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Activate your Zipcard

We’re so happy to have you join our worldwide community of car sharers.
Lock and card icons

Activate your Zipcard powers

Before you hop in the driver’s seat, you’ll need to activate your Zipcard. It’s your key (literally!) to thousands of cars in your city and around the world. Once it’s activated, the open road is all yours.

Using your Zipcard after activation

Once you activate your Zipcard, use it to access any Zipcar you’ve reserved.

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Bring your Zipcard

Bring your Zipcard with you for every Zipcar reservation. It’s your key to unlocking and locking all Zipcars.

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Unlock the car

To unlock, hold your Zipcard against the card reader on the front windshield. Hold the Zipcard steady for a few seconds, and the doors will unlock. Do the same to lock the car.


Don’t take the keys

The car keys should stay in the car. Always use your Zipcard to lock and unlock at the start or end of your reservation.

Our 6 simple rules

Before you hit the road, read up on our six simple rules of car sharing.

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Report damages

Inspect your Zipcar inside and out. Report damage, a dirty car, or low fuel so we know it wasn’t you.

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Keep It Clean

Take personal belongings with you when you go, and throw away or recycle any trash.

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Fill‘er up

Always leave at least 1/4 tank. (It’s on us!) Gas card instructions are on the back of your Zipcard or watch the video.

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No Smoking

Not even with all the windows down or all the doors open. Period. Members will be charged a fee for the cost of cleaning.

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Pets in Carriers

Fido and Fluffy need to be kept in a pet carrier at all times. (No matter how cute they are.)

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Return on Time

Don’t leave the next member hanging. Be on time (and avoid a $50 late fee). Text or use the app to extend your reservation.

What do I if my Zipcar is damaged?

Before you start driving, inspect your Zipcar inside and out. While we expect the previous member to leave the Zipcar in good standing for you, it is important to report any issues before you drive. Learn more.

How do I extend my reservation?

Provided that another member does not have a reservation immediately after yours, you can extend your trip using the mobile app or by texting. If the car isn't available, you'll need to return on time as someone after you has reserved the car.

What happens if I’m late in returning my Zipcar?

The key to car-sharing success is returning on time. Late members can end up impacting others who have the reservation right after, and no one likes that. To avoid returning late, always make sure to book the Zipcar for the time you need and extend it if you know you won't be back on time. Zipcar does take late returns seriously and we will charge a $50 late fee if you return late.

Activate your Zipcard

The backseat isn’t an option where you’re headed. It’s time to start commuting, exploring, and running errands on your own time.