Zippity-Doo-Dah: Zipcar and Disney (First timers, both!)

One of my very least favorite elements of vacationing is researching and price comparison of rental cars if we happen to be flying to our destination. Since our kids are getting a little older (read more manageable outside the home) we have started flying again. Thank goodness -- 6,000 mile road trips are not for the feint of heart and are certainly not in our annual budget!

Photo Credit: Adventures of Mommyhood; Zipcar Florida family vacation.

A New Way to Rent

What we found in our own firsthand experience is that rental car companies have not-so-great customer service. The search engines are clunky and you end up with 19 pop-ups just to find out that a standard compact car will cost you hundreds from the airport--so good luck finding the  larger vehicle that you really need for less! Hidden fees are aggravating. It's all almost enough to make you start thinking about hitting the pavement in your own vehicle because flying and renting is a pain. Until we found out about Zipcar. Granted, the system was intended for those without wheels -- cars of convenience. We felt that we'd be able to figure out how to make it advantageous for our Florida family vacation -- and we found we were totally correct!

Photo Credit: Adventures of Mommyhood;
Zipcar "Minnie" the Dodge Grand Caravan

Zipcar - Wheels, When You Want Them

Zipcar is a car-sharing company based here in the United States with services offered in some Canadian cities as well. We came across the company by literally searching "alternatives to rental cars." I was sick of searching within the price comparisons sites and doing the math, wondering IF we were really saving anything at all or just wasting time. We really wanted to avoid the typical Enterprise, Budget, Avis, etc. kiosks. But we still didn't want to rely solely on the Magical Express when it came to our Walt Disney World vacation. Control freaks? Yes, yes we are. I was going to be leaving my kids with my husband for full-days and I wanted them to have respite from the parks -- not just easy access from Magic Kingdom and Epcot (where I was and where the monorail led them) but also if they decided to do Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom -- or venture back into Orlando for a "nap drive." 

Zipcar Considerations

Annual Fee - minimal for year around access 
Toll passes - included with your rental and any accrued tolls will simply come into your account, rather than making you stop each time! 
Fuel it Forward - Always try to leave the tank filled 1/4 or more for the next driver! Remember, that next driver could be you!
Navigation and other Perks - You can see what each vehicle is loaded with and many have the latest and greatest technology and add-ons.
Photo Credit: Adventures of Mommyhood;
 "Minnie" finally makes it to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Less Waiting - No representative to deal with as with conventional car rentals - just reserve, swipe
your card and drive!
Reservation system/shuttle - We loved that we could look at not the "class or type" of rental (mid-size, compact, etc.) but the ACTUAL individual car you want to rent. When we rented "Minnie" we could look at the profile for that van. So there was no guesswork about what it had for features.
Daily fee + tax - the fee will usually end up a tad higher than a traditional rental car IF you want a long-term rental, BUT the difference is time for us. You save time, which is a priceless commodity.
Wheels when you want them - This is a great option for frequent flyers and college students or those that simply choose not to own a car.

If you're still not sure, make sure you tune in for our next installment about Zipcar. We really grew to love "Minnie" and our Zipping experience!

Have you tried Zipcar? Have you heard of Zipcar? Are you frustrated with the old school rental car debacle and want to know more?! Let me know your questions and experiences!



20 comments:

  1. We think Zipcar is great! We used it often when we lived in the city!

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  2. I like the minimal annual fee....still so much more convenient than the rental outlets.

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  3. Fuel it forward.....common courtesy, love that!

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  4. This is very interesting! I like that you drive cars by the hour and/or day and gas and insurance is included!! I agree that most car rental companies are so awful!!

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  5. seeing the actual car you're going to be driving beforehand is a bonus! No surprises there.

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  6. I've never heard of Zipcar but will keep it in mind next time we need a rental on vacation.

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  7. Sounds like a great company! I've never heard of them before.

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  8. I've never heard of this. I like that you can look at the actual car before you use it.

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  9. I love the idea of Zipcar and the convenience it offers.

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  10. it's actually more convenient that most people think!

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  11. I think anyone living in the city would really appreciate Zipcar! Definitely worth checking out!

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  12. This sounds fabulous! Especially for traveling!

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  13. I love this great idea, would love to try it

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  14. I have never heard of this! It might be worth looking into when we go to Disney World!

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  15. Definitely worth checking out!

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  16. I have heard of zip cars, they are great for people who live in a city and do not need a full time car. They are also great when traveling.

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  17. a great option for folks that need a car at random times....

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  18. I have never heard of Zipcar but it sounds great.

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  19. Never heard of Zipcar, I think it's really cool tho :)

    Aranda

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