zipcar and Uber, or How to *Not* Buy a Car

A zipcar in Downcity

A zipcar in Downcity

When I moved to New York City in 2001, I sold my car and Michele put hers in storage in Connecticut. When we moved to Boston, hers came out of storage, but I remained car-free, and I’ve persisted that way in Providence too — thanks to zipcar and Uber (and the occasional taxi).

There’s a zipcar lot 100 feet from my driveway, and gas and insurance are included in the cost of the rental. With a zipcar account, you simply reserve and rent a car by the hour ($8.50/hour and up) online or via your phone, then head to the car, using your zipcar card as the ‘key’. And Providence has an impressive array of zipcar choices — pickup trucks, minivans, luxury cars and hybrids.

For times when I want a car and driver, I use Uber. With my phone, Uber can know where I am, and when I enter where I’m going, Uber responds with how long it will take a vetted driver to pick me up (usually a few minutes). Since you sign up for an account with a credit card in advance, there’s no haggling and no tipping.

With these referral codes, you get a deal when you sign up:

$20 referral bonus:!

$25 referral bonus for Zipcar: