Zipcar is a revolutionary service owned by Avis Budget Group and is highly convenient. It allows people who do not own a car or who require one, for any particular reason, to remain autonomous, without having to rely on cab-hailing or apps like Lyft or Uber. However, bearing that in mind, we need to ask ourselves, does Zipcar make allowances for one-way trips?
Zipcar Flex is your answer to this question, and it is Zipcar's one-way solution to the problem faced by those who do not wish to make a round-trip. You can pick up a car and drop it off anywhere within the Zipzone where you are going. One does have to abide by the parking rules, though.
Zipcar Flex (or simply Flex) is a solution to the logistical issues of when one wants to hire a car but not return it to the exact location. It has also enabled Zipcar to remain in the running with its competitors who already offer the one-way option. If you are looking for a means to get from point A to point B be sure to read on as I delve deeper into the topic.
Zipcar Offers One Way Rental, But That’s Known As Flex
Flex offers you the freedom to collect a vehicle from one particular location and then ‘return' it to a completely different point. It is something that many people who have been using Zipcar already were probably wishing they would implement, and now they have. The only snag, though, is that one would have to check on the app to see if one-way rentals are available in their area.
So if you are heading for a night out and wish to drive yourself there but not home or are heading off to a friend's for the day, you can easily make use of Flex. It is a convenient way to get around the city and, in some cases, even between cities (so long as you are aware of the need to adhere to returning the car to an official Zipzone).
If you want to find a one-way rental, all you need to do is look for the blue pin in the app, you will then reserve the car, and it will be available for you to collect for 15 minutes. So be sure to check that you are not going to get held up by anything as otherwise, you will forfeit your reservation. Once you have collected the car, it is a simple case of getting in and driving and then dropping it off in a Zipzone.
Flex is marketed as being an easy and hassle-free way to embark on spontaneous trips in and around your city. If you need to get somewhere pronto and do not intend to head back to your starting point, then this is the answer you have been looking for. When returning the car, unlike the round-trip service, you do not have to take it back to its Car Club Bay.
Reserving A Zipcar Flex Vehicle
Another significant difference between the traditional Zipcar round-trip service and the Flex one-way option is that with the Flex service, you are charged per minute as opposed to per hour that you have the vehicle.
However, there is the bonus of not having to return it to a Car Club Bay, but there is an issue: sometimes the Zipzone bays are all packed, and you have to drive to find space in another. The reservation process is very straightforward, though, just like the standard Zipcar service. All you need to do is hop onto the app and then search for the blue dots on the app.
These blue dots are the Flex cars, and once you click on one of them, you will be shown the Zipzone near where you are headed. Then, all you must do is select your vehicle and “confirm the reservation”. However, as mentioned, your window to get to the car is only 15 minutes; if you do not reach the car by then, it will become available to others.
Once you have reserved the car, thankfully, Flex has you covered in finding the vehicle; you will be provided with a handy map that will lead you directly to the car. You are then ready and set for your journey ahead.
Is Zipcar (Flex) A Cheaper Alternative To Its Competitors?
Obviously, there will be variables that come into play in any instance; however, for the most part, Zipcar and Flex will be cheaper alternatives to their competitors. This comes down to various factors that are considered, such as the base fee, per-mile charge, and per-minute rate. Uber and Lyft are almost always going to be more expensive.
The one thing you will have to take into account, though, is your location because just like Lyft and Uber have price surging, Zipcar and Flex do charge different rates depending on where you are. However, even with this taken into account, it is still likely to cost you less. And what is great about this service is that you are fully autonomous and free to go where and as you like.
Also, another aspect that must be considered is that during peak times, Uber and Lyft not only charge more, but the ratio of supply to demand is lopsided, and therefore you may end up waiting for ages to get a ride.
What Is The Availability Of Zipcar Compared To Competitors?
That previous point brings us to our next issue: the availability of the vehicles themselves. And even though you may suppose otherwise, Zipcar and Flex are typically more widely available than their competitors. This is particularly true for university-centric locations. This is a clever aspect of Zipcar in that students are often car-less, yet they still need to get around.
So if you are concerned about the availability of vehicles, rest assured Zipcar and Flex have you covered, as they have thousands of cars available and various brands and models to suit your particular needs.
If you do not need to drive often and find yourself just needing to get from one place to another, without the intention of returning to your initial location any time soon, then Flex is definitely the option with which you want to go. It has already been said, that Flex is still a cheaper option than others, and now you know that it does indeed allow for one-way rentals.