Zipcar London – now get £24 of free driving credit AND free membership!

There is an excellent Zipcar London special offer currently running which is well worth a look.

Back in August, I wrote about a very good special offer with car sharing club Zipcar in London. The company had, as a promotion, dropped its sign-up fee

This meant that it made sense for pretty much anyone living in Central London, and who has a driving licence but no car, to sign up.  After all, you never know when a car will come in handy for an hour or so.  Those Ikea flat packs won’t fit on the tube …..

Zipcar has now doubled down on the offer.  As well as waiving the sign-up fee, it will give you £24 of free driving credit when you join via this link.  The £24 of credit will be valid for 30 days.

Why I use Zipcar in London

I like car share club Zipcar.  We have a membership in London and there are about 15 cars within a 15-minute walk of our house.  The nearest, which is available 80% of the time, is literally 30 seconds away.  £6-£7 per hour for the car, plus £59.50 annual fee, is a lot cheaper and easier than owning a car.

(Long-term HFP readers may remember that, slightly bizarrely, I was interviewed for Management Today a couple of years ago about my use of Zipcar, Uber and Gett.  Terrible photograph.)

The process is very simple.  You book your car via the Zipcar app or on their website.

You initially unlock the car using a credit card-sized membership card or via your smartphone.  The keys are in the glovebox.  At the end of the rental, you reverse the process.

In London, the first 60 miles driven per day are free with a charge from 25p per mile thereafter.  You do not pay for petrol, for insurance or for the London congestion charge.  Minor damage (scratches etc) is also not charged as you just return the car to a street parking bay and it isn’t examined by anyone.

If the petrol tank drops below 25% full, there is a fuel charge card in the car to allow you to fill it up without using your own money.

If you live in Islington, Hackney or many parts of South London, you can even use a Zipcar for one-way trips using the new Zipcar Flex feature I wrote about a few months ago.  Full details of the areas covered are here.

You can find the nearest Zipcars to your house by using the tool on this page of their website.

Zipcar

A couple of years ago Zipcar got even better.  They teamed up with Avios, and suddenly I was earning 50 Avios every time I took out a car.  There is also a 1,000 Avios bonus for signing up and paying the £59.50 annual fee.

Zipcar has overhauled its membership fees in a very positive way

Zipcar has totally overhauled its membership package.  With this new Zipcar discount, you can now join for FREE for a limited period if you are in London.

And, until 31st December, you will get £24 of driving credit on top!  You need to join via this special application page and use code LON2017-AFF-FREE24 (the code will be applied automatically when you click the link).

You have nothing to lose by signing up.  You never know when access to a car at short notice will come in useful.

There are actually three price plans now available as you can see on this page of their website.  These are the Zipcar London prices:

FREE (limited offer) membership – pay from £8 per hour for the car, or

£6 per month – get a £6 monthly driving credit (expires if not used) and pay from £6 per hour for the car, or

£15 per month – get a £15 monthly driving credit (expires if not used) and pay from £5 per hour for the car

The £6 per month package is better value if you are sure you will use a car at least once per month.

The free option, however, is worth having as an ’emergency’ back-up even if you don’t plan to use Zipcar on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, the free membership is not available in Bristol, Maidstone, Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow or Edinburgh where Zipcar also operates.  However, you WILL get the £24 of free driving credit if you use this link.

But don’t sign up to the Avios offer

Unfortunately, the Avios offer via this British Airways / Zipcar sign-up page has not been adjusted to reflect the new Zipcar pricing scheme.

If you sign up via the BA link, you pay an annual fee of £60 but receive NO monthly driving credits.  This is a poor deal, to put it mildly, even though you will get 1,000 Avios for joining and 50 Avios per trip.

It is far better to take the £6 per month option via their new pricing scheme and receive £6 per month of driving credit plus – until the year-end – the £24 of additional free credit.

I can only hope that the Avios offer is overhauled soon to match the current pricing plans offered to the general public.

The sign-up page is here if you want to give the free plan (London readers only), or one of the other new Zipcar plans, a go.  You never know when it might come in handy.  You will get the special offer of an additional £24 of driving credit if you apply by 31st December.

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Comments

  1. If I have London membership can I use the service globally? I understand you won’t get the driving credit but being able to use the service outside of London and indeed the U.K. would be beneficial

    • Yes (in general, possibly some exceptions due to local laws but the website explains what countries it can be used in, albeit tucked away in the FAQ).

  2. Michael says:

    I signed up last time around and despite having had a full, clean driving licence for ten years I was immediately rejected and banned from applying again. I chased for an explanation and they refused to tell me why.

  3. Mikeact says:

    I don’t live in London, but It has been very useful combined with the train into town.

  4. If you’re actually going to IKEA –

    1) “an hour or so” is only true if you live in Brent / Tottenham / Croydon

    2) for anything that doesn’t fit on the tube, it is so much easier to just pay for their delivery service

    • Great comment John…keep it coming with the pointless criticism

      • Genghis says:

        I think John makes a valid point. You also need to find time to eat the (horse) meal balls.

        • the_real_a says:

          … and Dime cake.

          Incidentally B&Q/Hertz/Costco have transit vans for hire in the car park at £10p/h (dynamic pricing)

  5. Those of you who already use Zipcar, what kind of trips do you use it for?
    I can see the attraction for somewhere like Ikea, but that’s may be a once a year trip. Supermarkets etc deliver for less than the cost of the driving. Most of our other potential journeys are things like visits to friends or days out, which involve getting to a place and staying there for a number of hours – this seems like bad value as you pay Zipcar by the hour. Am I missing something?

    • I used a similar service when I worked in Brussels a few years ago – I used it when visiting clients that weren’t easy to get to via public transport…

      I now live by the coast in Kent and regularly see ZipCars/etc at the weekend – I guess it could be cost effective if there are a few of you traveling together (and obviously more flexible)

    • I don’t think you are missing anything. I use my car infrequently, so looked into the cost of my local version of this scheme as an alternative to car ownership. As you intimate, for daytrips and such like the cost of paying by the hour when the car is sitting in carpark outweighs the cost of running a small economical car (albeit I already owned a car; for someone who doesn’t already have one, and so would have to consider purchase price, these schemes may make more sense.)

      • Does it really? A day trip with Zipcar is about £70 (10 hours). Obviously Hertz would give me a car for £20 but I’m not heading down to Hertz and signing all their paperwork and returning the car when I have a Zipcar on my street corner.

        If you own a car which sits idle Monday to Friday (which, in London, it almost certainly will) then the cost of that in depreciation, insurance etc is far higher than the cost of paying for a Zipcar which occasionally sits in a car park for 5 hours at your expense. Factor in zero MOTs, zero time messing about with car insurance, zero trips to the garage etc and you’re well up.

        I accept that, if you’re taking a car out for 10 hours each weekend – so about £3,500 per year of Zipcar fees – you are probably close to the depreciation and insurance cost of a small car, but you still have zero hassle compared to owning a car.

        • the_real_a says:

          Agree with zero hassle aspect – but the marginal cost per journey would really put me off. You can buy a fairly decent second hand car for £4k which is all you need if driving infrequently 🙂

        • Get an insurance quote for on-street parking in central London and add that on!

        • I run my small car (service, repairs, insurance, tax, MOT) for £50/mth plus fuel. Depreciation is negligible as it’s an older car. My usage tends to be away days at the weekend (don’t need it for work, get supermarket shopping delivered, etc.) so, yes, for me, this works out cheaper than a car cub.

  6. UpInTheAir says:

    Well, signed up and “awaiting insurance approval” – we shall see !

    Not sure in reality how often I would use one tbh as live in the far suburbs and nearest car is parked 1.6 miles away !! But at the end of the day it’s 3 free hours I suppose…

  7. Isn’t leaving the keys in the glove box really risky?

    • Genghis says:

      Only zipcar members are able to open the door and they know who opens the door. They have your credit card on file. Not that much risk