Established in 2000, Zipcar has grown to become the world’s premier car-sharing service, boasting a fleet of over 12,000 vehicles tailored to suit diverse user needs. Yet, while Zipcar has dominated the scene, delving into its alternatives can open doors to equally fantastic, if not better, car rental experiences.
While Zipcar enjoys a vast fan base, it isn’t without its limitations. This is often the driving force behind many seeking out its competitors. I’ve taken the liberty of diving deep into the world of car rental services to uncover some top-tier Zipcar alternatives.
In this article, we’ll journey through these carefully researched alternatives. My hope is that by the end, you’ll have a clearer perspective on which platform aligns best with your car rental desires. Along the way, I’ll pepper in some handy insights to ensure you’re equipped with all the information you need to make an informed decision. Happy driving!
What is Zipcar?
Zipcar stands out as a leading car-sharing platform, enabling users to rent vehicles on an hourly or daily basis. By harnessing the power of the company’s user-friendly mobile app, individuals can seamlessly access a car tailored to their needs, making the entire process as convenient as it is cost-effective. Predominantly available across the United States, its reach and reputation are noteworthy.
Ideal for brief jaunts, Zipcar proves to be a boon, especially for college and university students. They can effortlessly book a vehicle for those quick trips around town or to nearby destinations. The process is simple: just use the Zipcar app to reserve, and upon reaching the car, unlock it with the same app. A gentle reminder – always return the car to its original pick-up spot once you’re done.
To get started, consider opting for their modest monthly membership. This package generously includes a daily mileage allowance of 180 miles at no additional charge. Should your journey exceed this, a nominal rate applies for the extra miles traveled.
Zipcar Cost and Features:
|Cost||8 USD/mo and 80 USD/year|
|Fee||No but 50 USD for late return.|
|Rental duration||1 hour, 3 hours, One day, Two days.|
|Vehicle types||Car, SUV, Luxury.|
|Locations available||US, UK, Canada, Costa Rica, Taiwan, Iceland, and more.|
|Best for||Easy access to smaller destinations.|
Why Do You Need a Zipcar Alternative?
No service comes without some downside. Zipcar also has some disadvantages that may have disappointed you. At this point, you will learn about the factors that make a customer look for a Zipcar alternative.
- Must return at the same location: When you use a Zipcar rental car, you must return the car to the same location you picked it up at the end of use. This is quite inconvenient.
- Not always available: You may not always get its service at the desired time and location. There is also a limited selection of cars from which customers can choose.
- Added fees: If you do not return your rental car within the specified time or if the vehicle is returned with low fuel, you will be charged a minimum fee of $50.
- The application fee is nonrefundable: You have to pay a one-time application fee to rent a car with Zipcar. No matter if you cancel it, there is no chance of getting a refund.
The 7 Best Zipcar Alternatives In 2023
Here are the best Zipcar Alternatives available at the moment.
4. GIG Car Share
5. Lyft Rentals
6. Uber Rent
Turo is a well-known peer-to-peer car-sharing company in America that allows private car owners to rent out their cars to others. You can rent a car directly from the car owner online or through Turo’s app. In this case, you must pick up the car from a pickup location or sometimes even from the car owner’s home.
You can unlock the car through the phone app. The difference with Zipcar is that you don’t have to pay a monthly membership fee; instead, you pay a fee every time you use the rental car. However, you need to meet the owner to pick up the keys on Turo.
Turo Cost and Features:
|Cost||12 USD to 250 USD/day.|
|Fee||18% to 100% depending on the trip price.|
|Vehicle types||Trucks, Vans, Classics, Cars, Electric vehicles, Sports,s and others.|
|Locations available||US, Canada, and UK.|
|Best for||Affordable car rental service.|
Unlike Zipcar, Getaround is a very convenient car rental service that does not require any membership i.e. you do not need to take any monthly or yearly membership. Turo is similar to Getaround in that it is also a peer-to-peer car-sharing company, but it is better for short trips.
Usually, it charges per hour, up to 45 USD depending on the car model. The main advantage of Getaround is that you get 24/7 roadside assistance, and it has no application fee like Zipcar. As well as a huge selection of vehicles which makes it easy to find the vehicle you want.
Getaround Cost and Features:
|Cost||5 to 8 USD/hour.|
|Rental duration||Hourly or daily.|
|Vehicle types||Cars, Vans, Trucks.|
|Locations available||Only US areas.|
|Best for||Contactless key exchange.|
Debuting in 2019, Kyte has swiftly made its mark among Zipcar competitors by offering unique car rental solutions. They source vehicles from varied suppliers, guaranteeing consistent quality and maintenance. Enjoy the unmatched luxury of a car being delivered straight to your doorstep, with services spanning across major US cities like San Francisco and Boston.
Distinctly different from Zipcar, Kyte offers a more user-centric approach. While with Zipcar you’re charged for returning a car without refueling, Kyte alleviates this hassle. Simply drive and return, no need to refuel. Furthermore, Kyte grants the liberty of choosing your return location, enhancing user convenience.
Kyte Cost and Features:
|Cost||9.50 USD to 70 USD.|
|Fee||25 USD cancellation fee.|
|Rental duration||3, 6, and 12 months.|
|Vehicle types||SUVs, economy, and sedans.|
|Locations available||Some US areas.|
|Best for||Flexible and convenient car rental on demand.|
Gig Car Share is not a huge car rental company but is considered a good alternative to Zipcar. It usually rents hybrid or electric cars. Unlike Zipcar, it requires no membership, so you can access Gig Car Share’s service whenever needed. Besides, no application fee has to be paid.
Don’t be disappointed, as the company takes a $50 hold on your credit card to validate it, but you’ll get it back. Although Gig Car Share is convenient enough, you probably won’t get instant service as it can take up to two days for your request to be approved.
Gig Car Share Cost and Features:
|Rental duration||Single day, 1 week, or 14 days.|
|Vehicle types||Toyota Prius Hybrid and Chevy Bolt.|
|Locations available||San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Sacramento.|
|Best for||Most affordable travel.|
5. Lyft Rentals
Lyft Rentals launched their car rental service in 2019, where people can rent a car through the app. But the entire process will not be done virtually an employee will be engaged to assist you in getting the keys. Lyft Rentals believes that relying solely on the app can be frustrating as the app sometimes fails to connect due to poor network.
That’s why along with online, it has also started the human touch. Besides, if you have to cancel your trip for any reason, then you will not have to pay any fee if you do it within 24 hours. However, Lyft Rentals is not suitable for those looking to rent a car for a few hours.
Lyft Rentals Cost and Features:
|Cost||39 USD/day, 219 USD to 479 USD/week.|
|Fee||50 USD for customers’ inaccuracy.|
|Vehicle types||Economy, Luxury, Extra seats, Assisted.|
|Locations available||San Francisco bay area, Seattle, San Diego, etc.|
|Best for||Unlimited mileage and no fee in general.|
6. Uber Rent
Want to have an easy experience at car rental? Then you can go with Uber Rent. It is available in several countries, so many people enjoy its services. You can reserve a car from anywhere using the Uber app. In this case, you can pay in advance or the bill after reaching the location.
It has a nice Uber Valet feature that will pick you up from wherever you are. People rent their cars through Uber. It was launched in Washington, D.C. However, it has gradually expanded to other locations as well.
Uber Rent Cost and Features:
|Cost||Starting at $260/week.|
|Vehicle types||X Corolla, Alien, Exeo Premio, Toyota, Probox cars.|
|Locations available||France, the US, the UK, Australia, Spain, Canada, and many other countries.|
|Best for||24/7 car rental.|
HyreCar stands out distinctly among alternatives to Zipcar, providing more than just car rental services. For those eyeing an avenue for extra earnings, HyreCar bridges the gap. It offers a unique twist: not just renting a car, but also an opportunity for passive income generation.
When navigating through HyreCar, you’ll notice a diverse range of benefits and considerations. Here, individual car owners list their vehicles, setting their rental prices.
As these ‘car landlords’ vie for customers, you might encounter fluctuating rates sometimes competitively low, sometimes premium. A standout perk with some rentals? The luxury of unlimited mileage ensures a hassle-free drive.
HyreCar Cost and Features:
|Cost||30 – 50 USD/day & around 1000 USD/mo.|
|Rental duration||Weekly or monthly.|
|Vehicle types||Cars, SUVs, Minivans, Trucks.|
|Locations available||US Only.|
|Best for||Long-period car rental and passive income.|
While Zipcar has carved its niche as an economical and user-friendly car rental platform, it’s natural to yearn for a change or even an upgrade. If you find yourself growing restless with Zipcar’s offerings, a world of stellar alternatives awaits your discovery.
In the sections above, I’ve laid out a curated list of standout contenders that can rival or even surpass what Zipcar brings to the table.
For those with a penchant for extended journeys, casting a glance toward Zipcar’s competitors might be a wise move. After all, while Zipcar shines in the short-term rental arena, variety is the spice of life – and your next road trip deserves nothing but the best!
2. https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-drawbacks-of-using-a-Zipcar (What are the drawbacks of using a Zipcar?)
3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/tips/turo-car-rental-review/ (What it’s like to rent from Turo, a car-sharing app)
4. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/12/tech/lyft-car-rentals/index.html (Lyft is rolling out a car rental service)
5. https://www.instya.com/site/zipcar.com (Top Zipcar Alternatives and Similar Sites Like Zipcar.com)
6. https://www.budgettravel.com/article/zipcar-turo-car2go-which-is-the-best-carsharing-service (Zipcar, Turo, Car2Go: Which Is The Best Carsharing Service?)
7. https://www.cbinsights.com/company/zipcar/alternatives-competitors (Zipcar’s alternatives and competitors)