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Zipcar One Way: Can You Return A Zipcar To A Different Location?

The rental company Zipcar offers a convenient Zipcar One Way feature for those travelers among us who can’t take the hassle of a return trip.

Renting from a car rental service and returning it to the original bay location is not an option for some travelers.

Some of us will need to stay at the location, or we may have planned a different way of getting home.

If you are one of these people, then you may be searching for a one-way rental option.

This would allow you to drop your car off at a different location than the bay you picked it up at.

For Zipcar users in the U.K. and parts of America, this option does exist.

To ensure that it all goes smoothly, there are a few things to note before downloading the Zipcar app.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about Zipcar One Way.

Can You Take a Zipcar One Way?

Yes, Zipcar one way is an option if you live in the right area.

There is a “Flex” feature for you cannot return the vehicle to its original location.

How Zipcar One Way Works

Zipcar One Way is similar to other services, but it has some fundamental differences.

Roundtrip vs. Flex

A standard Roundtrip rental requires that the driver returns the vehicle to the same bay that they picked it up at.

The Flex option lets drivers take the car one way and leave it in a designated area of their destination city.

Unlike Roundtrip, Zipcar Flex charges by the minute.

Zipcar Flex is ideal for those travelers who are making a short-term trip.

To book a Zipcar Flex, download and use the Zipcar app.

This is the only way for customers to find flex cars.

When it comes time to return the car, drop the vehicle off anywhere within the “ZipZone” with at least ¼ of a tank of gas.

The driver must park the car following the rules and regulations of the specific zone that they are parking within. 

Where Can You Go With Zipcar Flex?

Zipcar Flex is available in most boroughs of London and a few cities in beta in the United States.

List of Cities

The following boroughs of London have ZipZones:

  • Ealing
  • Hackney
  • Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Haringey
  • Islington
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Merton
  • Richmond
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Waltham Forest
  • Wandsworth
  • Westminster

The Heathrow Airport also has a ZipZone for customers to drop off the car before checking in for their flight.

In the United States, ZipZones are available or are becoming available in the following locations:

  • Boston
  • Denver
  • Philadelphia
  • Los Angeles

With so many benefits to Zipcar Flex, I cannot wait until it is available in my city.

Can You Take a Zipcar Flex Out of State? 

You may only take the Zipcar Flex to a location with ZipZones.

In America, this means out-of-state travels are fine, so long as the car ends up in a spot in the ZipZone.

Can You Take a Zipcar Flex Out of the Country? 

Since Zipcar Flex is only available in some U.S. cities and London, you cannot take a Zipcar Flex out of the country.

Why Use Zipcar One Way?

There are a few reasons that travelers may use a Zipcar One Way rather than a Roundtrip.

Airport Transportation

Zipcar One Way might make it easier for travelers to get to or from the London Heathrow Airport from their city of origin.

When it comes to red-eye flights, I know that I do not want to rely on waiting for a rideshare service that may not be available when I need to leave.

If you take a Zipcar Flex to the airport, you do not need to worry about paying hefty overnight parking fees for your vehicle.

This is especially useful if you are traveling by air to a location where you will stay for a long period.

Driving to a Party

Zipcar One Way is useful to drive to a party or a friend’s home in another town, as long as you can easily get home.

I find the feature helpful for relocation to a new city.

Zipcar Flex can get you and everything you need into the new town without making an expensive return trip.

While the prices are ideal for short-term travel, road trips are not out of the question for Zipcar Flex.

How Much Does Zipcar One Way Cost?

The pricing for Zipcar One Way differs from round-trip rentals.

Roundtrip options charge by the hour or by the day, orienting them towards long-term travel plans.

Zipcar One Way costs drivers by the minute.


Driving a Zipcar One Way costs 31 cents per minute.

This rate makes sense since One Way is best for short-term travels.

Those of us who rent from Zipcar will not have to pay to refuel the vehicle.

The company will cover this cost.

Each car comes with a fuel card that drivers can use to pay to refill the tank at the gas station.

If you cannot find the fuel card in the car, then make sure to keep the receipt from the gas station and let a customer representative know.

Zipcar will reimburse you.

Most Zipcar vehicles will also come with a toll pass.

To ensure that the car comes with a toll pass, review the list of amenities that the app shows before confirming the rental.

How To Reserve a Zipcar One Way

Car renting can be frustrating, but for those who use Zipcar, it can be really simple.

Step by Step Instructions

To reserve a Zipcar One Way, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Zipcar app on your cellphone.
  2. Open the Zipcar app.
  3. Click on one of the blue dots on the map, indicating a Zipcar flex vehicle. This will prompt the map to display the entire ZipZone in blue.
  4. Click on the vehicles within the zone to read all necessary information.
  5. If you decide that this is the right car for you, then click “Confirm Reservation.”
  6. This will hold the car for you for fifteen minutes. Within these fifteen minutes, you must unlock the car using the app. If you fail to do so in fifteen minutes, the car will become available to other Zipcar users again.
  7. Follow the map and directions to get to the vehicle.
  8. Unlock the vehicle using your mobile device.
  9. Hit the road!

You will only be able to complete this process using the Zipcar mobile phone app.

Even Zipcar members will be unable to reserve a Zipcar One Way through the company’s website.

Zipcar Flex Customer Service

If the vehicle does not meet your needs, or you are having difficulties with your app or with renting, contact our customer service team.

How To Contact

To contact Zipcar Customer Service, there are two different numbers that you can try calling.

The best toll-free number to contact the company is 1 (866) 494-7227.

You may also reach customer service directly through Zipcar’s customer service hotline at 309-229-5010.

You can call employees at Zipcar’s call center in Massachusetts from Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.

Frequently Asked Question

Here are some answers to questions you may be asking.

How far in advance do you need to reserve a Zipcar Flex?

There are no options to book a Zipcar Flex vehicle more than fifteen minutes in advance.

Open the app when you need the car, click on the available vehicle that best suits your needs, and make your way to its ZipZone parking spot.

Once you confirm the reservation, you have fifteen minutes to get to the vehicle.

Can you turn a Zipcar One Way reservation into Roundtrip?

You can return the Zipcar One Way to the same ZipZone that you picked it up from, but this will not change into a Roundtrip reservation.

The trip will still be pay-per-minute, and it will not cost you by the hour or day like a normal roundtrip rental will.

What is the minimum rental period?

The minimum rental period is just one minute.

A one-minute rental would cost 31 cents plus any fees.

What is the maximum rental period?

The maximum rental period is two days.

The cost will still be 31 cents per minute, even if it takes over a day to return the rental to a ZipZone parking spot.

Wrapping Up

Zipcar Flex is convenient for travelers who do not want to worry about their return trip.

If you plan on heading to a location with a ZipZone, consider downloading the Zipcar app to book your Zipcar Flex rental.

Remember that you will be paying a per-minute rate, and be sure to check the parking rules for the ZipZone that you will park in beforehand.

When it comes to rental companies that make one-way trips simple and enjoyable, Zipcar is one of the best options.

Its simple interface and accessible customer service representatives are a win for travelers.

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