Uber is becoming the go-to ride service for many, but sometimes Zipcar is actually the better way to go. If you haven’t heard of Zipcar before, it’s a car rental service that allows you to rent and pick up Zipcars that are parked in designated spots in most cities and college towns at a much cheaper price than normal rental cars.
All you have to do to rent a Zipcar is create a Zipcar account, get a ‘Zipcard’ (looks like a credit card), reserve a car, then show up to a Zipcar parking spot and use your Zipcard to open the car and get the keys. You can drive the car wherever you want, as long as you return it to the same spot.
Here’s the big difference between Uber and Zipcar: Uber is on-demand and you don’t drive. Zipcar needs to be booked in advance and you drive the car yourself. If you can plan ahead and drive yourself, a Zipcar trip might only cost $10 when an Uber trip would be much more.
Zipcar is better when you need to be on time – Think job interviews and meetings
Uber can be unpredictable because passenger demand and driver supply vary by so much. An Uber driver could be around the corner when you make the request or they could be 15 minutes away. That kind of unpredictability isn’t ok when you have an important appointment to make, like a job interview or a meeting. Zipcar allows you to schedule a car in advance, so if you know you have an important meeting coming up, it’s a better idea to book a Zipcar than to request an Uber and hope your driver shows up fast enough.
Zipcar is good when you’re taking a longer trip
Zipcar charges by the hour. Uber charges by minute and mile (Here’s an Uber fare estimator). So if you’re going a long way, Zipcar will be cheaper than Uber. But remember, you need to return the Zipcar to where you got it.
Zipcar is cheaper when your trip has more than one stop
It’s the dream trip for an Uber driver: A person without a car needs to run a few errands all over town. The Uber meter won’t stop running until all the errands end, so the fare could easily climb into the $30-40 range or more!
If you have a bunch of errands to run and you need a ride, scheduling a Zipcar could be a lot cheaper. You won’t have to worry about the meter running, and you’ll only pay around $10 per hour to use the Zipcar.
It’s better than Uber when you’re taking a solo trip
The cost of an Uber can add up quickly, especially when prime time pricing doubles or even triples your fare. Riding with a group of people and splitting the cost of the Uber isn’t so bad, even if there’s surge pricing. Not so much if you’re riding solo. If you won’t be able to get a group of people to go in on an Uber, try a Zipcar instead.
Here’s when Uber is better than Zipcar
Zipcar can be the better option if you can plan ahead, but Uber is still the better service in these situations:
- If you don’t have a driver’s license or a good driving record. You need those to be eligible for Zipcar
- When you’re planning to drink alcohol. No DUIs!
- When your trip won’t be a round trip. You have to return a Zipcar to the place you got it
Try Zipcar – Get $25 Credit For Free
Use my referral link to try Zipcar and you’ll get $25 of free Zipcar credit. Hourly and daily rates include gas, insurance, and everything else you’ll need to take a trip.