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Car sharing has been a known concept in Europe for years but in 2000 the founders of Zipcar brought the idea to their hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and started rolling it out across the U.S. The idea is to bring alternative transportation to life. The benefits of car sharing are evident to Zipcar’s founders and they seek to bring this sustainable solution that has worked so well in Europe to the United States. Zipcar sees itself as more than just a new company on the block or an eco-aware company trying to do good for the now. The company is an ambassador for change, something that is evident throughout the company as they consciously make decisions to better impact our planet in the future. Sure the company is doing great things but is Zipcar worth it for you?
What Are the Benefits of Zipcar?
One of the biggest and most recognized benefits of using Zipcar is that it helps users save money. On average Zipcar users report that they save more than $500 per month when they use it compared to owning their own car. Of course, cost savings will vary depending upon your regular car usage. If you are interested in just how much you can save, there is a cost savings calculator located on the company’s website.
The money saving benefits of using Zipcar is not only seen in those who previously owned cars. In cities where car ownership is simply not practical, Zipcar allows users to save money left and right. In these big cities, most people rely on cabs or other forms of public transit to get from one location to the next, which can get expensive. It not only cuts down this expense but it also provides a level of independence that using cab services does not offer. Further, public transit does not go everywhere you want to go nor have enough to space to carry that new closet organizational system you just bought – somethings are better suited for personal vehicle use.
Transport for Non-Car Owners
There are many people who do not own a car simply because they do not have a need for one or because they cannot afford one. These individuals regularly rely on public transportation for their needs. The fact of the matter is that while the train and bus are practical in many situations, they are not practical in all situations. For these times (for example times when public transport is no longer running), the Zipcar provides a self-reliant method of transportation at an affordable price.
Another one of the most widely recognized benefits to using car sharing is that it is truly a car sharing solution. Zipcar estimates that every one of their cars can replace 20 personally owned vehicles. This means that the emissions from 20 vehicles are being replaced with the emissions of just one – an environmental benefit that is hard to ignore. It is also possible that car sharing will cut down on the amount of wasteful trips or purchases that people make without even thinking about all the trips on their “to do” list. For many people, trips are simply a way to get out of the house, but if these people do not have access to a vehicle of their own, it is more likely that they will cut out these unnecessary trips, reducing excess car emissions while also eliminating wasteful spending.
Second Car Access
Not every household has access to two cars. While having just one car for the entire household can be a way to cut back cost as well as be more environmentally aware, it is not always practical. Zipcar provides a practical solution for single car families that suddenly find themselves in need of a second car for an appointment or interview that cannot be rescheduled. Car sharing provides the benefit of a second car without the additional financial expense of maintaining two cars.
Large Car Access
Everyone has had that moment where something they need to purchase or transport simply will not fit in their bus seat or car. Rather than bothering someone else and asking to borrow their pickup truck, Zipcar users can now use larger vehicles for their needs. Whether you need a larger car for the day or for the weekend, Zip Car should have an option to meet your needs at an affordable price.
Learn more in our Zipcar review.
Can Zipcar Reduce Car Costs?
In this video you will learn how Zipcar works but also how it can save you from the costly hassles of car insurance, parking and more. And, as mentioned in the ad, you can save money on your first use: Click here to take advantage of this promotion.
The Six Simple Rules of Zipcar
Using the Zipcar service is easy and these six simple rules can help you have an even more pleasant experience. These tips can also help ensure that each car remains clean and comfortable for all car users.
- Report any damage. As with a rental car, before driving your Zipcar make sure to examine it inside and out for any damage. If you find any damage, low fuel levels or an overall dirty car you should report this to the company at 1-866-4ZIPCAR.
- Keep the car clean. Always make sure to throw away and recycle trash as well as remove all personal belongings from the car after use.
- Never smoke inside. Even with all of the windows down the smell of cigarette smoke will linger and will be detectable by non-smokers and those with allergies or respiratory concerns.
- Always make sure that the car is left with at least a quarter of a tank of gas. Each car has a fuel card inside which should be used to fill the car with gas when needed.
- Always return the vehicle on time. This ensures that any other reservations are not interrupted and it also makes sure that you are not charged a late fee. If you have an emergency and require extended use of the vehicle, call or text the company to see if your original use period can be extended.
- All pets must be kept inside carriers at all times when inside the vehicle. This reduces the likelihood of pet damage to the car and helps to keep the car clean and allergy free.
Now that you understand some of the benefits of Zipcar and the rules to follow to ensure success with your new ride, we thought you might also be interested in reading what real people are saying on this Reddit post. It points out that the majority of people who are finding the most benefit today live in big cities where parking is difficult and expensive and there are more public transit options for day-to-day travel. However, these big city dwellers can use Zipcar to zip out to the IKEA, Costco, laundry or other errands that will require space for storing items in-transit and/or fall outside the normal transit limits.
Why are you considering Zipcar?