Frequently Asked Questions

Finding and Reserving Zipcars

How do I choose a time for my reservation?

"Browse by Day" turned OFF:
Simply dial in your start and end times.

"Browse by Day" turned ON:
Select a date first, then choose your car. From there you can tap on any white cell on the grid or dial in your start and end times.

How do I choose my location?

Begin by tapping the "Location" link. There are a few different ways to choose your location:

  • Let the app locate you. Tap "Current location" and we'll locate you through GPS.
  • Search. Tap the magnifying glass to search by postal code, city or address.
  • Browse bookmarks. Tap the book icon to search from a neighborhood or one of your saved addresses and contacts.
  • Recent history. Your most recent location searches are a tap away.
How do I reserve a car?

"Browse by Day" turned OFF:
After entering your start and end times, tap on a vehicle from the list results to select it. Alternatively, you can switch to the map and tap on a green pin. You'll see a list of vehicles at that location—the ones that match your criteria will be at the top of the list. Tap one of those vehicles to select it.

Here you'll be able to learn more about the car including the estimated cost of the reservation, directions to the parking location and the vehicle's cargo capacity.

Once you've selected your Zipcar, tap "Reserve" to book it and review the reservation details before proceeding. On the next screen, you have the option to add a memo to remind you of the purpose of the trip; if you drive for both business and pleasure, you can also select which account to bill this reservation to. When you're ready to confirm, tap "Yeah, Book It!" That was easy. Consider that Zipcar yours.

"Browse by Day" turned ON:
After picking your date, tap on a vehicle from the list results to select it. Alternatively, you can switch to the map and tap on a green pin. You'll see a list of vehicles at that location—tap one of those vehicles to select it.

Here you'll be able to pick your start and end times and check the estimated cost of the reservation.

Once you've selected your reservation times, tap "Reserve" to book it and review the reservation details before proceeding. On the next screen, you have the option to add a memo to remind you of the purpose of the trip; if you drive for both business and pleasure, you can also select which account to bill this reservation to. When you're ready to confirm, tap "Yeah, Book It!" That was easy. Consider that Zipcar yours.

How do I search for a specific car type or model?

Tap the "Cars" link to search for a specific type car (convertible, hybrid, pickup, etc). You can also search for a specific model (Cooper MINI, etc.).

What do the pins on the map represent?

The pins represent Zipcar locations. A green pin means that the location has a Zipcar that matches your criteria. A gray pin means that the location has a Zipcar, but it's been spoken for by another Zipster at this time. This screen reloads each time you change your criteria on the "Reserve" screen. (Reloading may take a few seconds.)

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Honking and Unlocking

Do I need to scan my Zipcard to use honk?

Nope, you just need to have a current reservation. Try it at the start of your trip, when you're searching for your car in a crowded lot. It's your Zipcar saying hello.

Does the app replace my Zipcard?

No. Please continue carrying your Zipcard during your reservations. You will need to scan it once at the start of each reservation. The lock and unlock features will not work until you've scanned in with your Zipcard. (You do not need to be scanned-in to honk your Zipcar's horn.)

Once you're scanned in, you can use your iPhone (or iPod touch) to lock and unlock your Zipcar throughout your reservation. At the end of your reservation, you can simply lock up with your iPhone (no need to scan out with your Zipcard).

We want your Ziptrip to be a great experience. Your trusty Zipcard will always work, so keep it with you at all times. You could find yourself in a situation where you have spotty coverage, your iPhone battery runs out of juice, or your device gets lost or stolen.

How do the honk and unlock features really work?

Glad you asked. It's pretty cool. When you tap a button on the virtual key fob, a signal is sent to our server where it's validated. (This simply means we're checking to make sure that you have a reservation on this vehicle at this time.) Our server then passes the signal to the Zipcar. In order to honk, lock or unlock, both the iPhone (or iPod touch) and the vehicle must have a network connection.

The Zipcar will respond within a few seconds (about the time it takes to send and receive a text message).

What if I don't have an iPhone?

Find your Zipcar in a crowd, without a fancy smartphone. Just text the word "honk" to 74657 and beep your way back. Forgot to lock the Zipcar doors? Text "lock" to 74657 to secure the car without walking all the way back. (It's also a neat party trick.) For safety reasons you can only lock, not unlock, via text. But you can honk, lock or unlock during your reservation from the mobile site on any phone.

What is honking and unlocking?

Check it out: during your reservation, you can tap your iPhone to honk your Zipcar's horn, unlock and lock the doors! You can access the virtual key fob from the "Drive" tab.

If you're not in a reservation, you can still play around with the virtual key fob and make fun sounds. Beep beep. Or boop boop, for example.

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Managing Reservations

Can I change an upcoming reservation?

Yes. You can cancel, change or extend upcoming reservations.

Touch the "My Zipcar" tab for a snapshot of your upcoming reservations, and then tap the vehicle. Choose how you'd like to change or cancel your reservation, then we'll ask you to confirm. Easy. Please note that the usual cancellation policy applies.

Can I extend my current reservation?

Sure, as long as the car is available. To find out, start by tapping "Change Reservation" on the main Drive screen. If the car is not available for extension, we'll tell you. We'll also give you a link to call our Member Services line if you know you won't be able to return the car on time.

If the car's available, you can tap on any white cell on the grid, or dial in an entirely new end time. Tap "Change Reservation" to officially extend your reservation. Tada! That Zipcar is yours for a little longer.

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Overview

Are there plans for future releases?

Yes. We've got some great things in the works. As always, we'd love to hear your ideas. Please give us your feedback.

Do I have to be a Zipcar member to use the app?

No. Anyone can download the app to locate Zipcars, make fun sounds with the virtual key fob, and get a feel for what Zipcar membership is all about. However, only Zipcar members can reserve, honk and unlock Zipcars.

Do you have anything for non-iPhone users?

We currently support Android and iPhones, If you don't have either, you can still reserve a Zipcar by visiting the Zipcar website from any mobile device.

How much does the app cost?

Zippo. Zilch. Nada. (It's free.)

What are the technical requirements?

You will need OS 4.0 or greater software. The app is available on the App Store? as a free download and runs on any iPhone or iPod touch.

What can I do with the app?

Locate Zipcars, reserve, extend and cancel reservations, even honk the horn and unlock the doors, all with your iPhone™ or iPod touch®.

Where can I get the iPhone app?

You download it from the App Store on your iPhone or iPod touch (search for "Zipcar") or from iTunes® on your computer.

Why did Zipcar create an app for the iPhone?

We keep looking for ways to make life easier for our Zipster. More than 40% of Zipcar members have the iPhone (and that number is growing), so this app has proven to be a handy addition.

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Sign In

Do I need to sign in?

If you're not a Zipcar member, you can proceed without signing in. If you are a member, please sign in to have access to all of the member features, like reserving Zipcars.

How do I sign in as a Zipcar member?

If you're a Zipcar member, you can sign in with the same username and password that you use on the Zipcar website. Can't remember your password? We've been there. We can help you out.

How do I sign out of the app?

Once you've signed in, we'll automatically sign you out after 2 weeks to keep your account secure. You can also manually sign out in the "My Zipcar" tab under "Sign Out."

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Troubleshooting

How can I give Zipcar my feedback?

This app's for you. So we're listening for your feedback. Tell us what you like and what could be better.

What do I do if the app crashes?

Please close the app and try again. If the problem persists, delete the app from your phone and try downloading it again. If that doesn't work, please use our mobile site as a backup plan (just go to the Zipcar website on your phone) or call us at 1-866-494-7227.

We're always working to identify and fix problems. If you experience frequent crashes, please contact us and give us the details. Thanks for your help!

Why am I having difficulty selecting things?

Simply try pressing directly on the intended tap target. If it's still a problem, try closing out of the app and relaunching it.

Why did my device stop working?

Please try removing the app from your device and downloading it again. If the problem persists, please work with Apple to determine the cause.

Why don't the honk and unlock features work?

Many Zipcars can do these tricks right now and we're adding more every day. If you know your Zipcar has honk and unlock, simply wait a few seconds and try again. It's possible you could have a spotty connection or our server is unable to read your request. Please continue with your reservation using your Zipcard to lock and unlock, as usual.

Why is the app slow for me?

Be sure you have a good network connection. We are working to optimize performance of our app with each version we release.

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