Students rent ZipCars to drive off campus

Jessica Pellegrino General Assignment Reporter 

Between parking, car payments, and New Haven traffic, having a full-time car on campus can be inconvenient. Southern Connecticut State University offers a program called ZipCar.

Here is how it works. The program supplies fully functional cars, with gas included for students to use for a fee. You can use the car for an hour or the whole day. It is up to the student. The ZipCar service is great for getting students to fieldwork, jobs, or anything they would need a car on campus for.

First, the student will go on the ZipCar website and make a reservation. During this process, the student will put in their payment information and they will get a confirmation number. Then, students are encouraged to check the car out for dents and scrapes. If they find any, they have you contact ZipCar and report the damage, to avoid being blamed for it later.

Once you get to the car, simply swipe your ZipCard until you hear the beep, and you are on the clock. Your ZipCard is how you lock and unlock your car. Simply wave your card over the sensor.

So what are the benefits of using the ZipCar? First of all, ZipCars make life easy for students. Students now no longer need to have a car on campus. They can just rent out a ZipCar whenever they need to go somewhere.

Also, ZipCars are great for economic and environmental purposes. With traffic and lack of parking being real problem at Southern, ZipCars help to alleviate some of the stress.

zipcar (2)ZipCars come fully loaded with gasoline included in the rental fee. So, the student does not have to trouble themselves with gas prices. Also, the act of sharing vehicles is great for our environment because it cuts down on the use of non-renewable resources. So students can stay money conscious and environmentally conscious while still being able to do the things they love to do.

Joining the ZipCar service includes some steps for the students. First, they need to be approved. So, students must join ZipCar through their website. It only takes five minutes to sign up. There is, however, a fee for joining the ZipCar service.

The membership to join the ZipCar is an annual fee of twenty five dollars for students. It insures that that your ZipCar experience includes gasoline and car insurance.
Right now, ZipCar is running a special. When you pay the annual fee, you receive $35 towards your first trip.

So let’s get down to business. How much does using the ZipCar service actually cost the student? Rates vary depending on the time of week the student plans to use the ZipCar.

Monday through Thursday, students can rent a ZipCar for $8.50 an hour, or for $69 the student can rent the car for the whole twenty four hour period. Friday through Sunday the rates increase slightly to $9.50 an hour or $75 for the day.

These prices include up to 180 miles and after those miles, increased fees will be applied. The fees start at $0.45 extra per mile. That can really add up if the student is not careful.

ZipCars can be convenient and easy to use for students. Southern offers two ZipCars for rental.

Photo Credit: Jessica Pellegrino
Andrew Currie 

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