How to Use Zip Car

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Zipcar is a car-sharing company that recently merged with Flexcar, a car-sharing company based in Seattle, Washington. Car-sharing is an efficient and, depending on the individual situation, cost-effective way of fillingtransportation needs. There are many misconceptions about car-sharing; some believe it's a scam and others believe that it's more expensive than it actually is.

  • Determine whether or not Zipcar is for you. Car-sharing helps the environment by reducing the amount of pollution that gasoline causes. Also, car-sharing is cost-effective for people that seldom need a vehicle. You may benefit from Zipcar if:- You live in an area with many public transportations options or live in an area where you are able to walk most everywhere you need to go.- You don't like to drive and avoid it whenever possible.- You live in a city or urban area and parking is very expensive every month.- You only need a car for groceries so you can transport a large amount of goods.- When you travel you strongly prefer the bus, train, plain, or any other form of transportation that does not involve driving.- If you rely on your car to get to work, or if you live in an area where driving is the only transportation option, Zipcar may not be for you.

  • Go to Zipcar.com. To your left you will see several orange tabs. Select the tab that says "Find Cars." This will allow you to find out whether or not Zipcar is available in your city. Zipcar is available in many US cities on the east and west coasts. Zipcar is also available in London. Once you've discovered Zipcar is in your city, you are ready to sign up.

  • Go back to the main page. You will see an orange tab to your left that says "Join Now." Select that tab. You will be prompted to provide information. Fill-out all of the forms that are provided for you. After you submit all of your information Zipcar will send you your card. However, your work on the website is not finished. Read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, learn as much about the process as you can so you will be ready when your Zipcard arrives.

  • Once you receive your card you are ready to reserve a Zipcar. To reserve a Zipcar, simply log onto your account on Zipcar's website. You can do this by using your ID number, which will be on the bottom left-hand corner of your Zipcard, and your password, which Zipcar will provide to you. You may then select your specific neighborhood. Zipcar will provide a list of cars available in that neighborhood. The information provided includes cross-streets,make and cost of the vehicle, and the hours that vehicle is available. Most vehicles are between $9.50 and $10.50 an hour.

  • Once you've selected a car click "Reserve." Your reservation is now complete. At the appropriate time go to the proper location and use your card to get into the vehicle. There is a scanner on the windshield. Simply hold your card up to the windshield and the car will unlock. Directions are on the scanner as well.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you give yourself enough time. It is better to be back from your errands early than to be late and have to pay a fee!

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