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Zipcar in NYC: Availability, How It Works, Pricing & How To Rent

Skip the subway and the rideshare apps! Sometimes you just need to do the driving yourself. Get to know more about Zipcar NYC and how to use it!

Zipcar is a car sharing company that makes it possible for those without car ownership to take short-term trips without relying on public transportation, expensive taxis, or ride sharing with other people.

Zipcar is a popular service used in many cities throughout the United States (it hasn’t quite migrated across the pond to the United Kingdom yet) – one of the main cities that utilizes Zipcar is New York City.

Is Zipcar in NYC?

Zipcar NYC is in various boroughs and sections of New York City, making it possible for those who reside in The Big Apple to rent a car for hourly or daily use without going to a rental car company.

Users can input zip codes of their local area to find cars in cities, campuses, airports, or neighborhoods across New York City.

If you’re thinking about using Enterprise car share to drive to New Jersey, use a Zip car instead!

How Much Does Zipcar Cost In New York City?

Zipcar NYC has a basic rate of $7 for the monthly fee and $25 for the initial startup cost.

Users can also pay $70 for an annual Zipcar membership upfront to save $14 on the yearly cost, which is a smart choice for those who know they will use a car every month without worrying about personal vehicle ownership.

Zipcar NYC Rates

After the initial startup fee and monthly cost, the price of renting a car comes to $9 per hour, whereas an SUV may cost $10 per hour, and a larger Zipcar vehicle can be upwards of $11 per hour.

The mileage allowance is 180 miles per trip, with every mile over the limit costing .45 cents per mile.

In New York City, IDNYC holders have a free annual membership, meaning the only upfront cost is the application fee.

However, remember that users will not be reimbursed the $25 fee if the application is denied.

Fees for Using Zipcar in NYC

Additional fees are included in the Zipcar set-up, registration, use, and penalties associated with this company.

  • The business account set-up fee comes to $75 for the non-refundable account set-up and membership plans.
  • A young driver fee is added for drivers between 18-24 years old; there is $1.25 per hour for drivers aged 18-020, whereas the fee is $0.88 per hour for a Zipcar member 21 to 24 years old.
  • A booking charge is not added, but there is a cancellation fee if a driver cancels within the required time frame.
  • Drivers are required to pay toll charges.
  • The zip card replacement fee is $15 for each additional card.
  • A late return fee of $50 per hour applies to a maximum of $150.
  • The low fuel fee is $30 if a user returns it with less than ¼ of a tank remaining.
  • The Replacement of the car is the cost of the replacement key (users pay the full price).
  • If a user loses the parking pass, it costs $225 to replace.
  • A $139 vehicle retrieval fee also applies.

Is Zipcar the Best Car Sharing Service in NYC?  

Zipcar is one of the best car sharing services in New York City (and North America).

Compared to ride sharing apps like Uber or Lyft, using Zipcar is the best alternative for those who want more flexibility for all-day use.

vector graphic showing a handful of nyc taxi apps logos on the screens of smartphones arranged next to one another

Although ride sharing apps are useful for short trips, like going to the local restaurant or grocery store, using a ridesharing service for multiple trips within one day, one long trip, or a 12-hour period can add up.

In this case, using Zipcar car sharing is the preferred alternative for more convenience and unlimited access to cars.

ZipCar NYC vs Traditional Rental  

Compared to traditional car rental companies, Zipcar makes it easier for members to get a last-minute car when rental car companies may be sold out.

Although Zipcar drivers have to pay for out-of-pocket damage costs to their vehicle, if they are okay with having only secondary protection, Zipcar is a good alternative.

Plus, members can pay an additional $50 per year to get unlimited coverage – which is often cheaper than insurance for a one-off car rental at an in-person rental company.

Renting a Zipcar in New York City

Fortunately for new users, renting a car is very easy through Zipcar in New York City.

Instead of traveling to a local car rental in your area, you can simply use the Zipcar app on your smartphone to find a nearby car, unlock the vehicle, and begin driving!

Using a Zipcar in New York City is a great way to get across New York State without using the NYC Dot system, expensive taxis, costly ride-sharing apps like Uber, or walking/biking.

vector graphic showing zipcar nyc vehicles against the city skyline and other popular tourist things

How Do I Join Zipcar In NYC?

New members can easily join Zipcar in NYC by signing up for the service.

First, a New Yorker must pick a membership plan that works for their needs.

They can choose a monthly plan, which is $7 per month in NYC, or an annual plan, which is$70 per year.

Next, members must submit a photo of their driver’s license during the sign-up process.

It is easiest for users to download the app on their smartphone and take a photo using the smartphone app to upload their current driver’s license.

Users must also add a debit or credit card to their account to book cars easily through their phones.

A Zipcar member must upload their personal information during this step, such as name, email address, and phone number.

The last step is to book a trip! Users need to open the Zipcar app on their smartphone to browse for cars in the local area and find which one they want, for how long, and how to pay.

If members want added security, they can use a Zip card as a physical way to access cars if they don’t have the app on their phone.

How Do I Find A Zipcar In NYC?

Members can use the Zipcar app on their phones to book a vehicle.

This step lets them look at the Zipcar map of the local area to find the location of the cars available to pick up for the duration of the rental period.

Pick up your Zip car from the parking garage, municipal parking facilities, or local New York city streets and head to Times Square, Washington DC, Jersey City, or New Haven!

How To Pick Up A Zipcar In NYC

Members can use the app to find a car, book the vehicle, and pay for the reservation.

Next, they must head to the pick-up location to unlock the vehicle with their smartphone.

If users do not want to rely on their phones, they can also use a Zipcard to unlock and lock the car.

When members finish their rental period, they can return the car and park in the same parking spot they picked it up.

All they have to do is end the trip with the Zipcar app to end the rental period.

Is Zipcar Worth it in NYC?  

Zipcar is a convenient and affordable way to take day trips from the center of NYC.

Instead of taking public transportation to father-away locations, using an expensive ride-sharing app for a long journey, or hiring a rental car company, members can utilize the flexibility and convenience of dozens of Zipcars in their local area.

Frequently Asked Questions  

New York residents should look at the most common questions and answers regarding Zipcar to see if this is the right transportation service for their budget and preferences!

How soon can I drive with Zipcar after joining in New York City?

Users can join Zipcar and begin driving after their license is verified.

Once their identity is verified on the app, they can browse cars, rent a vehicle for the time period, and pay through the online payment method.

Can I join Zipcar through an existing account?

Users can join Zipcar through an existing account by logging into the app on the home page.

If new members have questions, they can reach out to Zipcar Inc customer service to learn more about becoming a Zipcar member, using this car sharing service, and how to locate a Zipcar Vehicle or parking space.

Can I join Zipcar through my university?

Zipcar for students makes it possible for university students to use this car-sharing service without the hassle of car rental companies.

College students may not have private vehicles and rely on public transportation to get around.

Providing Zipcar makes it easy for young adults to rent a car for a one-off time without worrying about gas and insurance on their own.

Zipcar provides tons of vehicle options for students over 18years old at their local campus and offers gas, insurance, parking, and maintenance options for students.

Wrapping Up

Using Zipcar is a flexible, affordable, and convenient way to get around New York City.

Offering two membership plans that can work for your needs, this car-sharing service makes it possible for members to rent a car for a spontaneous trip or long car journey.

So instead of paying for a ride-sharing app that can be very expensive, pre-booking a rental car ahead of time, or using long-winded public transportation, Zipcar provides New York City residents with ample flexibility.

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