I am officially a Zipster

Being a NYer, you have no need for your own car. Between the difficulty in finding cheap (if any) parking and some of the highest insurance rates in the US, it doesn’t make financial sense. More importantly, public transportation is efficient and reliable. But, there are certain trips that you just can’t rely on public transportation for. I also genuinely miss driving. I know that doing the home-to-work-to-home routine can become miserable, especially if you are inevitably going to hit traffic (main reason I am not moving back to FL). But the thrill of lowering the windows, opening the sun roof, blasting your stereo and opening it up on the highway when there is nobody else around is an experience that I can’t be without for too long.

I first read about Zipcar a few years ago in an article in the USA Today, and was immediately impressed. I thought it was a brilliant concept, but at the time I had my own car (’95 Lexus GS300) and was living in Orlando. No need for Zipcar.

Fast forward to present day, and I am itching to let off some steam. Therapy comes in the form of renting a 2007 BMW 325 for a few hours and taking it out on the West Side Highway. What will a little excursion like this set me back? A $25 application fee, $50 annual fee, and then rental fees ranging from $8-$14/hr. Gas and insurance are also included (gas card inside the car). The best part is, I got a free $50 credit when I signed up so my first rental was essentially FREE. I am now officially a Zipster.

There are a couple of reasons why this service is so great, aside from the price. First is convenience… there are locations literally everywhere in Manhattan. There are even two within a 15 block radius in my neighborhood (Williamsburg aka “the Burg”). Second is not having to deal with annoying rental agents. I can say that because my first job out of college was as an annoying rental agent at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I sold that damage waiver like it was going out of style. I also used to price gouge like it was nobody’s business, to the point where I felt guilty about it. None of that here.

Here is the process:
1- go to http://www.zipcar.com
2- choose date and time
3- choose a location
4- choose car model
5- go to the location, find the car, put your zipcard against the sensor in the windshield, find the keys inside the car, and take off

So if anyone out there is interested, let me know and I will gladly send you an email to receive a $50 credit when you sign up.

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(Zipcar, if you’re reading I would love some free rentals or something for this awesome plug)

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