The best way to describe Zipcar.com is a hire car club – basically you join the service and you can use one of many cars scattered in major cities around the globe. For those of us in the UK there are only cars in London at the moment but zipcar have assured me that there are more European cities to come.
So what’s the difference between zipcar and a hire car – well really the difference is that you only pay one rate for the car – either by the hour / part day or day and when you have finished using it you just walk away. Joining means that you get a unique access key to the car, you book the one you want, turn up and drive away.
Does it all sound very American – well it is. Originally launched in the USA for big city dwellers it means that you can get a car when you need it but without all the hassle of going to the local hire company.
The advantages – there are lots but Zipcar claim that one of the best things about it is that it is really environmentally friendly – you only use a car when you need it, less cars are on the road, less congestion in cities and no need to find a parking space.
Although not really a site review this is a great service that may just catch on – no good for those of us who live in the sticks but for all you city dwellers that want a car now and again but don’t want the cost of your own, a great idea. Prices are on the web site but joining is just £25 upwards and then you just pay for use.
We’re giving the site 4 stars to start with – it’s green and it saves money – in this day and age a brilliant idea and we may put this up to five stars as soon as they cover other UK cities. We’ve asked Zipcar to keep us informed !!!
Zipcar is the world’s largest car club, offering self-service, on-demand cars by the hour or day. As the creator of the car sharing industry in the U.S., Zipcar has made car sharing a mainstream amenity in more than 50 cities including metro Boston, New York, Washington DC, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Minneapolis and San Francisco, solving the significant parking, congestion and transportation issues that plague urban residents. Since 2000, when Zipcars first hit the road, Zipcar has signed 225,000 consumer and business members/drivers nationwide, with more than 5,000 vehicles in London and 26 North American states and provinces.
With Zipcar’s revolutionary technology, reserving, accessing and using a Zipcar is as easy as getting cash from an ATM. In minutes or up to a year in advance, members can reserve Zipcars online or by phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Zipcar members have automated access to Zipcars using a “Zipcard” to simply unlock the door and drive away. Rates are as low as £4.95 per hour and £35 per day, with fuel, parking, insurance, maintenance and congestion charge included in all reservations. Zipcar also offers frequent driver and business (Z4B) programs with additional discounts.
Zipcar members in the UK can choose from around 15 different makes and models — the largest and most varied fleet of any car club in the world. Zipcars include gas/electric hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, as well high-end vehicles like the MINI Cooper and BMW 318.