Since I wrote about the “hiccup” I experienced trying to use Zipcar in December, I thought I would share the good news now. Two of us Xing Columbus-ites recently used Zipcar, and we both give it a thumbs up!
I used Zipcar for the first time two weeks ago. It was pretty painless. Used my login to make a car reservation online. Got reminder emails (you can change this, get texts to your phone, etc). Changed which car I wanted – due to location. The morning of my reservation I swiped my Zipcard (mailed to me after the merge) and the door unlocked.
I was a little unnerved by having the keys constantly on view. You use the card to lock the car when you leave. I assume without the card being swiped the car will not start, which would prevent thieves from smashing the window and driving off. Also, the car has big Zipcar logos on it, so it’s obvious it’s not your car. So don’t try to impress people at your high school reunion with your Zipcar Accord, like that cheesy guy in those rental car commercials.
It cost $9 per hour, but I happened to have a credit from the Flexcar merger so it ended up costing nothing. (Yay!) When I signed up (when it was Flexcar) they actually waived the annual fee for the first year. And yes, gas is free, there is a card you use if you have to fill up. No reimbursement, they pay for it from the get-go. !!
I encourage you to check out Zipcar. I was satisfied with my experience and will be using them again. They have 15 vehicles, mostly Hondas, including Civics, Civic Hybrids, an Accord, Odyssey. There’s also a Toyota Tacoma pickup and a mini Cooper. Currently all locations are on the OSU campus, but hopefully they will expand to other locations around Columbus. One of the best parts is not having to worry about finding a parking space on campus, just return the car where you picked it up, your space is waiting for you!
Here is Mike Reed’s experience (copied from an older posting’s comment section):
Just had a great experience today…
* hopped on the bus
* stopped by my office
* hopped in a zip car
* went by target, got some sundries
* stopped into my art studio, grabbed a painting
* moved painting home, dropped stuff off
* returned zip car
* hopped on bus, stopped by store
* picked up prescription
* bought $30 of groceries
* hopped on the bus, came home
I used the bus and a zip car- all in 2.5 hours. Who needs to own a car?
If you were thinking to go car-free or go down to one car, Zipcar may help you do it!
I was going to post a “refer a friend” link here, so I could rack up some driving credits. BUT I think this could be a violation of wordpress rules, plus it seems kinda tacky. If you know someone who is a member (me, Mike, whomever) ask them to refer you, then you can share the credits on your Zipcar account.