zipcar 101, or, don’t fuck up my weekend

I am a huge fan of Zipcar. It’s got almost all the convenience of owning a car, with almost none of the responsibility. I don’t have to do any repairs. I don’t have to own a car that would just sit in my driveway for 5 days out of the week (because uh commuting to downtown Boston via car—no thanks). I do have to fill it up with gas, but that’s included in membership. Sometimes I have to walk 5 whole blocks to a car, oh woe is me. But yeah, it’s a pretty great service, especially as they keep expanding (especially in my neighborhood).

However. One of the things that makes Zipcar so great is the people. And this weekend, the people really let me down.

Saturday: Time to pick up the Kidbro from the airport! But wait. My reserved Zipcar is not in its spot. I call the office. The slightly-bored guy on the phone tries to track down the previous drivers but they aren’t answering their phone. Great. The nearest other Zipcar available for hire is over 2.5 miles away. In this kind of situation, Zipcar will reimburse you the cab ride to and from the new car, which, awesome. But weighing all the hassle, the delay (oh hey Kidbro has landed! and is waiting), and the fact that I’d still have to pay for the car itself—Kidbro ended up taking a cab.

Sunday: Have to move some stuff from my apartment to Kidbro’s dorm room. Reserve a (different) car. Oh hey, it’s there! And almost out of gas.

Which, like, this is not the first time this has happened. Won’t be the last. But on top of the missing car on Saturday, I’m just like—come ON, Zipsters. This is a community. It only works if everyone obeys the RULES.

No, I’m not perfect. I returned a car late once, and I paid my fine. But at least I reported in. (I’ve never returned a car empty because, hello, there’s a gas station two blocks away.)

So yes, this is kind of a whiny, pointless post. But two of my fellow Zipsters really threw a monkey wrench into my weekend (one moreso than the other), and what’s the point of having a blog if I’m not allowed to whine to the masses about how miserable my life is?

I’ll end this post with a plea:

Dear Fellow Zipsters. Follow the rules. You don’t want to pay a fine, and I want to pick my brother up from the airport on time. Much love, Grace.


5 thoughts on “zipcar 101, or, don’t fuck up my weekend

  1. The bad experiences aside, what a cool idea! I’ve never heard of this (considering that the “city” I live in has a population of about 35,000 and crappy public transportation so everyone either walks everywhere or owns a car). I assume that it’s cheaper than a normal car rental thing?

  2. Yeah, it’s an awesome thing, and it is usually cheaper than normally renting a car, and you can rent it for either an hour or 4 days at a time or anything in between. It is especially cheaper for people under 25, since places like Hertz or whatever charge us an extra fee for being “inexperienced” or something. There are some hybrid cars that are like $7/hour–win!

    And yeah, usually everything runs smoothly. I’ve only had to report low gas once before, and I’ve only had to switch cars once before (when a car wouldn’t start), and I’m well into my second year as a member. My fellow zipsters really fell down on the job this weekend.

    There are a couple other carsharing businesses around the country (I remember something like “HourCar” in Minneapolis), so maybe you have one locally?

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