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Remember FlexCar? Now Welcome ZipCar

Published Mar 26th 2008, 10:57am by

Newziplogo_3_2 Are you tired of a car payment but you want the convenience of having a car to get around? Want to chuck the high maintenance and dealership bills that come with owning a set of wheels, but hate the idea of giving up the freedom and fun of getting behind the wheel? ZipCar is for you!

It’s basically a car sharing program online. There are 4 steps to ZipCar: Join, Reserve, Unlock, and Drive!

Join: You sign up through their online application and you get your own Zipcard.
Reserve: You can reserve a car online for a few hours or a whole day, whatever you need.
Unlock: Here’s the neat part! Go up to the car you reserved and hold your Zipcard up to the windshield and it will unlock your car for you!
Drive: Get in and the rest is history! Just don’t forget to return it when you’re done.

Map_3 On their site you can check for availability of cars all over the nation. So Ask Patty took the site for a spin and it was pretty easy. We found some cars near us in LA and we had the option between a few different models. The prices were roughly $10/hour or $66 for the day. Really pretty cheap if you only use a car a few times a month or on rare occasions. Compare that to a car payment, insurance, and gas, and it’s definitely a savings.

What about insurance and gas prices you say? Still have to pay for those right? Nope! ZipCar covers you there as well. So back to our tour. You can check online to see where their ZipCars are located near you and you can even check all the rates before signing up or reserving a car. ZipCar even has a business program (called Z2B – how cute is that?). Z2B ZipCar will setup accounts within your business to allow employees to have the Zip benefit.

AChatnother neat feature of this super-cool, super-cute site? They have live chat so you can get in touch with someone and ask questions any time.

Want some more background? Flexcar and ZipCar recently merged. Zipcar, the Cambridge-based company that lets urban dwellers rent cars by the hour, has sped past older car-sharing businesses to become the world's largest. The seven-year-old company recently fast-tracked its growth by striking deals with colleges, corporations, apartment and office complexes, and most recently its US rival, Flexcar.

Ask Patty gives a thumbs up to ZipCar. It's easy to navigate, super cute, and oh-so-eco-conscious! It's cool to be green! Check it out and sign up for a ZipCar near you.

Breanne Boyle
AskPatty.com Contributing Editor

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