Zipcar Student Discount: Making College Commutes Affordable

Published: August 25, 2023
Last updated: September 11, 2023

College life is a whirlwind of classes, social events, internships, and, for many, the ever-daunting challenge of managing personal expenses. As students grapple with textbooks, tuition, and accommodation costs, transportation can often take a back seat. But what if there was a way to ease that burden? Enter the Zipcar student discount, an initiative that makes commuting more student-friendly and wallet-friendly.

What is Zipcar?

Before delving into the perks of the student discount, let's familiarize ourselves with Zipcar. Zipcar is an innovative car-sharing service that offers an alternative to traditional car rentals and car ownership. Instead of dealing with the hassles of maintaining a personal vehicle, members can reserve cars by the hour or day at convenient locations, often right on campus or nearby.

Beyond mere convenience, Zipcar embodies a modern approach to transportation, emphasizing shared resources and community values. With Zipcar, there's no need to worry about car payments, maintenance costs, or even insurance premiums. Everything is bundled into one simple fee. 

Additionally, it supports a more sustainable urban lifestyle. Fewer cars owned means less congestion on the roads and reduced environmental impact. The service attracts a wide range of members, from students to urban dwellers, all looking for a cost-effective, flexible, and responsible way to travel. Whether you need a car for a quick errand, a business meeting, or a leisurely day trip, Zipcar offers the freedom of having a car without the strings attached.

The Appeal of the Zipcar Student Discount and It’s Perks

Zipcar, recognizing the unique challenges faced by students, offers a special discount tailored for the college crowd. As more students seek practical and affordable transport solutions, the Zipcar student discount is increasingly becoming their go-to choice. Here's why it's making waves:


Navigating through college is often synonymous with tight budgeting. Understanding this, Zipcar's student discount significantly reduces the annual membership fee. Not only does this make joining the Zipcar community more financially accessible for students, but the competitive hourly rates also ensure that students can get around without putting undue stress on their wallets.


Gone are the days of waiting for the campus shuttle or hunting for a parking spot before class. Many universities and colleges have now collaborated with Zipcar, positioning cars right on campus or in nearby strategic locations. This convenience translates to students having quick access to cars, eliminating the long waits associated with public transport or the unpredictability of hitching rides with friends.


As the world grows more conscious of environmental impacts, students are at the forefront of advocating for sustainable choices. Car-sharing, by its very nature, reduces the number of privately-owned vehicles on the road. This means fewer emissions and a reduced carbon footprint. By opting for Zipcar, students aren't just making a budget-friendly choice; they're making an eco-conscious decision that positively impacts our planet.

Unparalleled Flexibility in Booking

College schedules can be erratic. A sudden group project or an unplanned road trip with friends shouldn’t be hampered by transportation woes. Zipcar's versatile booking system allows students to reserve a car for just a few hours or an entire weekend, fitting seamlessly into their unpredictable routines.

All-Inclusive Pricing

Another standout feature of Zipcar's model is its all-inclusive pricing. Students don't have to worry about hidden costs. The rate includes gas, insurance, maintenance, and a set number of miles per reservation. This transparent pricing model ensures students can plan their trips without any surprise fees, allowing them to focus on their journey and destination.

Diverse Fleet Catering to Every Need

Whether it's the compact eco-friendly hatchback for solo trips or the spacious SUV for group assignments, Zipcar offers a range of vehicles to cater to every student's unique requirements. This variety ensures that every journey, whether professional, academic, or personal, is supported by the perfect ride.

Seamless Technology Integration

In a digital age, students expect tech-savvy solutions. Zipcar impresses with its intuitive mobile app, making reservations, car location tracking, and even unlocking the vehicle a breeze. This tech integration ensures that the entire process is streamlined, efficient, and user-friendly, aligning with the digital-first preferences of the modern student.

How to Avail of the Zipcar Student Discount?

Availing the student discount is a breeze:

  1. Visit Zipcar's official website: There's a dedicated section for students. Here, you can check if your university partners with Zipcar.

  2. Sign Up: Once you've confirmed your university's collaboration, register using your student email address. This email typically ends with '.edu,' which helps verify your student status.

  3. Submit Necessary Documents: Depending on your location and university, you might be required to submit certain documents like a valid student ID or driver's license.

  4. Start Driving: Once your membership is approved, you'll receive a Zipcard. This card allows you to unlock and lock the cars you reserve. Book your ride, tap the Zipcard on the car's windshield, and you're good to go!

Zipcar vs. Traditional Car Ownership

College years often come with the question, "Do I really need to own a car?" The comparison between traditional car ownership and using a service like Zipcar is worth considering:

  • Upfront Costs: Buying a car demands a significant initial investment. Even if students opt for financing, there's the down payment, credit checks, and commitment to monthly installments. Zipcar, on the other hand, only requires an affordable annual membership fee, especially with the student discount.

  • Ongoing Expenses: A personal car brings with it insurance premiums, regular maintenance, parking costs, and unpredictable gas prices. With Zipcar, all these costs are bundled into one transparent fee, ensuring no surprises.

  • Commitment: Owning a car is a long-term commitment, both financially and in terms of upkeep. Zipcar offers the flexibility to use a car only when needed, without the strings of ownership.

  • Depreciation: A personal car starts losing its value the moment it's driven off the lot. With Zipcar, there's no concern about resale value or trading in.

Mastering the Zipcar Experience: Tips and Tricks

Every service has its nuances, and getting the most out of Zipcar involves some insider knowledge:

Early Reservations

During popular times or when certain vehicles are in high demand, it's wise to book your ride in advance. This preemptive approach guarantees that you secure the car you prefer, saving you from any potential last-minute inconveniences.

Keep an Eye on Deals

Zipcar, like many services, has special promotions, particularly during festive seasons or at the beginning of a new semester. Regularly checking for these offers or subscribing to updates can unlock significant savings, optimizing your overall Zipcar experience.

Car Return Etiquette

A seamless Zipcar experience extends to its conclusion. When returning the car, a simple checklist ensures you're in the clear: dispose of any trash, double-check for any personal belongings, and make sure the fuel level aligns with Zipcar's return policy. This attention to detail not only facilitates a pleasant experience for the next user but can also prevent unnecessary charges.

Share the Journey

Looking to cut costs even further? Consider sharing your Zipcar ride with fellow students or friends. By splitting the expenses, each passenger pays less, making trips even more affordable. Plus, it's a greener option and offers the added joy of shared experiences and camaraderie on the road.

Be Mindful of Included Mileage

Every Zipcar reservation comes with a certain number of included miles or kilometers. Before embarking on longer journeys, it's wise to be aware of this limit. If your trip is likely to exceed the included distance, calculate the potential extra costs in advance. This way, you won't face unexpected charges and can budget your trip more effectively.


Do all universities and colleges partner with Zipcar?

While many universities and colleges have partnered with Zipcar to offer convenient on-campus locations, not all institutions have this collaboration. It's always a good idea to check Zipcar's official website or inquire at your university's transportation office to see if they're associated with Zipcar.

I'm an international student. Can I still avail of the Zipcar service?

Absolutely! Zipcar welcomes international students. You might be required to provide an international driving permit or another form of driving documentation, depending on the country of your license's origin. It's always recommended to check Zipcar's requirements for international drivers on their website.

What happens if the Zipcar I've booked gets damaged during my reservation?

No need to panic! If you're involved in an incident with Zipcar, it's essential to report it to Zipcar's customer service immediately. The comprehensive insurance included in your reservation typically covers accidents, but there may be a damage fee involved. Always consult Zipcar's policy on accidents and damages for detailed information.

Can I extend my reservation if I need the car for longer than initially planned?

Yes, you can typically extend your reservation through the Zipcar app or website, provided the car isn't booked by another member immediately after your time slot. However, it's always a good practice to book the car for a slightly longer duration than you anticipate, just in case your plans change.

If I cancel a reservation, will I still be charged?

Zipcar does have a cancellation policy in place. If you cancel within a certain time frame before your reservation starts, you might not incur any charges. However, if you cancel close to or during your reservation time, there might be a fee. Always refer to Zipcar's cancellation policy for specifics to avoid any unexpected charges.

In Conclusion

For students, every penny counts. And with the rising costs of higher education and living, finding savings wherever possible becomes crucial. The Zipcar student discount is more than just a cost-saving perk; it's a nod to the unique challenges students face. So, if you're a student looking to navigate your college years with ease and affordability, the Zipcar student discount might just be your new best friend on the road. Safe travels!

Planning your next cozy evening at home? Elevate the experience with a drink in hand. Check out the guide by Keep Driving to see if Uber Eats can deliver your favorite alcoholic beverage right to your door!

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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