Using Zipcar at Stanford
Step 1 - Join
Apply online through Stanford's Zipcar web page or through one of the Faculty, Staff, or Student Commute Club member links above. (To be approved as a Stanford member, please use your Stanford email address and enter your Stanford ID number when applying.) Once you are approved, you will receive your Zipcard in three days to a week by mail.
- Zipcar checks your driving record.
- Zipcar emails you about the status of your application.
- Zipcar sends your Zipcard to your billing address or activates your existing Zipcard.
Already a Zipcar member? Contact Zipcar to transfer to a Stanford membership.
Do you have a driver's license outside of the U.S. or Canada? You can apply. Visit Zipcar's website for instructions on how to provide them with your driving record.
New to California? Be sure to consult the California Driver Handbook to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road.
Step 2 - Reserve
Once you have received and activated your Zipcard, reserve one of the Zipcars at Stanford or at any other Zipcar location for an hour or an entire day - you decide how long. Reservations can be made online or by phone at 866.4ZIPCAR.
Step 3 - Unlock
Walk to the car, and then just hold your Zipcard to the card reader on the windshield. The doors will unlock, and it's all yours! Your Zipcard will only open the car you've reserved during the time you reserved it, which means no one else can open your Zipcar during that time. (You will be instructed where to find the keys in the car.)
Step 4 - Drive
Drive away, and then return the Zipcar to the same reserved parking spot at the end of your reservation. It's that simple. And remember, gas, and insurance are included in the hourly rate. You just need to fill the tank using the Zipcar fuel card inside the car when it gets to ¼ full.
As part of the application process, you will need to enter a credit card number. Your credit card will initially be charged your annual fee and applicable taxes. Once you become a member, your driving charges will be charged to your credit card when you have completed a reservation.
Insurance coverage is included in the cost of your Zipcar reservation. For Zipcar members 21 years of age or older, Zipcar insurance coverage consists of a combined single limit of $300,000 per accident. For drivers under 21, Zipcar provides coverage at state-mandated minimum levels. In California, the required levels are $15,000 for bodily injury liability per person in an accident; $30,000 for all bodily injuries in an accident; and $5,000 for property damage in an accident.
You will be charged fees if you do not adhere to the basic membership guidelines. All fees are assessed by Zipcar. Fees result from actions including returning the car late, returning the car with less than ¼ tank of fuel, leaving the car excessively dirty, smoking in the car, and allowing pets outside of a pet carrier while in the car.
Please note that someone who is not a Zipcar member cannot drive the Zipcar that a member has reserved. Anyone behind the wheel must be a Zipcar member for liability and insurance reasons. Membership can be revoked for unauthorized use.
Zipcar charges late fees of $50 per hour with a minimum charge of $50 plus regular hourly charges. So, when you're making your reservation, book the car for an extra half-hour or hour if you have any doubt about being able to make it back on time.
You can also extend your reservation with Zipcar's automated telephone system (866.4ZIPCAR), via SMS, or from the iPhone or Android app, but keep in mind that it's not always possible to extend your reservation once you have the car - another member may have already reserved it!
Zipcar provides an FAQ page. Please note that after selecting your Zipcar location, the FAQs that appear are on the general Zipcar site, so some of the fees and rates differ from those offered to Stanford Zipcar members.