How to Use a ZipCar

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ZipCars are vehicles that you can use to run errands, go grocery shopping or visit friends. You can even use a ZipCar that can haul large items or a big group of people. You can use the car for an hour or all day, and return it to the same spot you found it. It's like renting a car, only with less hassle and less money. You go online to reserve a car, and everything you need is right there--including keys, insurance information and a gas card. Everyone in your neighborhood can use the car and you all can share the costs, making it much cheaper than using your own car.

Things You'll Need

  • Driver's license Good driving record
  • Pick your plan. ZipCar lets you choose whether you plan to drive often or occasionally. There are discounts for people who drive more often or use the cars for business.

  • Sign up for a Zipcard. You will have to provide your driver's license number and your credit card number. The company will check your driving record and make sure you are eligible. There is a fee for this process, and a yearly or monthly fee to use the vehicles (see Resources below).

  • Reserve your ZipCar. You can choose which car you want and what time you want to use it. Some cars will cost more than others.

  • Check for damage. If the person who used the car before you hit something, you will want to let a ZipCar employee know before you start to drive it, otherwise you may have to pay for damages.

  • Get into your ZipCar. You will hold your Zipcard up to the windshield and it will only unlock the car you reserved. The keys will be hanging from the steering wheel. While you are running your errands, you can lock the keys in the car because your Zipcard will open the car while you have it reserved.

  • Fill up the car with gas. Each ZipCar comes with its own gas card. You will have to record the mileage using your Zipcard number as the PIN number on the gas card.

  • Leave the car where you found it when you're done. If you are late, you will have to pay late fees.

Tips & Warnings

  • You must be at least 21 to use ZipCar and have had your license for at least a year. You must be a Zipcard member to drive. You may only share driving responsibilities with other Zipcard members.
  • You are not eligible to use ZipCar if you have had a DUI, DWI or any other alcohol violation within the past 7 years. If you get into an accident while using a ZipCar and it is your fault or no one's fault, you will have to pay a deductible.

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