The tagline for Zipcars is that they are “the closest thing to owning a car without the cost and hassle. And more convenient, cost effective and fun than car rental. Gas, insurance and a reserved parking spot are always included.” There might be some truth to this, but i think the conveinience factor is probably the most correct. Zipcars are cars you reserve online, pick up on the curb, and drive away. Above is a pic from their website – using Google Maps to show all of the available ZipCars in the NYC area. Of course, there should really be pics of the “insides” of all the cars, as I’m sure they are probably just mobile dumpsters with lots of left over trash from previous drivers… The Zipcar idea is similar to the Free City Bikes available in Copenhagen and some other European, bike friendly cities. Of course, the bike project seems to work because the bikes are so marked up anyways that trying to steal/mod them is pointless. A Zipcar on the other hand could probably be modded (ala “Pimp My Ride”) for a few hundred bucks, but that would probably be stoopid. Still, its pretty cool that right now you can walk out to any of those green markers and drive away! I might just have to test it out someday… PS – if anyone reading this has tried one, please let us know your experience!

One thought on “Zip Around

  1. My parents used for some time the StattAuto system in Berlin, that inspired the Zipcar people. It worked quite well since the parking lot were they picked up the car and had to bring it back was near my parents house, but then they abandoned that local station. Now my parents unsubscribed

    There is another similar system for bike rental in Berlin. the advantage is, you dont have to bring back the bike to the point were you found it. If there were enough cars I could imagine, you would not have to bring them back to the original point. Then tracking the cars and mapping them in realtime would make rally sense. Even though you have the parking space problem then…. I could imagine that you are only required to bring back the car to a certain central district. In Berlin the company had some difficulties. I think the city is too widespread with too little inhabitants or the public transport too good, and Germans love having their own car 🙂

    There were no Problem with really dirty cars, people are registered, so it is known who last used the car. Thats the same if you damaged something. You have to mark it in a book. And if you dont and the next user notice some damage, usually the user before is responsable.

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