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  • Zipcar – they give you the option of 1 way rentals and I find it to be a little cheaper.

  • I use Car2go because you don’t have to return it where you picked it up, so it’s great for one-way trips.

    • I should add that I own a car, so Zipcar doesn’t add anything for me. Car2go, on the other hand, is great when I want to drive somewhere and return by another means (cab, bus, friend).

  • I have both. They’re different. Zipcar is when I have an errand or event in the ‘burbs and want to park in the same place where I picked it up. Car2go is when I want to go to someone’s house in the city, leave it and taxi home.

    I didn’t know Zipcar did one way. I should l look into that.

    • I have both, and like others say, use them for different purposes. I also have Hertz 24/7 which I’ve only used once and didn’t find it to be anything too different from Zipcar.

      One tip on saving a bit of money with Zipcar: A lot of businesses/universities/organizations offer discounted memberships. I’m an American University alum so I signed-up through them and my yearly membership fee is only $25 (which I think is about half-off). I also got added-on to my office’s account so I get a discount on the hourly rate (even if I’m using the car for personal use charged to my personal account).

  • car2go for appointments and travel within the city
    zipcar for errands like home depot, ikea, craigslist pickups, etc.

    car2go can be parked anywhere in the city.
    zipcar must be picked up and returned to the same spot (although they may be allowing car2go-like one-way rentals in the future).

    If you’re carless, you should be a member of both (in my opinion).

    • Good point. Depends on your needs. Car2go is a one time membership, whereas with Zipcar, you pay a membership fee every year.

      They each run promotions from time to time, so check them out.

  • haven’t used ZipCar, but I do have the new Enterprise rental service ($5/hour!) to use for errands to the far ‘burbs. Just like 17thSter said, I use Car2Go for the same thing: quick, one-way trips. Their hourly rate can catch up with you quick, so if I’m doing round-trip, I go with the Enterprise.

  • Go to capital auctions on sat morning and buy a car for $500. Heck DC doesnt inspect for safety so buy a junker, add an exhaust and you’re all set!

    • thats helpful in a post about car sharing.

    • or use a car sharing service and never have to worry about: insurance, repairs, parking costs, etc.

    • I recently had my car inspected and not real sure where you are getting your facts. They certainly do inspect for safety.

      • You had your car inspected in DC? DC’s inspection consists of an emissions test only (if you have a motorcycle or a large scooter they do a quick “visual” inspection – which means someone looks at it for 2 seconds).

        • Not sure the quality of the inspection, but DC definitely does more than emissions – I had a taillight out and had to get it fixed and return before I could pass.

          To the OP – I love car2go, but like everyone has said, ZipCar has its uses as well. I live near Woodley Park though and find that the Enterprise in the Marriott is often actually cheaper since I only need a car like that a couple times a year max.

      • They(DC) most certainly do not. Emissions only.

    • Ridiculous. You still have to pay insurance, and DC has done of the highest rates I cths country. Car shares include insurance. Now, it’s crappy insurance and most ppl should probably have more – but that is another topic.

  • Neither is better, they’re just different. I’s like asking if grocery stores or restaurants are better, there’s no way to answer that question because they serve different purposes.
    Car2Go replaces taxis or buses/metro. Quick trips, you just need to get from Pt A to Pt B (both points must be in the district) and don’t need a car once you get there.
    Zipcar (or Hertz’s version) are when you need a car for an hour or more and will be going back to your point of origin (each car has a “home” parking spot, and you are responsible for getting the car back to its spot when you’re done). You can reserve the car in advance to insure it will be available when you need it.
    Regular car rentals are probably better if you need something for a day or more, though ZipCar used to have an “overnight” rate that was lower (and maybe still does, I’m no longer a member so not up on their fees).

  • There was noise recently about Zipcar soon to be offering 1-way, but according to their own website FAQ, one-way is still not an option. Is Anonymous 2:35 speaking from experience?

  • One point that hasn’t been brought up..insurance and liability. With Zipcar you can pay to have a zero deductible if there is an accident. You cannot do this with other services. With Car2Go, you are essentially responsible for it from the time you rent it until the time someone else rents it. Why? If someone damages the car you drove after you are finished but before someone else rents it, it may appear it was damaged in your care and you will have to pay for it. This has happened to folks I know. Zipcar actually does the same thing, but if you pay for a zero deductible waiver, like I do, you don’t have to worry. It may seem silly until you get billed $750 for damage like many people have. I only need Zipcar a few times a year so paying an extra $9 for peace of mind is OK.

    • while car2go doesn’t have a damage waiver, from my understanding it still has half decent liability coverage like zipcar

      on the other hand, enterprise carshare appears to have the dc minimum which is nothing from a liability perspective. does anyone know anything to the contrary on this? it seems like driving an enterprise is far too much a liability unless you have your own coverage

    • “With Car2Go, you are essentially responsible for it from the time you rent it until the time someone else rents it.”

      I don’t think this is true.

      The only time you can really have an issue with Car2Go after you “clock out” is if you park it somewhere that you shouldn’t (e.g. rush hour lane, street cleaning, etc). You are not responsible if someone sideswipes the car while it is parked or if a tree falls on it.

      • Yeah, I just noticed an erroneous charge my Car2Go account. They charged me $76.95 for a car that was parked over night (in a completely legal spot in front of my apartment building). It appears that the car did not properly “check in” my completed rental with the Mothership Satellite and then I was charged the overnight fee. SUCKS! Hopefully they resolve it ASAP.
        My suggestion would be to make sure you review your Car2Go statements online. Sometimes erroneous charges can pop up due to faulty technology. This isn’t the first incident I’ve had with them.

  • I have both and use them for different purposes. Car2go has tiny cars that you can park anywhere. It’s good for one-way trips when you don’t have a lot of stuff. So I can, for example, walk to the grocery store and use Car2go to get home. I park right in front of my house and I’m done. They charge by the minute, and you can only reserve them 30 minutes in advance.

    I mostly use Zipcar for stock-up trips, like Target in the suburbs. It’s cheaper for hourly rentals, and you can reserve as far in advance as you want. The cars are bigger (and more variety). But you have to park the car where it lives.

  • RelayRides connects car owners with those looking for short- or long-term rentals. Owners set the price, so it can be quite inexpensive, and there is no membership fee. The website covers insurance and facilitates payment via credit card.

  • I’m going to add to the chorus of voices saying its worthwhile to get both. I find myself using Car2Go a lot more frequently, but I like having ZipCar for when I need to pick up something large or drive more than one person somewhere. As far as I’m aware, ZipCar still has 24 hour rentals that are relatively cheap (much cheaper than their hourly rate) if you have a lot to do. (Sometimes you can rent a car from one of the traditional companies more cheaply for this purpose, sometimes you can’t.)

  • Zipcar definitely does not have one-way ‘reservationless’ service in DC yet, although they may introduce it sometime next year. As other’s have said, Zipcar (Enterprise, Hertz and others in the more traditional hourly rental business) and Car2Go are very different, and each may be better in some situations.

    I have memberships for both Zipcar and Car2Go, and I find that Car2Go is good for quick trips that would otherwise require a cab, while Zipcar is better for planned errands to the suburbs which require multiple hours of use. Zipcar is also available at airports in many cities, which might be useful if you need a car for 1 or 2 days while traveling. Car2Go charges by the minute, but I’ve found it’s usually cheaper than a cab for similar trips, and you don’t have to worry about the occasional racist/bigoted/sexist/conman cabbie.

  • Everyone has said it – but, get both. ZipCar (round trip, or errands, or trips out of the city for a day) has a yearly fee, but it’s not a lot. Car2Go (point A to point B in the city) has a one-time fee, but again, isn’t a lot. And both have deals all the time, so you could probably sign up for free or nearly free.

  • I wish they would put some Car2Go’s at DCA airport. They could have a few designated parking spots in the garage, like they do with some of the garages around town. I’m sure it would do very well.

    • I believe they’re currently limited to the District — they worked out a parking-fee deal with the D.C. government, but it would be trickier for them to work one out with all of the various suburbs.

      • The cars actually have the technology now – based on GPS location – that will not allow to end the rental if you’re not in the District or are in a restricted rush hour parking spot. They could easily allow you to only end the rental if you were in the DCA parking garage.

    • I’ve thought this, too. But I would be afraid to drive to the airport in case there were no available parking spots when I got there, while I’d be happy to drive one back into the district. I can’t believe I’m the only one with these concerns, they’d have a big issue with rebalancing and keeping cars available there.

      • I think the key would be for them to allow you to “reserve” a parking spot at DCA for 30 minutes, similar to how you can reserve a car. That would give you time to drive over to the airport and have an empty spot waiting for you. They could definitely make it work, so long as they worked out a parking arrangement with the airport.

  • Look into Enterprise Car Share. Relatively new to the city, it operates like Zip Car and is currently running a promo to get people familiar with their car sharing service. There is no membership fee for the first year and between now and the end of the year rates are $5 per hr. I use Zipcar and Car2go and just added Enterprise. Used them today for the first time. No problems. Slight differences between Enterprise and Zip Car: With Enterprise, once you unlock the door with your card, you find the key in the glove box (not attached near the ignition as with Zip Car). Also with Enterprise you can rent at quarter hr intervals. So I booked my car for 1 hr, 45 minutes today and was charged accordingly.

  • I agree with those who have stated that a membership to both is best, for all the reasons stated previously. You can find a sign-up promo for at least one of them, bringing the cost down.

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