1 Updated on January, 2008 Contact: Lesley Weiner CooperKatz FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS General Zipcar Questions What is Zipcar? Zipcar is the world s largest car sharing service, offering self-service, on-demand cars by the hour or day. Since 2000, when Zipcars first hit the road, nearly 200,000 consumers and businesses have joined. Zipcar currently operates 5,000 vehicles in London and 26 North American states and provinces, including key metro areas such as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington DC, Toronto, and Vancouver. What are the core benefits of Zipcar membership? Zipcar offers the benefit of car ownership without the hassles. For people who only need a car, or a second car, once in a while, Zipcar is much more cost-effective than owning, renting or leasing a private vehicle. Zipcar pays for assigned parking, maintenance, insurance, and even gas. Zipcar also guarantees its members they will get the car they reserve, unlike rental car companies. What are some of the other benefits of Zipcar? Zipcar is committed to improving the quality of urban life. Zipcar s service gives city dwellers freedom to use a car to run simple errands like picking up groceries and buying home supplies, to get out of town for a weekend adventure, to visit friends and family or to travel for business. According to a Zipcar member survey, drivers who use Zipcar as an alternative to owning a car ultimately spend less time behind the wheel and, in many cases, surrendered ownership of their vehicles or halted a purchasing decision. The survey also indicates that each Zipcar introduced into local communities takes approximately 15 vehicles off the road, reducing urban congestion, emissions and parking demand. Among the findings: 40%+ of Zipcar members stated that they would have kept their vehicle, or would have purchased a primary or secondary vehicle if Zipcar's car sharing service had not been available in their city. 43% of members have owned a car within the last five years, but only 11% own one currently. After joining, 90% of members report driving less than 5,000 miles per year. Only _ did so prior to joining. Members who report a costs savings, state they save on average over $435 per month when compared to car ownership money that is more likely to be spent locally. How cost-effective is Zipcar over car ownership? Research conducted by AAA shows the average monthly costs associated with car ownership in urban areas breaks down as follows: $300, vehicle depreciation or lease costs; $110, insurance; $200, parking; $50, gasoline; $40, maintenance for a monthly total of $700. By comparison, a typical monthly Zipcar member bill for 15 hours of driving during three separate reservations is $100-$150. Zipcar members state that they save over $435 on average per month when compared to car ownership. (Note: These are average numbers. Ownership costs can be much higher in some urban cities.)
2 What are the rates? For personal driving: Zipcars can be reserved by the hour or day. All rates include the cost of insurance, maintenance, parking, and even gas. Rates start as low as $6.00 per hour and $56 per day in North America and 4.20 per hour or 34 per day in the UK. Rates vary from city to city and by vehicle and reservation type. Initial membership fees are $75 (based on Occasional Driving Plan; $25 application fee and $50 annual fee). In the second year, members only pay the annual fee. Lower membership fees apply in for university affiliates, Philadelphia and London. For additional rate information, please visit Zipcar.com. Zipcar for Business: Zipcar also has a business-to-business product that offers organizations discounted hourly and daily rates Monday through Friday and has special 7-to-7 rates that allow businesses to drive Zipcars from 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday, from only $42, with gas, parking, and insurance included. Can anyone join Zipcar? To join Zipcar, you only need to be 21 years old with a valid driver's license and a good driving record. Drivers may have no more than two incidents (moving violations plus accidents) in the past three years and no more than one in the past 18 months. Drivers with international licenses must provide copies of their records from the relevant authorities. Some of Zipcar s university partners offer the service to students, faculty, and staff aged 18 years and older. For participating universities, members must have a drivers license for at least two years and can have no violations on their records. Does Zipcar charge higher fees to members between the ages of 21 and 25 like rental car companies do? No. This is yet another difference between Zipcar and rental car companies. We charge the same low rates to everyone. What kinds of cars does Zipcar offer? Zipcar offers more than 30 different makes and models -- the largest and most varied fleet of any car sharing service in North America. The fleet consists of gas/electric hybrids including the Toyota Prius, SUVs, pickup trucks, sedans and high-end vehicles including the MINI Cooper, and BMW 325i. Are all Zipcars new when they are added to the fleet? Yes. How often are the cars replaced? Zipcars are replaced either every year or every two years depending on the make and model. How do you choose the next car model to add to the Zipcar fleet? Zipcar invites its members to request new car models. We also consider car reviews conducted by reputable sources and monitor consumer trends. How long does it take to join? Most people complete the application and are approved via the web site (with a confirmation ) within a couple of minutes. The longest part of the process is mailing the Zipcard via the postal service, though some members don t want to wait the hours and choose to stop by one of our offices to pick up their Zipcards! Following the simple online application, London and European members need to provide Zipcar with a copy of their driving record, or Zipcar can obtain one for drivers with a UK license. Once Zipcar receives the driving record most London members will have their Zipcard in hand within 1-3 business days. Why do you name the cars? Naming the cars enhances the community feel, personalizes the experience, humanizes the service, and besides it s fun
3 Where are the cars parked? Zipcars are conveniently located throughout cities in reserved parking spaces, both on and off street. Zipcar has established on-street programs in several towns and cities throughout the country. Do all Zipcars have logos? Not all Zipcars have logos on the passenger door. Our high line cars (BMW s) do not, as well as MINI s in New York. The logo has actually been a source of pride for many members and provides significant awareness for potential members. How do you clean the cars? Zipcars are visited by cleaners at least once per week. On-demand visits are scheduled if we receive a report of a dirty car. Since members know that the cars aren't cleaned in between each use, they generally leave them in very good shape. Can you take one-way trips? No. All the reservations are round-trip. Returning the car guarantees availability for the next reservation. Do frequent drivers get a discount? Yes! We have Extra Value Plans that operate much like cell phone plans the more the member spends, the deeper the discount. Some plans even feature rollover hours. Questions About the Member Experience How do I join? Drivers 21+ in good standing can join online at What about vehicle security? Zipcar s technology ONLY grants access to the holder of the Zipcard at the time of their confirmed reservation. Only members with a valid reservation can get into that car using their Zipcard. What services does Zipcar provide? What are the members responsible for? Insurance: Zipcar insures all the vehicles for collision and liability. Similar to a personal automobile policy, members pay a $500 deductible if they are in an at-fault accident. Cleaning: Cars are vacuumed and washed on a regular basis, but members are responsible for removing their own trash when they return the car. Maintenance: Zipcar services its vehicles according to the manufacturer's suggested schedule, and checks fluids each time it s cleaned. This is a real benefit of Zipcar: No time out of your life to take the car to the garage. No worries about street cleaning, vandalism, car washing or unexpected repair bills. Parking: All Zipcars are parked in reserved, on- and off-street spaces. This means that members will always know where to find the car, and always have a parking spot available upon their return. Refueling: Members must fill up the car when it reaches 1/4 tank using a Zipcar gas card, which is located inside all vehicles. Can I bring my pet in a Zipcar? We understand that Fido and Precious need to go to the vet on occasion (many Zipcar employees own pets too). Pets are only allowed into Zipcars in locked pet carriers and members are responsible for removal of any residual pet hair. We ask members not to let that furry friend out of its carrier. It's unfair to the other members.
4 How do you keep non-members from using a member's Zipcard to drive a car? Our members know that if they are caught letting somebody else use their Zipcard, their membership will be immediately revoked. Also, Zipcar s insurance policy is the same as a policy for a personal car. If someone who is not under a policy gets into an accident, there will not be coverage for that person (don t worry, Zipcar is still covered). These two risks strongly discourage members from lending out their Zipcards and membership information. What happens if it snows? Snow scrapers and/or shovels are kept in every car that is parked outside; however, many of our vehicles live in parking garages. In the event of a major storm, local Zipcar maintenance crews address each vehicle in a timely fashion (within 24 hours). How does one get the key? The ignition key is kept on a tether attached to the steering column. This is so members aren t tempted to put it in their pocket or purse and forget to return it when they are through. The ignition is disabled until a Zipcard matching the reservation is scanned, at which time the doors are unlocked and the ignition is enabled. What happens when someone is late returning a car? If a member knows they are going to be late returning a car, they simply call into an automated phone system and easily extend their reservation. There is a late fee assessed when a member returns a car past the end of their reservation. Members return cars late less than 2% of the time. What happens if the car isn t there when a member goes to get it? This is a rare event, though it does happen it means that the previous member is late and did not call Zipcar. Members call Zipcar to report the late return, and an agent arranges alternative transportation, generally another available car at that same location or nearby. What happens if a non-zipcar is in the parking space when the member returns? Generally we have a good rapport with the local authorities and they will ticket/tow non-zipcars from Zipcar parking spaces. Should this event occur, Zipcar will have the member park in the closest safe parking space and proactively alert the next member of the change in location. How do you refuel the cars? Members refuel the cars and pay for the fuel using a fleet fuel (Wright Express) card in the car. The rule is that the tank must always be left at least 1/4 full. Practically, this means that every 10 trips or so it will be the members turn to fill the tank. This works quite well, there are very few complaints of empty gas tanks and no abuse of the card. Don't you worry about people abusing the fuel card? No. A number of security measures are in place to prevent abuse. If a card is lost then it is quickly cancelled and replaced. What about unattributed damage? Don't you get a lot of that? No. Members self-report most damage at the beginning of their reservation. If a member fails to report damage, then the subsequent reserving member calls in to report it (because they don't want to be charged for it). What happens if a member gets in an accident? There is a member service call center open 24/7. Depending on the severity of the accident the appropriate steps will be taken, from filing police reports to calling our Roadside Assistance Center to obtaining alternate transportation. What about parking tickets and other violations? Don't you get a lot of those? These are easily handled, either by re-directing the violation directly to the offending driver, or by charging their account directly for the violation plus a handling fee. We always know who is in which car at what time.
5 What happens if a member has a problem while in a Zipcar? Our call center is staffed 24/7. 80% of calls are handled by an automated phone system. Should members need additional assistance, they are transferred to a live attendant who is trained to address member issues.
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