LIFE AS YOU LIVE IT: My first Zipcar experience!

My first Zipcar experience!

03 July 2014

I'm here to spoil you with a grand adventure.
I've decided to join the bandwagon and sign up for Zipcar!
 Zipcar is wicked easy to sign up with, and their website is simple to navigate. 
If you are a student or still have access to you student email, take advantage of it!
Just by signing up as a student, the $25 application fee is waived, and they knock $45 off of your annual fee. Cha-ching! Leaving you with only a $15 annual fee to pay. I'll take that!

Once you have applied, they will run a background check, check your driving records and license, credit check, etc., etc...
If you are accepted, they email you asking you to activate your zipcard, which you won't actually receive until a couple days later in the mail (unless you opted to pick it up in person).
Once you activate your card, you are good to go and are able to begin reserving cars. 
I highly suggest downloading the Zipcar app! 
When you reserve a car, Zipcar will give you step-by-step instructions as to where to find the car, how to inspect it for preexisting damages, and how to unlock the car.
It's really simple. 
Finding my car was really easy. On the website they told me exactly where to find it, not to mention they had these cute signs all throughout the garage showing you.

It's important to check your car for any damage so that they don't hold you responsible for an accident someone else created. When I walked around my car, all I found were a few scratches (which were likely caused by that big yellow pained pole), and the window seal seemed slightly out of place. I tried calling them and submitting pictures, however I couldn't get through. However, if there is an issue I do have the pictures with the time stamp on them to vouch for me. It's just always good to make sure you're covered. Take pictures of everything that seems out of place. Big or small.

I had my reservation scheduled for 11:30am, and that is exactly the time that the zipcar will unlock. Not a second before. I had an issue trying to open the vehicle, as I was waiting for some kind of green light telling me that the doors had been unlocked when I scanned my card. It doesn't turn green, you just have to listen very carefully for a little "ping" sound.

Also, the keys stay in the car, or in my cars case, it had a start button. I've never had a car with an automatic start button before, so that was a fun learning experience.

 The trip that I took was a fairly short one (to Cambridge and back), but in Boston traffic (especially for someone who NEVER drives in the city and does not know the streets very well) it took me quite a while. They are working on construction on Longfellow bridge so the route that I was hoping to take was a no go, and I had to reroute SEVERAL times. This eventually set me back further in time, so I was forced to extend my reservation. Extending my reservation was very easy. I just had to call Zipcar, and let them know (I think they charged me extra for it though, opposed to just the $4 it would have been to rent the car for an extra half hour - I'll have to check into it) and they told me I was good to go until 1:30. I really just wanted to make sure I had enough time to get back to my apartment, drop my stuff off and then return the car to the garage. In this traffic, you never know.

And of course they have 6 simple rules that they ask you to follow---
1] Report damage - Inspect your car and report any damage by calling 1-866-494-7227 before you drive. 
2] Keep it clean - Remove your belongings before you say bye.
3] Fill 'er up - Always leave at least 1/4 tank of gas
4] No smoking - The cars don't like it. 
5] Return on time - Late fees start at $50 
6] Pets in carriers - Keep your critter in a pet carrier at all times.    
What you need to know when checking out:
When you rent a car and check out, they do throw on a "MA Convention Center Financing Surcharge" of $10 (This could vary per location), and of course the expected MA Sales Tax of 6.25%.
Here's a rundown of my expenses for my short trip. I originally was going to book it for 2 hrs, however they charge you by your reservation time. So if you book it for 2 hrs, but only use it and return it within one hour, you're still charged for the 2 hrs. However, you can extend your time if you contact them, and the vehicle is not already reserved for another customer.
I booked my trip for 1.5 hrs, and checked online to see when the next reservation was, so I knew how much time I really had, if I needed to add an extension.
Hours: 11:30am - 1:00 pm ($8.00/hr) = $12.00
Extended Reservation 1/2 hour = $?? (I'll let you know when I get billed)
MA Convention Center Financing Surcharge = $10.00
MA Sales Tax (6.25%) = $0.75
Total = $22.75

Why did I go to Cambridge and what was the point of this trip?

Honestly, I really just wanted to try Zipcar out and was eager to find a reason to go somewhere. I found this Ikea LEVANGER mirror on Craigslist for $40 (steal!), and found it to be a great excuse to transport my purchase!

I definitely over estimated my ability to do things myself. I thought that I could carry this thing down my street and then bring it up three flight of stairs and try to snake it around our very small staircase and hallways. Ha! This mirror was like 50 lbs! Thankfully, some kind Aussie guy that was visiting with his friend saw me on the struggle bus and volunteered to help. I was so glad he offered, I NEVER would have been able to bring it up to my apartment by myself. 

I mean look at the size of this thing!
 I was originally going to buy the MONGSTAD mirror. So glad I didn't, it never would have fit!

Please, PLEASE ignore the filthy rug

 And here it is all set up in my bedroom! Loving it!

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1 comment:

  1. i've never tried zipcar, thanks for walking us through it so i finally know how it works, haha


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