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Thread: Zip cars

  1. #1
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    Zip cars

    Anybody using Zip cars or similar services for those rare times when you have to use a car? Possibly sharing the cost of a rental.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sleazyrider46 View Post
    Anybody using Zip cars or similar services for those rare times when you have to use a car? Possibly sharing the cost of a rental.
    I joined zip car, but have yet to use it. For many things where I need a car, such as a big Costco run, I ride one way and take a cab back for $10.00. Otherwise I rent a car for one day and string all my errands together. I also rent one way for trips to the airport or back, using the car for the 24 hours before or after to max the benefit.

    When I turned my plates in, I figured that 20 one day rentals per year would cost the same as the insurance alone, so that was my budget. So far even with airport runs, I rent less than 10 times a year, so I've way ahead.
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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I joined zip car, but have yet to use it. For many things where I need a car, such as a big Costco run, I ride one way and take a cab back for $10.00.
    How do you get the bike back home? Do you have a folder?
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    How do you get the bike back home? Do you have a folder?
    I can fit two regular bikes inside the trunk of my Camry by taking the wheels off (takes about half a minute) without having to fold down the rear seat. One bike inside a typical cab trunk shouldn't be a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    How do you get the bike back home? Do you have a folder?
    I can drop both wheels and it fits in the trunk with tons of room to spare. But I have a deal with a few drivers where they take the stuff and take other fares for an hour and I ride the bike home and meet them at home later.
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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I can drop both wheels and it fits in the trunk with tons of room to spare. But I have a deal with a few drivers where they take the stuff and take other fares for an hour and I ride the bike home and meet them at home later.
    Nice! One of the reasons I bought a bike years ago was that I occasionally had to take a cab--if I missed the bus or something--and the cab drivers here in Seville would always try to rip me off. I'm glad to hear your relationship with your cabbies is better.
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I joined zip car, but have yet to use it.
    I'm glad that ZipCar is marketing to the car free. However, they want you to join a SUBSCRIPTION! I don't like giving money for a service when I'm not using it. I have a subscription for Sirius but then again, I use it five days a week. It could be a year before I'm forced to use ZipCar for an emergency. I'll just make a reservation to rent a car or better yet, just call a cab.

    By the way, isn't everyone getting tired of all these companies that want you to join a subscription plan?
    Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 11-17-14 at 08:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Nice! One of the reasons I bought a bike years ago was that I occasionally had to take a cab--if I missed the bus or something--and the cab drivers here in Seville would always try to rip me off. I'm glad to hear your relationship with your cabbies is better.
    You're in Seville which has bike share system. So you have the option for one way bike trips for shopping or similar errands, using cabs or public tansit for the return leg.

    As for cabbies cheating me, it's never been an issue here, but I also live in Cozumel where the cabbies take advantage of Gringos. My solution was to learn the fares I should pay, and verify what's due by saying how much instead of asking, or having the exact fare in hand. That shows the driver I know what's up and they don't try to cheat.

    One other thing that helps with cabbies, but may not be effective in Seville, is to find a driver you like (trial and error), and take his business card with his cell phone. Then call him directly first and using him if available. They treat their regular customers better, and you develop a relationship of mutual trust. I do this routinely here and in Cozumel, and if my friend can't do the run he'll often refer it to a friend to keep it in the family so to speak.
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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    You're in Seville which has bike share system. So you have the option for one way bike trips for shopping or similar errands, using cabs or public tansit for the return leg.

    As for cabbies cheating me, it's never been an issue here, but I also live in Cozumel where the cabbies take advantage of Gringos. My solution was to learn the fares I should pay, and verify what's due by saying how much instead of asking, or having the exact fare in hand. That shows the driver I know what's up and they don't try to cheat.

    One other thing that helps with cabbies, but may not be effective in Seville, is to find a driver you like (trial and error), and take his business card with his cell phone. Then call him directly first and using him if available. They treat their regular customers better, and you develop a relationship of mutual trust. I do this routinely here and in Cozumel, and if my friend can't do the run he'll often refer it to a friend to keep it in the family so to speak.
    Everything is so close here in Seville that I never have to use cabs any more, thank God.

    Like you, I got to be an old hand at handling Mexican taxistas when I lived in both Tijuana and Cd. Juárez back in the 1980's. I came to the same conclusions you have.
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

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    My son lives in Seattle and uses Zipcar fairly frequently as he and his wife are car free. For doctor's appointements, large purchases, etc., it comes in handy. Recently, he travelled to Minneapolis for business and had an ear infection. He found a nearby Zipcar and drove to the Urgent Care to get treatment. No muss, no fuss. Also, this past summer, he came to Ohio for his brother's wedding. He and his wife flew into Chicago and picked up a zipcar, stayed a couple of days and then drove to Ohio, stayed 3 days, drove back to Chicago and flew back to Seattle. It was cheaper than renting a car and buying insurance through the rental car company. Although they mainly use the lightrail and bus system in Seattle, Zipcar fills a void for them.

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    Do need insurance to use it? I've thought about using it to get to some airshows out in the boonies ..
    Assume nothing; Question everything

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post
    Do need insurance to use it? I've thought about using it to get to some airshows out in the boonies ..
    No, one of the nice things about ZipCar is that insurance and fuel are included. There is a collision deductable of something like $750 (might vary by state or locality), but you can buy an annual waiver for a reasonable fee (reasonable only if you actually use the cars routinely).

    Zip cars are for short around town errands. If you're going to need the car for over 6 hours or so, a 24hr rental is often cheaper. Also zip cars must be returned from where rented. Most of my rentals are one ways, ie to or from the airport so zip car isn't for that.

    So far, I've found Zip car to be best for short errands like picking up large signature required packages from Fedex and some shopping runs where bike, cab,or bus aren't practical.

    My biggest objection to Zip Car is their late return penalty of $50.00. That means that if I need one for a 50 minute errand, I have to reserve and pay for 2 hours in case of a delay.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Zip cars are for short around town errands. If you're going to need the car for over 6 hours or so, a 24hr rental is often cheaper. Also zip cars must be returned from where rented. Most of my rentals are one ways, ie to or from the airport so zip car isn't for that.
    Is Zipcar membership good everywhere and with the same use restrictions? Bgreen's post about her Seattle based son's week long use of a Zipcar in Chicago and travel to Ohio and back, as well as in Minneapolis doesn't jive with your explanation of how Zipcar works.

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    Yes, a ZipcCar membership allows you to reserve and drive anywhere zipcar operates. I don' believe that hourly rates are uniform across the board, and there may be variations in the insurance deductable if you don't buy the waiver.

    This is one of the nice features. I can take the train to another city, use a ZipCar for a while there, and train home. I only wish ZipCar was more like bikeshare where I could pick up in one place and leave in another. I'd even be willing to pay extra for alternate drop off but it's not offered.

    I don't know what part of Bgreen's use of a ZipCar didn't match how I described ZipCar, I thought it matched perfectly. Note that though he kept the cars for a few days, he picked up and dropped off in the same location in each city.

    However, if you're actually interested, ZipCar has a site, and offers explanations of the various ways to use their program.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I don't know what part of Bgreen's use of a ZipCar didn't match how I described ZipCar, I thought it matched perfectly. Note that though he kept the cars for a few days, he picked up and dropped off in the same location in each city.
    Thanks for answering my question, if I wasn't interested I wouldn't ask.
    Driving from Chicago to Ohio and back doesn't sound like a "short around town errand" to me. The daily rate looks to be $74/day from Chicago, pretty darn expensive and doesn't look like a bargain over a conventional rental car rented for a week with unlimited mileage that is returned to the origin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Thanks for answering my question, if I wasn't interested I wouldn't ask.
    Driving from Chicago to Ohio and back doesn't sound like a "short around town errand" to me. The daily rate looks to be $74/day from Chicago, pretty darn expensive and doesn't look like a bargain over a conventional rental car rented for a week with unlimited mileage that is returned to the origin.
    If you'd read my posts, you'd have known that I basically agreed, which is why I use rentals from Avis when I need a car for more than 6 hours. OTOH, ZipCar includes gas, so if you're going on a 300 mile out and back, ZipCar can be cheaper. In fact if you drive fast and far enough, the rental cost can be less than the cost of gas alone making the car free.
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    They may correct that if too many folks figure it out. I had a state rental car contract with free fuel and free drop off. After a few years, they imposed a mileage limit. It was great while it lasted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    However, if you're actually interested...
    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    If you'd read my posts...
    If you read what I wrote without an attitude you wouldn't post the above snarky comments. I posted questions about bgreens post of the alleged advantages of the son's use of Zip car for a week long use including a trip to/from Chicago to Ohio, and how it doesn't jive with what you posted about Zip Car use.
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 11-17-14 at 10:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    If you read what I wrote without an attitude you wouldn't post the above snarky comments. I posted questions about bgreens post of the alleged advantages of the son's use of Zip car for a week long use including a trip to/from Chicago to Ohio [and back], and how it doesn't jive with what you posted about Zip Car use.
    Being most advantageous for quick errands, and making sense for a longer trip aren't mutually exclusive. Even though I prefer a straight rental for day and longer, that doesn't imply that a zip car might not make sense for someone else. Rental rates vary, and some get better rates than others, then there's the included fuel to consider.

    And yes, maybe some of my posts are snarky, but you just bring it out in me.
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    I have joined Zipcar and I would use them a lot more if there was a location closer to work or home. Currently the closest location is about 4 miles from work - I can take a train from work to the zipcar location, then get the zipcar, but that is enough of a hassle to severely restrict my usage.

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    Sorry, I didn't see "I-like-to-Bike's" response until it was in a later post as I have him on ignore.

    My son may have gotten a better deal going thru one of the national car rental chains, but he chose to use Zipcar instead. With fuel and insurance included, I imagine Zipcar may have been less expensive. Even if it were more, he probably would have gone with the Zipcar, just because he wants them to be around when he needs them. He is a big fan of public transportation and car sharing.

    I will say that on the day they were to return to Chicago, my daughter-in-law became ill and he was concerned because the car had to be back at a certain time. Fortunately for him, the next time slot was open and they were able to extend their rental extra hours and avoid the late return fee.

    My wife and I just have one vehicle and if Zipcar were available here, I would join up. It would be great for doctor and dentist appointments. Since my wife works on a government installation, I cannot just drop her at work and keep the car.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgreen View Post
    Since my wife works on a government installation, I cannot just drop her at work and keep the car.
    Why is that? A security policy?


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    One has to have an ID to access the base. She is too far in the facility to walk from the gate and I wouldn't ask her to anyway. She also has to have the car available for going between their multiple facilities. She rides for pleasure, but not commuting.

    I just ride to and from work. It is only about 5 miles. If I don't want to ride or the weather is poor, she can drop me off on her way to work and pick me up on the way back. I end up putting in an extra hour or so, but I am salaried, so it doesn't really matter.

    Recently, I have been able to schedule appointments on government holidays. We make it work. Worst case, I'll rent a car for the day if I need one. We only live a mile or so from Enterprise. Like I said, if we had Zipcar I would join as it would work well for us. Even renting a car occasionally is much less expensive than insuring and maintaining another vehicle. It all depends on what you can live with.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgreen View Post
    One has to have an ID to access the base. She is too far in the facility to walk from the gate and I wouldn't ask her to anyway. She also has to have the car available for going between their multiple facilities. She rides for pleasure, but not commuting.

    I just ride to and from work. It is only about 5 miles. If I don't want to ride or the weather is poor, she can drop me off on her way to work and pick me up on the way back. I end up putting in an extra hour or so, but I am salaried, so it doesn't really matter.

    Recently, I have been able to schedule appointments on government holidays. We make it work. Worst case, I'll rent a car for the day if I need one. We only live a mile or so from Enterprise. Like I said, if we had Zipcar I would join as it would work well for us. Even renting a car occasionally is much less expensive than insuring and maintaining another vehicle. It all depends on what you can live with.
    It sounds like the base could benefit from a bike share deal, so employees could ride from the gate to their workplace, and ride between facilities during the work day.

    It sounds like you and your wife have come up with a good solution to the one-car-two-people problem.


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    I don't think my wife would use a bike share even if they had it. It just wouldn't interest her.

    I actually started communting when we still had kids at home and had two cars. My workplace moved from 28 miles away to 4 miles away, so I thought, why not ride. I'm getting fatter, my job is sedentary, and it would be a good way to get exercise.

    Once the kids left, I had been commuting for a couple of years and we realized we didn't need two cars and went to one. I spent much of the first 20 years of our married life fixing this or that on one of the cars. Now we keep a newer one that I rarely have to work on. I like it that way. I'm too old to be getting under a car. I doesn't hurt when I do it, but the next day...

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