Zipcar Review: Is It Worth the Cost?

Last Updated on April 3, 2022 by Snezana Grcak

Renting a vehicle in a few clicks from the comfort of your home is just one of the perks of today’s world of online businesses. However, not all rental car platforms are as reliable as their websites claim, and the Shuttle Fare team is here to debunk such companies. This article will provide relevant info on Zipcar rental car services, including the booking process, cancellations, customer support, and alternatives! We also looked into Zipcar reviews to check other users’ experiences. Keep reading to find the answer to any question and discover if Zipcar is worth the money!

What Is Zipcar?

In 2000, Zipcar founders brought the on-demand car-sharing idea from Europe to the United States to make traveling easier and more convenient. And it worked! Affordable car rentals have been in great demand over the past years, and apps like Zipcar have proved highly beneficial. 

The company allows you to book a vehicle on an hourly or daily basis, for a day or a week, and you can do it in just a few clicks. You can make a reservation on the website or through the Zipcar app. The app is free and available on both Google Play and App Store. Zipcar locations include many U.S. cities, including Chicago, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.

How Does Zipcar Work?

Whether you want to rent a Zipcar vehicle for an hour or a couple of days, the booking process will be fast and straightforward! Based on your travel needs, choose either Flex (one-way trips) or Roundtrip service.

You can find the vehicle of your choice, reserve it, and unlock it all using the Zipcar app and an access card. We suggest that you rent a car at least several days in advance—Zipcar allows you to book it up to a year ahead of time! 

  1. Specify the date and time of your trip.
  2. Go through the vehicles closest to your location.
  3. Reserve online the one that fits your needs.

Each Zipcar is readily available in a reserved parking space so that users can find them without any hassle. When you reach your vehicle, use the app to unlock it and then later to lock it, extend the journey, or end your booking. After your trip ends, return the car to the same location. 

Zipcar App Booking Process
Zipcar App Booking Process

How Much Is Zipcar?

Zipcar offers monthly and annual memberships for $9/month or $90/year. Both options include perks like free gas, 24/7 roadside assistance, secondary insurance for all trips, and 180 miles per day. Members are also covered by Zipcar insurance.

Vehicle rates vary depending on the vehicle, duration of your trip, and location; approximate Zipcar prices start at $12.50 per hour and $103.75 per day. You can estimate the Zipcar cost of your next trip on the official website. To reduce your costs, search for Zipcar special deals, which are often available online, or look into the Zipcar student discount.

Zipcar Prices & Vehicles
Zipcar Prices & Vehicles

Zipcar Cancellation Policy

You can change or cancel your Zipcar booking at any time. However, to receive a full refund, you should call it off with enough advance notice. Modify your reservation within the following time span to make sure you get all your money back:

  • At least 24 hours before the start time (if your trip takes at least 8 hours);
  • Up to 3 hours in advance (if your journey takes less than 8 hours);
  • Within 30 minutes of booking.

If you cancel or reduce the number of days outside of these timeframes, you’ll be ineligible for the reimbursement.

How To Cancel Zipcar Membership

If you wish to cancel your Zipcar membership, note that you cannot do it via the Zipcar app. Either call the Zipcar customer service or click here and take the following steps.

  1. Log in to your Zipcar account
  2. Click on My Account at the upper right corner
  3. Select Account Settings
  4. Tap on the Plan card
  5. Select Cancel membership 

Note: After canceling your membership, you may continue to book cars by the hour or day until the end of the billing cycle.

How To Contact Zipcar Customer Service

Zipcar gives its users multiple ways to reach out to the customer support team and get the answer to any question! Here are the two main contact options.

  1. Call the official Zipcar customer service number 866-494-7227 between 9 AM and 5 PM.
  2. Contact the support team via mail at [email protected].

If you have trouble reaching the team via phone, try to skip the phone queue and avoid waiting on hold with the help of DoNotPay. Before you contact Zipcar, you can check their support page with FAQs and solutions to common issues. 

Zipcar Help Center
Zipcar Help Center

Customer Experiences: Zipcar Reviews

The car-sharing idea and convenience of booking are great, but is this service as trustworthy as they claim? It seems like it depends on the location and probably how lucky you are. 

Apparently, Zipcar NYC left a majority of users feeling deeply dissatisfied with the overall service and customer support. When it comes to other cities, opinions are divided, but there are still a lot of negative reviews. While people love the concept, many of them have had at least one of the following issues:

  • Delays due to renters’ unpunctuality;
  • Not functioning vehicles or the app;
  • Inefficient or unreachable customer service;
  • Heavy charges for any Zipcar member who is even a few minutes late;
  • Disabling accounts without any explanation.

Still, many Zipcar users have had pleasant experiences, and a number of them have been using these car rental services for years. If you decide to give it a try, take everything into account and look into the alternatives—we listed them below!

Zipcar Alternatives

Before making a reservation, check out what other similar platforms and companies have to offer. Turo, Getaround, and Kyte are car-sharing platforms, while AutoSlash and Car Rental Savers offer info on the cheapest car rental deals. Learn more about each service below.

If you’re searching for a convenient car rental ride to or from any airport, check out what Shuttle Fare has to offer. We cover all major airports, have no booking fees, and provide the most budget-friendly deals!

Bottom Line: Is Zipcar Worth It?

The idea is excellent, but its execution isn’t as successful as expected, according to Zipcar users. 

While the variety of vehicles and rates is astonishing, what users don’t know is who is driving the car before them. For this reason, many of them faced delays or had to deal with dirty or non-functioning vehicles. 

On the other hand, the booking process is quick and convenient, and you could rent a car for as low as 30 minutes or as many as seven days. Whether you’re running errands or going on a weekend trip, Zipcar will pay for fuel, parking, and insurance! That’s why we suggest that you try it out, but take everything we listed into account and create a clever travel plan. 

Always have a backup plan if your schedule is tight, and check the alternatives before renting—you might come across a better deal on Turo or Getaround.