our technology

the nuts and bolts

The best technology is the kind that you never have to think about. We think about our technology all the time, mostly so you don't ever have to. In case you're wondering, though, it goes a little something like this when you become a member...


This is Andrea.

We're going to show you how Andrea uses Zipcar technology.

With just a little wave of her Zipcard, Andrea has 24/7 access to Zipcars all around the world. This is not by chance. We work at it everyday to ensure that members like Andrea can easily tap into the power of Zipcar technology.

Laptop computer Zipcar Map


Andrea heads to Zipcar.ca to get started.

Joining Zipcar

Andrea applies online. We run a quick driving record check. Most are automated, and 94% are approved in under 24hours.

Reserving a car

Andrea signs in at Zipcar.ca. She can browse cars nearby or search by time, location, price, or model. She can book it minutes (or months) in advance.

Managing her account

There's a lot Andrea can do online. She can change her driving plan. She can invite household members to join her account (or boot them off). She can view invoices, refer friends and earn free driving, learn about partner discounts, read newsletters… Phew!

Zipcard Zipcars sign


Andrea uses her Zipcard to access Zipcars.

Accessing a Zipcar

Andrea holds her Zipcard against the card reader in the windshield. Thanks to RFID (radio frequency identification) technology, the car "knows" that she has a reservation, and the doors unlock!

Locking and Unlocking

Throughout her trip, Andrea uses her Zipcard to lock and unlock the doors. While the key stays inside, no one can start the car without scanning in with the correct Zipcard first.

Returning the Car

Andrea returns the Zipcar to its reserved parking location and locks up with her Zipcard. Within a few hours, the details of her trip are available online.

mobile phone Andrea and friends in a Zipcar


Andrea's mobile gives her the freedom of wheels when she wants them, from anywhere.

Zipcar iPhone and Android™ App

Andrea can use her iPhone or Android™ device to quickly find and reserve a Zipcar. (An iPod touch will do the trick too.) Once she's scanned in with her Zipcard, she can tap the keyfob in the app to lock and unlock the doors, and even honk the horn of any Zipcar enabled with this feature. Visit our mobile app page

Zipcar Mobile Website

Andrea can reserve Zipcars on-the-go from any mobile phone by visiting Zipcar.ca.

Alerts and 2-Way Texting

Since Andrea signed up for alerts, she receives a text near the end of her reservation. If the car's available and she'd like to extend, she can simply text us back.

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