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Is Zipcar Worth It? Yes, Here’s Why

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If you’re like most people, the idea of sharing a car seems appealing, but the thought of using Zipcar makes you hesitant.

Maybe you’re not sure if it’s worth the rental rates and fees or if it’s easy to use.

In this blog post, we’ll explain why Zipcar is worth it and how easy it is to use.

We’ll also share some tips for getting the most out of your membership.

So read on to learn more about why Zipcar is a great choice for shared transportation!

Is Zipcar Worth It?

Yes, Zipcar is worth it when you need to rent a car for an hour or a day.

You can easily find a car near you, book it, and unlock it through the app.

There’s no need to interact with customer service or wait in lines to rent a car.

Car insurance comes with your booking fee, so people who don’t own a car don’t have to worry about coverage.

How Does Zipcar Work?

When you sign up for Zipcar, you’ll get a member card in the mail.

This card works like a key to lock and unlock the rental car’s doors.

You can also download the Zipcar app and use it to unlock the car.

The keys are inside the car.

Go to the Zipcar website or app to book a car.

Look for available vehicles, book it, and you’re able to unlock it with your car or the app when your rental time begins.

Zipcars have assigned parking spaces, so when you rent a car, you know exactly where to find it.

How Much Does Zipcar Cost?

A Zipcar member can see the rental price at the time of booking.

Prices vary depending on your area and the demand for rental cars.

It’s not uncommon to find Zipcars going for about $10 an hour or over $70 a day.

Zipcar wins when compared to the price of buying a car, paying for maintenance, and filling it with gas.

vector graphic showing a Zipcar vehicle driving through a city along a route line to illustrate Zipcar mileage limits


There are a few things to understand about Zipcar’s prices.

First, you have to pay a $25 application fee.

This charge might seem pointless, but Zipcar wants all drivers to be safe.

They pull your driving records before approving your application.

To rent from Zipcar, you need to have a membership.

It costs $7 a month or $70 a year to have access to all cars.

The Zipcar membership fee includes insurance coverage, which is well worth the expense.

You’ll incur late fees if you don’t return the car on time.

The initial late fee is $50, but you’re charged an additional $50 for each hour you’re late.

You can avoid this by extending your rental if no one books it after you.

On the app, you can open your rentals and see a green “Extend” button next to the time you’ve already booked.

You can cancel your booking within a specific time and not have a penalty.

If you drive on toll roads, Zipcar will bill you later.

Cars in areas with toll roads have a toll pass included, so you don’t have to stop and pay with your pass or cash.

Zipcar charges taxes depending on your location’s tax rate.

You can check online to get an idea of what the taxes might add to your rental fee.

Where Can You Take a Zipcar?

There are a few limitations in terms of where you can take the Zipcar once you’ve rented it.

You might think you can go anywhere within your allotted time, but there are some mileage restrictions.

Zipcar gives you 180 miles per 24-hour rental period.

If you drive more than 180 miles, you have to pay $0.58 per extra mile.

Available Cities

Zipcar is available in many cities around the United States, such as:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • Washington DC

They also have an innovative partnership with college campuses.

The program is available through universities in 36 states, including:

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Virginia
  • Washington

When Does It Make Sense to Rent a Zipcar?

It’s nice to have the option of using Zipcar for several reasons.

vector graphic showing a Zipcar one way trip and how does Zipcar work illustration

Round Trips

Sometimes you might not want to take your car on a trip, either because of the expense, it needs maintenance, or you don’t want to put the mileage on your vehicle.

Renting a Zipcar is an affordable way to borrow a car, take a trip, and park it back where it belongs with ease.

Transportation for People Who Don’t Own Cars

Ridesharing apps are great ways to book rides if you don’t have access to a car, but those trips add up quickly.

Plus, you don’t have the freedom of driving yourself or making a quick stop if you need to run an errand.

Renting a Zipcar puts you in the driver’s seat.

It’s an affordable way to drive a car when you need it, without the major expenses of owning a vehicle.

Pros and Cons of Zipcar

Zipcar is an innovative car sharing service, but this concept can have pros and cons.


Since many cars are available, you’re likely to find an affordable option.

You might bypass a nice SUV to rent a smaller sedan at a lower price.

Or you can find a fancy car to rent for a date or a convertible to take to the beach.

Zipcars are available 24/7, theoretically.

Sure, you might find a time where they’re all booked, but in general, you have more constant access to Zipcars than you do with a rental car company that keeps business hours.

Your rental fee includes insurance coverage, which is beneficial for people who don’t own a vehicle and therefore don’t have insurance.

Zipcars come equipped with toll passes, so you don’t have to stop at toll booths.

There’s also a gas card included in the car, so you don’t have to use your credit card for gas.


You don’t know who used the car before you and what their hygiene and cleanliness are like.

You might get into a car and smell smoke or body odor.

The app asks you to keep the car clean or pay a fee if handled otherwise, but not everyone adheres to the rules.

And if you need a car, you don’t have the time to cancel your rental and book another.

Another Zipcar rule is to fill the car up before you turn it in.

They keep a gas card in the car, so renters have access to the funds.

But just as with keeping the car clean, there’s no guarantee the previous driver will gas up the tank.

The additional fees can add up if you don’t keep track of your mileage.

If you’re going on a long road trip, you might be better off renting from a traditional car rental company.

Enterprise, Hertz, Avis Budget, and others have daily rates with no mileage limits.

Zipcar vs Rental Cars

You might wonder why you should book a Zipcar vehicle instead of a standard rental car.

a vector graphic of a hand holding keys against a map in the background with two cars with Zipcar logos on them for Zipcar rental rates post

How They’re the Same

You can rent a car whether you own a vehicle or not.

If you don’t want to use your car, you can rent through Zipcar or a big-name company.

Both Zipcar and large organizations provide insurance that covers drivers in rental vehicles.

How They’re Different

As previously mentioned, you could get in a Zipcar and find that it’s dirty or smelly.

These cars are community-owned, so there’s no one cleaning them between renters.

If you rent from a major company like Budget or Hertz, or even a long-term car rental, you know an employee is cleaning the car and spraying air freshener before the next customer gets it.

You don’t have to deal with lines, waits, or employees when you rent with Zipcar.

You can book a car on your phone or computer without having to visit a rental counter.

Cars are available anywhere, so you don’t have to go to a business—one might be right down the street from you.

Is Zipcar Worth It for Long Trips?

Zipcar isn’t the best choice for long trips if you’re traveling more than 180 miles.

You’re charged per mile when you reach that limit, so your trip can get expensive quickly.

It’s more affordable to rent from a company that charges daily rates with no mileage restrictions.

Is Zipcar a Good Choice for College Students?

Yes, this flexible rental solution is a great choice for college students!

Drivers only need to be 18 if they’re current students, while most car rental companies require drivers to be 25.

They also have a great program called Zipcar Student, which saves college kids even more money.

Is Zipcar Cheaper Than Uber?

Yes, Zipcar is cheaper than Uber.

Part of the reason is that you’re only paying to rent the vehicle and driving it yourself.

With Uber, you’re paying for the driver’s time and effort.

Wrapping Up

Zipcar is an innovative car rental solution that allows flexibility and ease in the booking process.

Rent a car for an hour or a day at the best prices and take your trip into your own hands.

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