on their site, you’ll be able to pull up all of the vehicles available in your region.