Like an ATM for wheels

Description – If you only need a car occasionally, this is the service for you.
Website –
Address – Hoboken Area, Hoboken, New Jersey ( NJ ) 07030
Telephone – (866) 4ZI-PCAR

zipcar sign.JPG

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8 Comments on "Zipcar"

7 years 21 days ago

I have the pay-as-you-go plan, so I don’t pay a monthly fee – I just pay when I use it (which is about a buck more per hour than the pre-pay options). But I like that because there’s no commitment.

For the most part I really like the service. But I agree with the other poster re damage and being charged. You need to make sure you look it over and call them about anything you see BEFORE you unlock the car with the fob.

I had been on the road for 5 minutes when at a stop light I noticed that part of the wing mirror was missing. Obviously someone had tried to park it in the lot and clipped the wall knocking off about 1/3 of the mirror. I called and reported it telling them I hadn’t noticed it until I’d gotten out of the dark parking garage. I spoke to a person AND left it on the answering machine. A week later there was $400 charged to my credit card. I asked them about it and they removed it immediately and gave me a $20 credit for the inconvenience. Seemed to me they probably try to peg someone with it in the hopes they won’t notice – afterall, they can’t actually prove which driver did it. I don’t know how they resolved it but I learned after that to be very diligent with checking over the car and leaving a message on their recording and with an agent.

I also notice they don’t tell you what damage they already have in their records. It seems the onus is on me to tell them what I see rather than them letting me know what’s already been reported. Seems like another way to peg someone if they don’t report it.

I rent one the other day and thankfully checked the car because one of the Minis had the fender above the back tire knocked off. When I called, it hadn’t been reported – so people damage the cars and don’t report it. And that sucks because they’re ruining the service for all of us.

So be careful and take pictures – CYA.

Other than that, it’s a great service (and the yellow convertible Mini is way fun.

7 years 21 days ago

my roommate and i have been members of zipcar for over a year and a half. bigd pretty much sums up the basics although i have noticed there are a couple ‘hogs’ in the area the last 5-6 months now who like to reserve vehicles all days sat/sun and then suddenly cancel their reservation the day before.

as for the charges for damage/cleanliness/fuel tank less than 1/4 full…all that is covered in the intro paperwork zipcar sends you. i’ve always made sure to give the car a quick once-over before i take off anywhere. since these are new cars, it’s pretty obvious when something is broken, scratched, dirty, etc. if i notice anything that sticks out, i’ll just send an email to their main contact address once i’m back at my pc later that day or the next day. this happened a couple times with cars parked in garages that were missing their electronic cards (problem now solved incidentally). only once have i had a major complaint and that was dealt with very quickly.

7 years 21 days ago

I agree with Easy-E. My girlfriend uses Zipcar quite a bit. She was charged for some damage that occured well after she dropped it off. It is bullshit that they have no check in or check out, someone to go over the damage and report it then.

7 years 21 days ago

Any new experiences with zipcar? Thinking about joining, but would like to hear from more people. Thanks!

8 years 1 month ago

I used Zipcar for a number of years.

All of the pro’s I would agree with, but here are the cons:

1. If you were the last person to use the car, you will be charged for ANY damage someone notices, even if it happened before you used it. So be prepared to go over it with a fine toothed comb and get on your hands and knees to check every inch of it. So basically if it’s parked, you are responsible if some jackass in the garage scratches it 3 days later. Yes, this happened to me. If there is any stain, even if it looks old, call they and report it. I got charged $50 for cleaning and I didn’t know what they hell they are talking about, it looked clean to me. You can get screwed because they will charge you without having to show you proof. So I got so fed up that I would call to report the slightest thing out of place. Crumbs, stains, scratches… Anything.

2. You can NEVER get a car for a short trip on the weekends. People book them way in advance, sometimes up to the last minute they can hold them, and then decide to release it. I always thought they should keep a couple cars just for trips of 3 hours or less.

***FYI, you would be better off renting from Enterprise up near 14th street for a weekend trip anyway, it’s cheaper, and they will pick you up and drop you off if you need it. They always seem to have cars, even on major holidays.

I found I needed a car pretty frequently so I bought one about 6 months ago. I see family and friends more often and I am not trapped in Hoboken or the city any more. In any case, I was fed up with Zipcar. I was paying for a service that never had cars when I needed them and planned to drop it anyway. Especially after being charged from damage that obviously happened while being parked in the garage.

I had suggested that they change their booking system to one that would require long trips to lock in the booking rather than allowing people to just reserve them up until the last minute. It would make people think a little more seriously about their plans to use it. After a while I had to start reserving cars every weekend I could just so I could have the possibility of using them if I needed it. Otherwise they are all booked 3-4 weeks in advanced. You would have to check the website all day, 48 hours before the weekend to catch the people who decided to release the car.

Just my opinion, your mileage may vary.