Zipcar Gas Rules: Is Gas Included In My Trip

Published: September 3, 2023
Last updated: September 14, 2023

Car-sharing is transforming the way we navigate cities, but amidst the convenience, how do we handle the nitty-gritty details like fueling up? Dive into the world of Zipcar, where understanding the Zipcar gas rules is key to a seamless driving experience. Let's hit the road and explore these policies that make Zipcar a user-favorite.

What is Zipcar?

Zipcar stands as a pioneer in the car-sharing industry, offering city dwellers and students an alternative to car ownership. With a member-centric approach, Zipcar allows individuals to book a variety of vehicles on an hourly or daily basis, eliminating the hassles of maintenance, parking, and long-term commitments. However, as prospective members plan their first journey, certain specifics, such as the Zipcar gas rules, can raise eyebrows and queries.

Overview of Zipcar Gas Rules

Zipcar’s philosophy is built around user convenience, which extends to its refueling policy. Unlike traditional car rentals, where you might be racing to find a gas station before returning, Zipcar includes gas in the reservation cost. Each vehicle is equipped with a fuel card, allowing members to top off the tank without reaching into their own wallets. This ensures not just a smooth ride for the current user but also sets the stage for the next member to have a hassle-free experience.

Basic Membership Guidelines

Eligibility Requirements

To become a member of the Zipcar community, there are certain foundational prerequisites set to ensure the safety and smooth functioning of the service. Prospective members should:

  • Be at least 21 years of age. However, if you're connected to a university that's in partnership with Zipcar, the age bar lowers to 18.

  • Possess a valid driver's license. This ensures that all users are legally sanctioned to drive.

  • Pass Zipcar's thorough check on driving history. This vetting process is crucial in maintaining the safety standards that Zipcar prides itself on.

Member Responsibilities and Obligations

Being part of the Zipcar community means enjoying the freedom of car access without ownership, but it also comes with responsibilities. Members are entrusted to:

  • Always return vehicles punctually, as other members could have subsequent reservations.

  • Leave the car tidy and ready for the next user, promoting a courteous sharing environment.

  • Promptly notify Zipcar of any damages, issues, or discrepancies encountered during the reservation.

  • Ensure the vehicle's fuel doesn't dip below the 1/4 tank mark. If it does, the provided fuel card should be utilized for refueling.

Terms and Conditions for Usage

Membership with Zipcar is governed by a comprehensive member agreement. This document elucidates the nuances of vehicle care, booking procedures, cancellations, and other pertinent aspects of the service. It's imperative for members to be well-acquainted with these guidelines to avoid any inadvertent violations.

Fees and Charges

The transparency in Zipcar’s pricing is one of its many appeals. While essential costs such as fuel are integrated within the reservation price, members should be aware that certain scenarios can lead to additional charges. These might include instances like returning the vehicle later than the agreed-upon time, exceeding the package mileage limits, or if the car is left in a condition necessitating extensive cleaning.

Fuel Card Use and Requirements

Applying for a Fuel Card

One of the advantages of Zipcar's system is its effortless approach to fueling. Unlike some services where you might need to apply separately for benefits, Zipcar simplifies this. As soon as your membership is approved and activated, you gain access to the fuel card. This card is conveniently placed within every Zipcar vehicle, ensuring you don't need to carry around an extra piece of plastic or worry about forgetting it.

Adding Funds to Your Fuel Card Account

Zipcar prioritizes a hassle-free driving experience. Members can drive with peace of mind, knowing that they don't have to shoulder the responsibility of funding the fuel card. Zipcar takes care of all the logistics and financials tied to the card. When you fill-up using the Zipcar fuel card, the expenses are directly billed to Zipcar, eliminating any out-of-pocket costs or cumbersome reimbursement processes for members.

Using Your Fuel Card at the Pump

While driving, if you ever find the need to refuel, the process is seamless:

  1. Locate a Station: Opt for any gas station that accepts standard credit cards. Most major stations will readily accept the Zipcar fuel card.

  2. Swiping: At the pump, simply use the Zipcar fuel card just like you would any regular credit or debit card.

  3. Authenticating: You'll be prompted to enter specific details for security purposes and accurate billing. Input your unique Zipcar member ID, which can be found in your account details. Additionally, you'll need to provide the vehicle's current odometer reading. This step ensures transparency and helps Zipcar track fuel consumption and expenses accurately.

Rental Rates, Driving Charges, and Minimum Charge

Hourly Rates for Zipcars with Gas Cards Included

Zipcar's straightforward pricing ensures that members can easily budget for their trips. The hourly rate not only covers the rental of the vehicle itself but also essential extras like gas and insurance. This integrated cost structure is one of Zipcar's standout features. The exact hourly rate can fluctuate based on a few variables:

  • Vehicle Type: Premium vehicles or specialty cars, like luxury sedans or large vans, might have higher hourly rates compared to standard vehicles.

  • Location: Rates can differ between cities due to variations in demand, operating costs, and local competition.

  • Duration: Longer reservations might offer a discounted hourly rate, incentivizing extended usage.

Additional Driving Charges for Members without Gas Cards

While Zipcar aims for seamless operations, there might be instances when the fuel card is unavailable. Whether it's missing or simply not working, members shouldn't be left stranded:

  • Immediate Solution: If the fuel card isn't working or is missing, members are encouraged to pay for the fuel from their pockets. It's essential to retain the receipt.

  • Reimbursement: Zipcar values its members and ensures that they aren't financially burdened due to unforeseen circumstances. Once the trip is completed, members can submit a reimbursement request by contacting Zipcar customer service and providing the gas receipt as proof.

Minimum Charge per Trip

Every Zipcar reservation comes with a base charge, ensuring that vehicles are reserved for meaningful durations and not held without use. This minimum reservation charge often covers the first 30 minutes of the trip. The rationale is to discourage extremely short bookings that might prevent other members from accessing the vehicle for more extended periods. While the base rate always includes gas and insurance, the precise cost can differ based on:

  • Regional Variations: Just as hourly rates can differ by city, so can minimum charges.

  • Vehicle Type: More premium vehicles might come with a slightly higher minimum reservation cost, reflecting the higher value of these vehicles.

FAQs About Zipcar Gas Rules

Do I need to return the Zipcar with a full tank?

No, you don't need to return the Zipcar with a full tank, but you should ensure that the fuel level doesn't fall below the 1/4 tank mark.

What happens if I lose the Zipcar fuel card?

If the fuel card is missing or you misplace it, report it immediately to Zipcar. Pay for the gas out-of-pocket, keep the receipt, and you can request a reimbursement from Zipcar.

Can I use the Zipcar fuel card for my personal vehicle?

No, the Zipcar fuel card is strictly for use with the Zipcar you've reserved. Misuse could lead to membership termination.

Are there specific gas stations where I should use the Zipcar fuel card?

You can use the Zipcar fuel card at any station that accepts credit cards. However, always ensure to input the required details like member ID and odometer reading at the pump.

Is there a maximum limit on how much gas I can fill up using the Zipcar fuel card during my reservation?

No, there isn't a specific maximum limit. The aim is to ensure the vehicle is adequately fueled for your trip and for the next member.


The Zipcar gas rules, while simple, are designed to ensure a smooth experience for all members. By including gas in the reservation cost and providing a fuel card, Zipcar ensures that users can focus on their journey rather than the logistics of refueling. As you consider joining the Zipcar community, understanding these rules can help you maximize the benefits of this convenient service.

Navigate New York City with confidence and cost-efficiency with a keen understanding of Zipcar's rates in the heart of the Big Apple. Dive in now to unlock the secrets to smart urban mobility!

Sales Development Lead Scott spearheaded a collective blog site before expanding his automotive knowledge and joining the team. Now he leads our team of experts by building ideas on our Sales Development department.
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