Zipcar

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Has anyone ever used Zipcars? www.zipcar.com

We are taking a trip to chicago and was thinking of using them instead of a car rental place.

would appreciate feedback if anyone has.


thanks

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I have used it multiple times an it is great. It could be more expensive than rental cars if you want to rent multiple nights (assuming you already have car insurance)

I'm from Chicago and would assume a rental would be cheaper. I rarely drive and when I do always just rent a car with my Credit card because it is covered under my contract somehow. If you only want to drive for a few hours it may be cheaper. If you plan on staying in the city proper, public transit is really easy and fairly efficient (especially going north/south). Also, you will want to factor in parking fees depending on where you are going.

If you do decide to take public transit the google maps has an option for public transit.

Look into it more. By the time you pay the membership fee and application fee at $75, it's probably cheaper to rent a car for the day from a regular rental car company. Plus their rates are $68-$83 per day. If you get a lower class car, regular rentals are probably in the $30-$40 range per day. Because their daily rate includes gas and insurance plus 180 free miles, it's actually not that bad, but if you only intend to use them once, the $75 sign up fee probably makes it cheaper to do a regular rental. I think it's more meant for people who need a car for a few hours, then it's much cheaper, it's a great way to rent a car for $6.30 an hour.

I signed up for zipcar last year and plan to renew my membership this fall. I found a webpage that gave me $75 credit for signing up, which canceled out their signup fee. After I signed up I arranged to pickup my zipcard at one of their offices rather than wait for them mail the zip card to me.

COST - I live in California and use zipcars when I visit my parents in NYC. Typical rental car rates are more expensive in Manhattan than most places in the US and the rental companies typically reserve their best cars for their frequent corporate accounts. The rental companies will run out of cars from their Manhattan locations around major holidays.

AVAILABILITY - By making reservations a few days in advance I've never had problems with zipcar selection, even though I'm near a large university.

LOCATION - the chief reason I went with zipcar is that there are two garage locations within a five to ten minute walk from my parents apartment in Manhattan. Each garage has about ten cars - Mazda 3s, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, Toyota Siena, Honda CR-V, Nissan Altima, BMW 325s, and Volvo S40.

COST - I've paid from $90 to $120 for daily car use, including all taxes. This is no bargain, even with Manhattan's high rental car prices. The special $40 evening rate for 6pm to 8am is a much better deal, especially if you come anywhere near to using the zipcar's included 180 mileage allowance. Unlike typical rental cars, zipcar pays for any gasoline you need. They ask you return cars with at least 1/4 tank of gas. You may need to add gas for your trip, but you don't have to optimize buying from the cheapest station.

CARS - The zip cars are basic models. They all seem to have iPod inputs. They all seem to have EZPass - saves time driving across toll bridges and tunnels. None of them have GPS NAVIGATION - a feature that many rental companies can offer as an option.

OTHER - Zip cars are passed from user to user. I don't know when they're cleaned or serviced. I found leaves in the back of a minivan. I never had any mechanical problems with a zipcar.

I would say it is worth it. Last summer I was visiting San Francisco. To rent a car it was ~around $60 plus tax etc. I decided to use my zipcar - rented BMW 328, total was like $90 including tax, gas etc. It was well worth, maybe few $ more expensive, but I could take cheaper zipcar (like prius). I would say go for it. The only downside is their 160 miles per day limit. BTW, I was parking the car in zip car parking lot...so free parking as well...

How long is your trip?

If you're going to be in Chicago for a week or more, then I'd suggest the rental car (but only if you're going to be staying and visiting places where the CTA and Metra don't reach). As Girmantas and LeChef have stated, the fact that a parking space, insurance and gas are included are definitely pluses - but it depends on your situation.

My wife and I have been Zipcar members for 2 years here in Chicago, and highly recommend it for 2-3 day excursions. We live downtown and don't own a car, we only use it on average one day per month.

My plan was to fly into Chicago Midway, take a cab to the zipcars which are approx. 8 miles away. we'll spend a few days in the Bradley/Manteno area. Then drive back to the zipcar place and take a cab back to the airport and fly home.

I have two other questions..
1. How much are the Cabs in chicago? Are they by the mile of by the minute?

2. To the people who have used a zip car, We have not talked to a zipcar rep. yet, but is there any kind of deposit needed for the zipcars.

Geckogod2 said:
1. How much are the Cabs in chicago? Are they by the mile of by the minute?



GIYF

http://www.taxifarefinder.com/main.php?city=Chicago

Geckogod2 said: 2. To the people who have used a zip car, We have not talked to a zipcar rep. yet, but is there any kind of deposit needed for the zipcars.
No deposit.
As mentioned above, there's a sign-up fee.

It also takes time to wait for the ZipCard in the mail, unless you're picking it up at a local ZipCar office.

Geckogod2 said: My plan was to fly into Chicago Midway, take a cab to the zipcars which are approx. 8 miles away. we'll spend a few days in the Bradley/Manteno area. Then drive back to the zipcar place and take a cab back to the airport and fly home.

I have two other questions..
1. How much are the Cabs in chicago? Are they by the mile of by the minute?

2. To the people who have used a zip car, We have not talked to a zipcar rep. yet, but is there any kind of deposit needed for the zipcars.


Since you'll be staying about 50 miles south of Chicago, you might find that renting a car is cheaper from someone other than Zipcar. You won't have gain the advantage of free parking that Zipcar gives you. You'll add a hefty cost for cabs to/from the airport. You probably will also have a signup fee. Instead, why don't you just rent a car from the airport? Have you checked Priceline or elsewhere such as Enterprise Rental Car?

chicago has excellent public transit. how about using public transit, along with an occasional zipcar while you are in the city?

I would just rent a car at Midway... Do a search on Hotwire.com or Orbitz.com or Expedia.com first.. Then see if you can find better by using anycoupons from Costco http://www.costcotravel.com/ just click on the rental car link for the coupons or try BJs coupons:http://travel.bjs.com/promotion/bjs/carrental/default.asp
(You may have to go directly to the car rental companie's website to use these coupons).
-Steve

If you're flying into Midway, there's a train that goes straight from the airport to downtown. You don't need a cab. If you're going to Manteno, don't get a zipcar. Just get a regular rental. It'll be cheaper over a few days. Zipcar is meant to be used by the hour. If you decide to go Zipcar anyway, take the train to a Zipcar, there's no reason to get a cab - CTA will be cheaper. They have Zipcar locations everywhere, typically near public transit. However, this is Midway, so I don't have personal experience about zipcar proximity out there (my closest airport is O'Hare).

Also, the way I get a rental car is using my Discover Rewards dollars to buy a $40 certificate spending only $20, then I use it with Enterprise.

As for cab rates:

Metered Rates

$2.25 for the first 1/9th mile or less
$0.20 for each additional 1/9th of a mile
There is an extra $1.00 charge for for the first additional passenger over the age of 12 and under the age of 65, and $.50 for each additional passenger.
There is no extra charge for baggage or credit card use, and tipping is optional
Trips to or from suburbs may be charged additional 50% on metered rates.
- More information at CityofChicago.org

oops, double post

Geckogod2 said: My plan was to fly into Chicago Midway, take a cab to the zipcars which are approx. 8 miles away. we'll spend a few days in the Bradley/Manteno area. Then drive back to the zipcar place and take a cab back to the airport and fly home.

I have two other questions..
1. How much are the Cabs in chicago? Are they by the mile of by the minute?

2. To the people who have used a zip car, We have not talked to a zipcar rep. yet, but is there any kind of deposit needed for the zipcars.


If you are just flying into MDW and then driving to Bradley, you can forget about public transportation.

Personally, no amount of savings would be enough to get me to drag my luggage on the CTA Orange Line and depending where you are going, there could be safety issues. A tourist with luggage (and presumably travel funds in his pocket) is a juicy target for a mugger.

As stated by other posters, the cabs are expensive and you are probably better off renting a car at the airport.

Try running your dates on a site like Breeznet.com and you will get a matrix showing the rates for the rental companies at MDW.

Then check the forum for discount codes and coupons.

BTW, if you're not accustomed to heavy traffic, avoid the expressway during rush hour and be sure to allow time for heavy, slow traffic.

Midway is Chicago's old time airport and was built before the expressways. Accordingly, the access is not as direct as you might expect.

You can generally get a driving credit (usually $25, sometimes more) at one of the green commuter sites. Try http://greencommuter.info/. They post zipcar coupon. The associated Zipcar promotional code gives you a discount when you sign up with Zipcar.com.

Geckogod2 said: Has anyone ever used Zipcars? www.zipcar.com

We are taking a trip to chicago and was thinking of using them instead of a car rental place.

would appreciate feedback if anyone has.


I rent a car quite often on the weekends. I go with Hertz and look at the best weekend deals I can find. In general, if you go to a SUBURBAN site - the Park Ridge location is close to O'Hare - you can find a car for $35 for a 3 day weekend rental. Heading out of Chicago allows you to avoid the onerous tax burden - 28% in Chicago, 7% in many suburbs.

I have looked at the ZipCar and the IGO options from the week they started in Chicago and they are really expensive. First, you have to pay an upfront fee of $25 for an application and a $50 annual fee. And that is before MILE 1. Then, you pay $7/hour. Then you pay for mileage over $180 miles per rental. To me, it seems to be an expensive way to rent a car.

http://www.zipcar.com/chicago/check-rates

Most of my friends who use IGO and Zipcar do so on the weekends to go out to the suburbs to shop for groceries and other essentials that are not available in the city at a reasonable price.

bugmeplease said: You can generally get a driving credit (usually $25, sometimes more) at one of the green commuter sites. Try http://carsharecoupon.greencommuter.info/. They post zipcar coupon. The associated Zipcar promotional code gives you a discount when you sign up with Zipcar.com.



I followed your links for the zipcar discount, and it looks like they reordered the page. You might want to update your links (as I just did above). The correct place for the zipcar coupon is http://carsharecoupon.greencommuter.info.

BTW, the coupon still works, and gives $25 off as a driving credit on zipcar.com.

bugmeplease said: You can generally get a driving credit (usually $25, sometimes more) at one of the green commuter sites. Try http://carsharecoupon.greencommuter.info/. They post zipcar coupon. The associated Zipcar promotional code gives you a discount when you sign up with Zipcar.com.



I followed your links for the zipcar discount, and it looks like they reordered the page. You might want to update your links (as I just did above). The correct place for the zipcar coupon is http://carsharecoupon.greencommuter.info.



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