If you're yearning to get beyond the reach of public transportation or just need a car occasionally, consider a ZipCar membership. Unlike regular car rental a ZipCar is a paid membership that gives you access to a car when you need one.
Here are the benefits and drawbacks to using ZipCar:
ZipCar Benefits Include...
Use a Car - Whenever
Skip the expense of car ownership and use a car whenever you need it. Basic rental includes a nice span of 180 miles.
Reservation Includes Gas and Insurance
Simply fill up the tank by using the free gas card included with your rental. You're automatically covered with comprehensive insurance on all-day and hourly rentals.
Reserve Online or By Using Your Cell
You can book it on the fly.
You Can Add Roommates to the Membership
For a nominal fee you can add housemates or roommates to your account.
ZipCar Only Available in Metro Markets or University Towns
You're outta luck unless you live in a large city or university town.
Four Day Rental, Max
If you need a car for a longer period you might be better off with a traditional rental car.
No One-Way Trips
Sorry; the ZipCar must be returned to the reserved parking spot where you picked it up.
Using a car-sharing program like ZipCar is great for the environment because helps take cars off the road. If you're interested in more ways to reduce your carbon footprint while living in an apartment, check out our Apartment Earth column.