Infobox Company
name = Zipcar

type = Private
genre =
foundation = Cambridge, Massachusetts
founder = Robin Chase
Antje Danielson
location = Boston, Massachusetts
area_served = Atlanta
Gainesville, FL
Houston []
New York
Pittsburgh []
San Francisco
Ann Arbor
Washington D.C.
key_people =
industry = Car rental
products =
services = Carsharing
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
owner =
num_employees = 221
parent =
divisions =
subsid =
slogan = "Wheels When You Want Them"
homepage =
footnotes =
intl =

Zipcar is a for-profit, membership-based carsharing company providing automobile rental to its members, billable by the hour or day. Zipcar was founded in 1999 by Cambridge, Massachusetts residents Robin Chase and Antje Danielson. On October 31, 2007 Zipcar merged with rival Flexcar.cite web |url= |title=Zipcar and Flexcar Agree to Merge |accessdate=2007-10-31 |date=2007-10-31|work=Press Release |publisher=Zipcar ] cite web |url= |title=Zipcar and Flexcar Agree to Merge |accessdate=2007-10-31 |date=2007-10-31 |work=Press Release |publisher=Flexcar]

Membership details

Members, called "zipsters", are able to view vehicle availability and reserve a self-service car via the internet or by telephone, in increments as short as one hour and pay only for time they reserve; up to 180 miles are included in each reservation (180 miles are provided in each 24 hour periodcite web |url= |title=Zipcar : Flexcar : Member Q&A |accessdate=2008-01-04] ). Each vehicle has a home location: a reserved parking space located on a street, driveway, or neighborhood parking lot in the member's area.

Members are given an access card, called a "Zipcard", which will open the vehicle they have reserved only at the time they have reserved it. Each vehicle records hours of usage and mileage, which is uploaded to a central computer via a wireless data link. The location of the vehicles is not tracked during a reservation for privacy reasons but is trackable and all cars are equipped with a "kill" function that allows the company to prevent the car from starting in the event of theft (it does not cause the car to turn off, for safety reasons) Fact|date=February 2008 The reservation includes driver's insurance, a gas card for the car, and reimbursements for typical car maintenance items like car washes and window wiper fluid refills. When someone becomes a member, they can automatically reserve and use a Zipcar in any Zipcar city.

With service in Seattle, Boston, New York, Miami, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, Portland, Oregon, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Oakland, San Francisco, University of Southern California, Stanford University, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Gainesville, Florida, Toronto, London, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Vancouver, Zipcar claims to be "the world's largest car sharing and car club provider." [cite web |url= |title=Zipcar - Car sharing, cars by the hour or day |accessdate=2008-01-04] As of May 2008, there were 200,000 Zipsters worldwide.

Individual members can sign up for one of two different plans, the "Occasional Driving Plan" and the "Extra Value Plan".

On May 1, 2007, ZipCar announced that it was ending its partnership with XM Radio and the service would be removed from its cars over the subsequent two months.cite web |url=
title=Zipcar drops XM |author=Paul R. LaMonica |work=Media Biz with Paul R. LaMonica | |date=2007-05-01 |accessdate=2008-01-04

University, organization and business partnerships

Zipcar also offers its service for businesses (called "Z2B"), universities and organizations. These programs typically provide a discount on the annual membership fee. Additionally, the Z2B program provides discounts on Monday - Friday driving. They have also partnered with over 30 colleges and universities to provide students with access to their car sharing service on or near campus, the first being the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


*1999: Concept solidified by Robin Chase and Antje Danielson.
*2000: Company formed.
* June 2000: First Zipcars hit the road around Boston, MA.
* September 2001: Washington, D.C. office opened
* February 2002: New York City office opened
* February 2003: Scott Griffith replaces Robin Chase as CEO.
* April 2005: Zipcar partners with XM Satellite Radio (nasdaq2|XMSR) to provide satellite radio in all Zipcars.
* July 2005: Zipcar secures $10 million in funding led by Benchmark Capital.
* August 2005: San Francisco office opened.
* May 2006: Toronto office opened.
* May 2006: General Electric's Commercial Finance Fleet Services (nyse2|GE) gives Zipcar $20 million in lease line financing.
* September 2006 Toronto market is named fastest growing new market in company history
* November 2006: London office opened.
* April 2007: Vancouver office opened.
* May 2007 : XM Satellite Radio ends partnership with Zipcar and radios will not be available in Zipcars any longer.
* October 2007: Zipcar and Flexcar executives announce a merger of the two companies, with the Zipcar brand and headquarters replacing that of Flexcar.cite news |first=Dominic |last=Gates |title=Seattle's Flexcar merges with rival Zipcar |url= |work=The Seattle Times |date=2007-10-30 |accessdate=2007-10-31]
* January 23, 2008 The merged Zipcar/Flexcar cancels service without notice for the Southern California cities of Los Angeles and San Diego stranding hundreds of customers. Southern California college operations are left intact.cite news |first=Jeanette |last=Steele |title=Flexcar is curbing a majority of its fleet|url=|work=San Diego Union Tribune |date=2008-01-24 |accessdate=2008-03-10]
* July 11, 2008 Zipcar announces it doubled membership in past year, including the Flexcar members it acquired, and now has 225,000 memberscite news |title=Zipcar doubled membership in past year to 225,000 |url= |work=CarSharing World |date=2008-07-15 |accessdate=2008-07-18]
* August 28, 2008 Rice University announced the introduction into the program in their goal of achieving as low of a carbon footprint as possible while providing additional transportation options for employees that carpool. [ [ Zipcars offer campus a new transportation option] ]


On October 31, 2007 Zipcar and Flexcar announced their intentions to merge. The merged company will retain the name "Zipcar" and be headquartered in Cambridge. Zipcar's chief executive, former Seattle-based Boeing engineer Scott Griffith, will be chairman and CEO. Flexcar CEO Mark Norman will become president and chief operating officer. The merger will combine Zipcar's fleet of 3,500 vehicles in 35 markets with Flexcar's 1,500 cars in 15 markets.cite news |first=Caroline Y. |last=Johnson |title=Zipcar is expected to join with rival Flexcar |url= |work=The Boston Globe |date=2007-10-31 |accessdate=2007-10-31]

Liability insurance

Zipcar provides $300,000 per accident in liability coverage for members over 21 years of age. Members, at fault or not, are responsible for the first $500 of costs related to the repair, recovery, and loss of use of any Zipcar vehicle. In other words, if the member is at fault in an accident, Zipcar's insurance will cover from $500 up to $300,000 in property damage or bodily injury. For members under 21, Zipcar provides insurance coverage at state-mandated levels. According to certain blogs,who Zipcar offers only state minimums for insurance, which are a lot less than $300,000.

Insurance coverage may vary depending on the region of use. For example, Canadian members in Toronto, ON are provided with $1,000,000 in liability coverage [cite web |url= |title=Zipcar: Toronto, ON Terms and Conditions |accessdate=2008-05-18] . Vancouver, BC members are provided with $2,000,000 in liability coverage [cite web |url= |title=Zipcar: Vancouver, BC Terms and Conditions |accessdate=2008-05-18] . Both regions in Canada also include comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to liability insurance. It should also be noted that Zipcars travelling into Canada from the US requires members to obtain a special insurance card from Zipcar [cite web |url= |title=Zipcar FAQ: If I reserve a Zipcar in the US, can I drive out of state or in Canada? |accessdate=2008-05-18] . Canadian Zipcars travelling into the US do not need the extra insurance card [cite web |url= |title=Zipcar FAQ: If I reserve a Zipcar in Canada, can I drive in the US? |accessdate=2008-05-18] .

London, UK members are covered by a full comprehensive loss, and unlimited personal injury / bodily injury liability policy. Third party liability is covered up to a maximum of £20,000,000 [cite web |url= |title=Zipcar: London, UK Terms and Conditions |accessdate=2008-05-18] . Similar to Zipcar US, travelling abroad requires a special 'vehicle on-hire' certificate which can be obtained from Zipcar [cite web |url= |title=Zipcar FAQ: If I reserve a Zipcar in the UK, can I drive it abroad? |accessdate=2008-05-18] .

In popular culture

Zipcar's logo was spotted on a viral marketing website called promoting the Batman movie "The Dark Knight", in 2007. The logo was one of the letters found in a large-scale scavenger hunt, spelling out "The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules," a riddle put together by The Joker.Fact|date=April 2008

ee also

* Carsharing
* List of carsharing operators


External links

* [ Zipcar official site]

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