man smiling next to a zipcar

Your first Zipcar trip

We've put together all of the information you'll need when taking your first Zipcar trip. Start reading so you can get driving!

I've signed up, what now?

Once your account is approved, you can download our app and start driving! If not, head over to our pricing page so you can start your application.

What does a car sharing community mean?

A car sharing community means we need to look out for each other. We ask all of our members to follow our community rules, so that everyone can enjoy their trips as much as you do.

Search for vehicles in the app

finding a zipcar

Search for vehicles in the app

Once you're account is approved, it's important to install the app to get the best experience. You can find all the cars and vans available nearby, for both Roundtrip and Flex.  If you're looking to book a trip in advance, you can book our Roundtrip cars, the green pins in the app. Just select the time you need the vehicle and book the one you need. If you need a van or are looking for a longer reservation it's best to book at least a week in advance to get your nearest vehicle.

If you're in London, you can use Flex for shorter one-way trips in and around London! Flex vehicles can be blocked for 15 minutes ahead of your reservation, ideal for spontaneous and local trips. 

For even more details about reserving your Zipcar, take a look at our help centre page.

Check and report

cleanliness reporting

Check and report

Once you've made your reservation, you can make your way to the car or van for the start time of the booking. Finding and unlocking the car can all be done with our app, but if you want to learn more you can find out here.

As we are a car sharing community, we ask all of our members to look out for each other and our vehicles. Before you set off, make sure you check the car for damage and report any that isn't already noted in the log book by following the instructions there (in the glove box). 

We also ask members to report on the cleanliness of the vehicles at the start of their trip in the app (this doesn't include damage!) to help everyone in the community. You can find out more cleanliness reporting here.

Get Driving

passing the keys from the glove box

Get Driving

You've unlocked your car with the app and done all your checks, so you're ready to hit the road! The keys are in the glove box to get the car started, and make sure you have an amazing trip!

If you arrive at your Roundtrip car and there is no booking immediately before, you can enter the car 10 minutes early and you won't be charged for it! Anything before 10 minutes you will be charged for the extra usage.

Returning your car

Zipcar parked in an approved parking spot

Returning your car

When your trip is nearing the end make sure you know where you are leaving your Zipcar. Roundtrip vehicles must be returned to the same bay you picked them up from, and Flex cars can be dropped anywhere in our Zipzone.

Remember you might need to refuel the car (fuel's on us!), and put the keys back in the glovebox before locking the car and ending the trip on our app. Always leave the cars how you would want to find them, this is car sharing after all!

For full details on how to return your car correctly, check out our blog.

Our Community Rules

Before you hit the road, read our community rules of car-sharing.

hour glass icon

Return it right

Return a Roundtrip on time, or you can extend your booking. Drop a Flex in our Zipzone.

rubbish bin icon

Keep it clean

Clean up, don’t smoke and take everything with you. Don’t forget to recycle your rubbish!

fuel gauge filling up icon

Fill ‘er up

If fuel is below ¼ tank at the end of your trip, fill up before you return to it’s bay. Fuel's on us!

Why Rent a Zipcar?

bag  of money, green icon

Save money

We pay for fuel, parking and insurance – so you get access to a car without the hassle of owning one!

map pin icon, green

Rent a car locally

Zipcars live just around the corner. We've got thousands of cars and vans near where you live and work.

icon of mobile phone emitting a signal, green

Drive on-demand

Rent by the minute, hour or day when and where you need them. Just book and unlock with the app.

leaf icon, green

Live greener

Cheaper and greener than owning your own car, we've also got hundreds of electric cars in our fleet.