A few Zipcar FAQs to help you get started!



Exclusive Benefits for FirstService Residential Residents

• 50% off annual membership fee ($35 savings)
• Waived application fee ($25 savings)
• 15-25% off weekday driving rates

Where do I join?

Residents in FirstService Residential managed properties can join at zipcar.com/fsresidents. A Zipcard will then be mailed to your address.

Joining Zipcar

What are the eligibility requirements to join Zipcar?

To be eligible for membership, applicants:

  • Must be 21 years or older
  • Must have a valid driver's license
  • Will be required to accept terms and conditions of the member application and member agreement (stating their driving record complies with Zipcar terms and conditions)
  • That possess a non-US or Ontario-based license are required to complete and submit a "declarations form" attesting to the validity of their driving history and license status
  • In addition to the requirements above, Zipcar reserves the right to decline membership based on driving history or credit issues
Can I join if I have a driver's license from outside the US or Canada?

Thousands of foreign drivers use Zipcar. We accept drivers from every country. You will simply need to complete a form attesting to your driving history and submit it to us with some additional documentation. You can find the details here: How to submit a foreign driver's license.

How long does it take to become a member?

Before you can drive, you'll need a Zipcard. Your Zipcard will arrive in the mail 2-3 days after you apply. If you want to drive sooner, you can pick up your Zipcard at a local Zipcar office. (Make sure to select this option on your application.)

Either way, we'll also need to review your driving record before you're approved to drive. This process typically takes just a few hours, but in some cases (for foreign drivers), it may take a little longer but we’ll keep you posted by email about the status of your application.

If you choose to pick up your Zipcard at a local office, you'll need to show your driver's license and the credit or debit card used on your application.

Reserving a Zipcar

For how long can I book a Zipcar?

You can reserve a Zipcar for as little as one hour, or as much as 7 days at a time. Whether it's a quick shopping trip or a full week of freedom, you can book in half-hour increments.

If you'd like to keep a car for more than 7 days, you can call us and we'll try to help you out. Please understand that due to availability, location and other factors, we cannot guarantee reservations longer than 7 days.

How do I reserve a Zipcar?

You can reserve on the website or use the free iPhone® or Android™ app.

You can also call 1 866 4ZIPCAR and have a rep make a reservation for you, but will be charged a $3.50 agent reservation charge.

How much mileage is included?

Reservations include a minimum of 180 miles.* This means you can drive up to 180 miles during the course of your reservation and not incur extra charges. If you drive more than that, here's how it breaks down.

Reservations lasting 24 hours or shorter:

  • 180 miles included
  • $0.45 for each additional mile (up to $0.55 for premium vehicles and cargo vans)

Reservations exceeding 24 hours:

  • 180 miles included for each 24-hour period
  • 20 miles included for each additional hour of your reservation until you reach 180 miles
  • $0.45 for each additional mile (up to $0.55 for premium vehicles and cargo vans)

You can estimate extra mileage charges for a specific reservation from your confirmation page. Just click the "details" link next to the estimated cost.

What's the cancellation policy?

For reservations that are less than 8 hours long, you can cancel or shorten your reservation up to 3 hours before the start time without charge. For reservations that are 8 hours or longer, you have to do it at least 24 hours in advance.

If you don't cancel or shorten with the required advance notice, you're responsible for the full amount of the reservation.

Note that there's a 30-minute window after you book your car where you can make any changes without incurring a charge.

Zipcar vehicles

What types of vehicles can I drive?

There are lots of models to choose from, so there's a Zipcar for your every whim. Cruise around in a MINI, haul stuff in a cargo van, visit clients in a BMW or be extra eco-savvy in a hybrid. So many possibilities!

Please note that models vary by city. View Zipcars in your city.


How do I unlock a Zipcar?

When you join, you are issued a Zipcard. (It's about the shape and size of a credit card.) At the time of your reservation, just hold your Zipcard against the card reader in the windshield. Hold it steady for a few seconds, and the doors will unlock.

Once you've scanned in with your Zipcard, you can then either use your smartphone or your Zipcard to lock and unlock the doors throughout your reservation. We have apps for iPhone® or Android™.

How do I access the key to a Zipcar?

The key is waiting for you inside the car, attached to a tether on the steering column. The key should always remain inside the car. Use your Zipcard or smartphone to lock and unlock the doors throughout your reservation.

Note that some car models have start buttons instead of keys. To start one of these cars, simply step on the brake, press the start button, and you're good to go.

In some countries, the key is in the glove compartment. Learn more about driving Zipcars in other countries.

Can I extend my reservation?

Provided that another member does not have a reservation immediately after yours, you can extend using the iPhone® or Android™ app, SMS, mobile website or call 1 866 4ZIPCAR.

Do you have roadside assistance?

Yes, your Zipcar membership includes roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Just call us at 1 866 4ZIPCAR and we will take care of the details.

Gassing up your Zipcar

Who pays for gas?

We do! You just need to fill the tank using the fuel card inside the car when it gets to 1/4 full. (Or is it 3/4 empty? Whichever.) The Zipcar gas policy is included in our 6 simple rules and it's how we make sure everybody starts off their trip right.

Returning your Zipcar

Where do I return the Zipcar when I am done?

Return the Zipcar to its home location, which is where you picked up the Zipcar. If you're at a location that has more than one reserved Zipcar space, any of them will do.

Insurance and damage

What's the insurance coverage?

Every member in good standing who complies with the membership contract is covered while driving a Zipcar. Here are the highlights:

  • Third party auto liability coverage
    • Members who joined Zipcar March 1, 2015 or after receive liability coverage of 100/300/25 ($100,000 bodily injury per person, $300,000 bodily injury maximum, $25,000 property damage).
    • Members age 21+ who joined Zipcar prior to March 1, 2015 receive liability coverage of $300,000 CSL (combined single limit) per accident.
    • If you have questions about your coverage please email insurance@zipcar.com.

Zipcar membership and billing

What Zipcar fees do I need to know about?

No one likes to talk about fees and fines, but they're a "must" to keep this whole car sharing thing running smoothly. We hope you never have to fork over cash for these things...

  • Late Return Fee: $50 per hour (up to a maximum of $150), plus the vehicle usage charges (read more about late returns).
  • Low Gas Fee: $30 if you return a vehicle with less than 1/4 tank of gas.
  • Zipcard Replacement: One free replacement card per year ($15 for each additional card).
  • Ignition Key Replacement: If you lose the key, the replacement fee is $75 plus costs for materials and labor.
  • Reservation Changes: There is no charge if you cancel or shorten your reservation with the required advance notice. However, you will be charged the full amount for your reservation if you do not give the required advance notice.
  • Personal Reservation Assistance: $3.50 per call to have a rep make a reservation for you.
  • Tickets/Violation Processing Fee: You are also responsible for paying any parking tickets and moving violations incurred during your reservation. If we receive a notice and process a violation, you will be charged a $30 processing fee.
  • Other Violations: $50 per violation, plus costs incurred by Zipcar anytime a visit to the vehicle is required (including visits due to smoking or pets in the vehicle).

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