frequently asked questions


1. What does “legal curbside parking” mean?

Legal curbside parking includes the following types of spaces:

  • Curbside spaces with no meters or restrictions
  • On-street spaces with parking meters (with the exception of Rush Hour zones)
  • All Residential Parking Permit (RPP) zones 

2. Which Zipcars can enjoy no-cost parking in legal curbside parking?

Every Zipcar that is based in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County that have plates issued by the District of Columbia will have this special allowance.

3. Can I leave the car anywhere when I am done with my reservation?

Nope! Zipcar is still round trip, so make sure you bring each vehicle back to its home location at the end of your reservation.

Why round trip? Glad you asked!  This is how Zipsters can make reservations in advance, because they know where the cars will be at the start of their trips.

4. Can I park for no cost at any curbside space in Maryland or Virginia?

During your reservation, parking fees in Virginia or Maryland are not covered, only legal curbside parking (as defined above) in Washington, DC. You can certainly park your Zipcar in Virginia or Maryland, though any parking fees accrued will be your responsibility.

All of our Zipcars based in the DC Metro area have this special allowance, so if you are driving a car with DC license plates from nearby Maryland or Virginia, make sure to take advantage of this no-cost parking in Washington, DC. (See FAQ Question 2)

5. During my Zipcar reservation, if I park my Zipcar on the street in DC, do I need to feed the meter?

No. Curbside metered parking is at no cost as long as you are parking in a “legal curbside” space.” (See FAQ Question 1)

6. Can I park in any “residential zone” permit only spaces?

Yes, you can park in any residential zone in the District of Columbia during your reservation.

You do not need to have a residential zone permit handy as all of our Zipcars can park in any zone.

7. What if I’m not a DC-based Zipster?

You still get the same permissions as our local Zipsters when using Zipcars based in the Washington, DC area.

8. Can I park in a space with a street cleaning sign?

Do not park on a street with street cleaning sign scheduled for the day you are parking.

Street cleaning is scheduled for Wednesday and it’s Thursday? Perfect, go ahead and find a spot (as long as you move it by Thursday)!

9. Can I park in garages or parking lots during my reservation?

You can park in garages and parking lots during your reservation; however, you are responsible for the cost of parking your Zipcar, unless it is the home location of the Zipcar you are driving.

10. What do I do if I receive a parking violation during my reservation?

If the ticket is for parking illegally or in violation of “legal curbside parking” as outlined above, you are responsible for the cost of the ticket. Please don't grab it from under the windshield wiper and toss it in the trash! 

You are responsible for all legal infractions; this means any toll, parking, speeding and photo enforcement violations along with any other tickets you receive. Please pay the ticket to avoid Zipcar processing the violation for you and adding a $30 processing fee, not to mention possible suspension of your Zipcar account.  And we don’t want to do that!  Remember, tickets not paid within 30 days can have the charge doubled, so don’t delay.

Also if you do pay your ticket, make sure to send us proof that you paid it. Please send this via email to

For more info, click here: /how/faqs/ticket-during-reservation

11.  What do I do if the car gets towed during my reservation?

Call us at 866-4-ZIPCAR immediately. Keep in mind that you will be responsible for the towing and storage costs, so zip smart. (Reading all the FAQs helps.)

12.  Can I park in a space with Rush Hour Restrictions?

No. Do not park in Rush Hour designated spaces at any time.  You will be held responsible for all towing, storage and miscellaneous personnel costs associated with retrieving any towed cars.

13.  Can I park in any space that is for “car sharing”?

No. Each car-sharing space in the District is reserved for a specific car-sharing vehicle. You may park your Zipcar in any space at your Zipcar’s home location, but parking in other spaces, even designated Zipcar spaces is not allowed.

What, Why? If you park your Zipcar in another Zipcar’s space, the other member will have to find alternate parking. This can snowball quickly, so make sure to steer clear of other car-sharing spots.

14.  What fees are involved if I don’t follow these rules?

Our Six Simple Rules still apply. So make sure you return the car clean, with at least a quarter tank of gas and on time. Need a refresher? Click the link below.

No matter where you park during your trip, you’re still responsible for returning the Zipcar back to its home location by the end of your reservation.


Questions? Give us a call at 866-4-ZIPCAR.