I am back on a diet – a low car diet that is. The good folks at ZipCar have included me in another year of low car dieting – I give up driving for a month and they supply some Zipcar credits and fun giveaways (I hope we can give away some Zipcar gifts here on the blog too). After participating in the low car diet last year – I was more than happy to join again – it turns out driving less is really a good thing for me and for the environment too.
I am huge HUGE huge fan of zip car and I will try to write some more posts here on IheartPGH about driving less.
Lets start at the beginning -in case you are a new reader or new to Pittsburgh (welcome new students!) or just new to ZipCar.
What is ZipCar? ZipCar is car sharing. There are a bunch of ZipCars in designated parking spaces around Pittsburgh. ZipCar members pay an annual fee – it is usually $50 – and then when you need to use a car – you pay an hourly rate for the car – in Pittsburgh the rates vary from $7-$14 depending on if you need a car or a pick up truck or a fancy car – there are some mini coopers and I think a BMW ZipCars in Pittsburgh.
So how does it work? When you need to use a car – you go online or via the iphone app and reserve the car. Then you walk to the ZipCar parking spot and hold your membership card over the box on the windshield – it is a little transmitter in the corner on the driver’s side. Your card will unlock the doors and the keys to the car are inside. Off you go to teh grocery store, or Ikea or anywhere. When you are done – return the car to the parking spot where you picked it up and hold your card over the windshield to lock the doors and log out. If the car is available you can even extend your reservation online or via text message for additional time.
How much does that cost? What about gas? The hourly rate includes gas, insurance and mileage. If the car needs gas – just pull into a gas station and fill it up – there is a gas card in the visor. If the gas card doesn’t work – call ZipCar – they will help you out.
I already have a car – should I sign up for ZipCar? Maybe. One reason is sometimes you need a different car – last week I used the ZipCar pickup truck to move a couch – it was half the cost of renting a uHaul truck.
ZipCar USA. Another reason to be a Zipster (that is ZipCar speak for ZipCar Member) is that your membership works in any ZipCar city. Last year when I was in LosAngeles, rahter then renting a car and agonizing over the rental car insurance – we just used the Los Angeles ZipCar when we needed it – we didn’t have to pay rental car taxes or the $25 night parking fee at the hotel.
Join ZipCar – If you are thinking about joining ZipCar use out referal link here or by clicking the ZipCar badge above – you get $25 in ZipCar credit (and we get $25 too) when you use this link – Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!