It was easy for me to reserve a car online; I just picked the day, block of time, and one of three pick up locations in the San Jose downtown area. With my membership, I could chose from over 31 makes and models, from the eco-conscious to the extended range, or even a Mercedes! I chose a crimson and white-stripped supercharged Mini Cooper Convertible for my shopping jaunt off campus.
There was no out-of-pocket charge while I had the car. My membership, consisting of a discounted yearly student membership rate and a low one-time application fee, included up to 180 miles a day and free gas. The gas card was located above the driver’s visor and used exactly like an ATM card. It was also comforting to know that insurance was covering me the whole time I was driving. I was only paying for the cost of the reservation, which was the time I was driving the car, starting at around $8 an hour.
The ease of me walking up to my car, opening it and being able to go was the highlight of my experience. I held my access card on the scanner outside the driver’s dash to unlock it. The hardest concept to grasp was the fact that the keys are built right in the car. I didn’t have to worry about parking near campus because there was already a spot reserved for me.
Having a Zipcar for a day really made me think about comparing Zipcar to owning your own car. Even though you had to be somewhat of a planner in order to get your car when you want it, I could easily save several hundred dollars and miles on car expenses with car sharing.
It’s also great for the environment, fewer cars on the road means saving gas and oil, which means less pollution and overall, a higher green impact.
So all this means everyone living on campus doesn’t have to feel stranded in the middle of the city. Car sharing can grant you the freedom to run some errands or go to an appointment, or even help you move, and as a student that’s great flexibility and convenience when you want it!