$40 Zipcar credit

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Sky King, Jan 25, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Sky King
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    Sky King Silver Member

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    We decided to go to San Francisco for 5 nights and were planning on renting a car. Car was going to be cheap..$65 ai for 5 nights...but parking is RIDICULOUS! It was going to cost $40-$50 per day just to park at the hotels we were staying at.

    Enter Zipcar.

    Turns out there are Zipcar locations everywhere in San Fran including right next to our hotel. Zipcar's rent from $7 an hour. It's perfect. Rent the zip car for a few hours during the day to cruise around the city and then return it back to the garage by the hotel. And they include gas and insurance. There is a $50 fee to join and $25 app fee unless you work for a university or are a student.

    Even sweeter...I found a $40 driving credit code. HVEZFEWX

    I figure I'm saving well over $250 on the car cost.
     
  2. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Have heard of Zipcar but never used them. Please let us know how it goes.
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    It's well established in the SF Bay area and also around DC, essentially to discourage car ownership. You sign up in advance and then can rent a small car basically by the hour via an online reservation and a code to unlock it.it's designed to allow folks without private cars to obtain cars for grocery shopping, errands, etc. It's an innovation idea that many users tend to love.
     
  4. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Zipcar is a private company which is now profitable in some of its more established cities. While it may have the side effect of discouraging car ownership, it's purpose is to make money. I believe they have a variety of cars from small to decidedly standard size.

    One of the benefits is that they have more interesting cars than the standard rental fleet (including Coopers and the occasional BMW and Volvo, at least in NYC).

    Something to watch out for is that you must return the car by the time you reserved it for or there may be a fairly large penalty. The assumption is that someone may well have booked it as soon as you're done with it.
     
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  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I see a lot of those two seater Swatch cars in their parking spaces, although I believe they have vehicles like Prius. It probably depends very much on the location. Do they charge more for the larger and more expensive cars?
     
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  6. Sky King
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    Sky King Silver Member

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    I saw some SUVs on there. The places I looked that we're close to our hotel were Prius's (pria?) for $7.75 an hour. We would rent from 9-2 then return so our little one could nap.
     
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  7. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    I used Zipcar for 2 years in Atlanta, when I didn't have a car and only needed one maybe 1-2x/month. It's a great service and well-priced. Day-long rentals are amazing ... when moving apartments, I rented an SUV for the day for $64. Since I was under 25, that would have been much more at a rental agency. When you include 250 miles/day, gas + insurance for someone who didn't own a car, it's a good deal for getting around a city.
     
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  8. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I don't think they have the Smart car here in New York. The definitely have Prii.

    Yes, they charge nominally more (maybe $12 and hour instead of $8?) for the more expensive or desirable vehicles.
     
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  9. tondoleo
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    tondoleo Gold Member

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    I have seen Zipcar at the Rockridge Bart Station in Oakland.
     
  10. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    They are very well established here in Boston as well. I know a few of their developers over the river too. I have never used them, but I know alot of people who do, and they prove very helpful for people who do not have cars in the city. Given the monthly cost of parking somewhere like Brookline or Downtown I understand why they work well.

    I had not thought about using them for travel, though for SFO it makes a lot of sense now that I think about it.

    I believe hertz has a competitive product as well, but Its not as well spread.
     
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  11. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Around DC I don't see that type of car, but in San Diego last week a saw a lot of cars from another brand that were small two seaters. In DC there is a huge mix of cars, from you very basic to very nice.

    I had a membership for a year and used a car once so I canceled it. Since my wife has a car the membership is rather pointless.

    But I do think about the possibility of using zipcar for travel when rental prices are above $60/day. But so far we found cars for less or used public transportation, for example a long weekend in San Degio on the Bus and with hotel bikes.
     
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  12. dagaetch

    dagaetch Active Member

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    does the driving credit work for existing users? How did you apply it? Thanks!

    I'm in Cambridge and have been using Zipcar for years now - it's really perfect for me. There's a dozen cars within half a mile of my apt, I don't have to worry about moving the car for street cleaning or snow emergencies, and I'm not paying for auto insurance.
     
  13. Sky King
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    Sky King Silver Member

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    I think it might be a new user credit.
     
  14. dgreen12
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    dgreen12 Silver Member

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    I have a ZipCar membership that I use for business. I don't need it here in Spokane, because I have a car.

    Where I use it is when I travel. Going to Seattle, I'll take the airport train into downtown for meetings --- and if I need a car, I'll book a ZipCar for the amount of time that I need it for. I had a business meeting in SF last year, and used ZipCar for the same purpose --- rented a car for the four hours I needed it.

    Do, do do bring the car back on time. When renting in SF, the car wasn't there when I went to pick it up. ZipCar called the person before me on their cellphone and roundly chastised them for not returning the car on time as well as giving me some rental credit. I believe that the previous driver ended up paying for my rental credit as part of her penalty.
     
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  15. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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  16. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    The key behind ZipCar is understanding that it is a niche product and will work for people within that niche. Trying to fit a square peg through a round hole doesn't really work well..... unless you want to push very hard.
     
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  17. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    I have had some pretty good rides with Zipcar. Their prices are reasonable and is inclusive. There is a credit card for gas fillups, and the person who brings it to a 1/4 tank should fill it up again. In NYC, it there are an abundance of places (some with only a couple of cars, others with more -- lots of Nissans and some Volvos).

    They can get booked up quickly, esp on the weekends or the larger ones at the end of the month (moving time). I use it if I need a car for a few hours and if it is within my walking distance (which rental agencies may not be). Also, as I get a discount membership through the University, its not a big upfront cost.
     
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  18. dgreen12
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    Actually, it seemed to me like there was a handful of issues, just like here.

    Unlike a big rental car agency, which has lots and lots of cars in a single central location, ZipCar has lots and lots of cars spread out through neighborhoods.

    Renters just need to be careful to return the car on time, since there are maybe two cars in each neighborhood location.
     
  19. Sky King
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    Sky King Silver Member

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    Decided to use a bogo ambassador cert for the intercontinental San Fran. Turns out zipcar has 5 cars parked in the hotels garage. They even have a plug in Prius for $7.75 an hour. Won't have to pay their ridiculous valet charge now!
     

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