You are here: Home : Alternative Transportation : Zipcar at Stanford

Zipcar at Stanford

zipcar parked across from Knight Management Center
Photo: Lisa Kwiatkowski

On this page:

Zipcar at Stanford

Fast. Convenient. Affordable. Environmentally friendly.

With Zipcar on campus, it just got easier to live without a car.

Zipcar provides a self-service, on-demand car sharing program at Stanford University. To use it, simply register as a member, reserve a car online or by phone, use your Zipcard to enter the car, and drive away. Return the car to the same location where you picked it up.

  • Access Zipcars 24/7
  • Rates starting at $7.50 per hour, including gas and insurance
  • Join for only $15 for the first year (saving $10 off the $25 annual fee). After the first year, you will be charged the $25 annual fee.
  • Receive up to $102 a year in driving credit if also a member of the Stanford Commute Club
  • Access to Zipcars worldwide, including airport locations

There are Zipcars available at more than a dozen Stanford locations. Plus, Zipcar offers more than 9,000 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The full list of Zipcar locations is available on Zipcar's website.

More car rental options

Enterprise Rent-A-Car offers discounted rates for Stanford affiliates at its campus location. Full day rates start at either $34.99 or $39.99.

Stanford locations and Zipcars

There are over 60 Zipcars available at more than 20 Stanford locations. Location details are available on Zipcar’s website.

Stanford rates

Stanford members:

Gas, insurance, roadside assistance, and up to 180 miles per day are included in the hourly and daily Zipcar rates.

  Weekdays Weekends
Standard cars
(Toyota Prius, Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, etc.)
($7.50/hr. for Ford Focus)

($8.50/hr. for Ford Focus)

Premium cars, SUVs
(Audi A3, Ford Escape)
($8.50/hr. for Ford Escape)

($9.50/hr. for Ford Escape)


Membership requirements

To be eligible to become a Zipcar member, you must meet the following requirements:

Age 18 to 20

Age 21 and older

Join now. Go to "Step 1 - Join" of the "Procedures" section of this page.

Department memberships

Zipcar has a special offer for Stanford departments: a free department membership. With no fee to join and no limit on the number of members you can add to a department account, why not sign up for a department Zipcar account today? Read Zipcar's informational flyer on free department memberships.

Zipcar bonus for Commute Club members

Zipcar members who are also members of the Stanford Commute Club will receive an additional bonus: $8.50 of driving credit each month, for up to $102 a year in free driving!

To receive this credit, you must be enrolled in Zipcar’s Commute Club membership plan. Each month, you will receive an $8.50 driving credit to your Zipcar account. This credit can be applied towards future reservations and will be valid for one month from the date of issue. Any unused credit will expire when the next month's credit is issued.

Already a Commute Club member and want to apply for a Zipcar membership? Click on the appropriate link below to apply for Zipcar’s Commute Club membership plan:

Not yet a Commute Club member? Visit our Commute Club page to learn about the benefits, the eligibility requirements, and how to join.

If you are already a member of both Zipcar and the Commute Club and you want to transfer to Zipcar’s Commute Club membership plan, email your request to

Zipcar promotion for Residential Student Staff, CAs, Tour Guides, and Orientation Leaders

If you are a Residential Student Staff member, a Community Associate (CA), a Tour Guide, or an Orientation Leader at Stanford, sign up for a new account by using the following links. If you already have an account or have questions, send an email to Thanks for using and promoting Zipcar at Stanford!


Step 1 - Join

Apply online through Stanford's Zipcar web page or through one of the Faculty, Staff, or Student Commute Club member links above. (To be approved as a Stanford member, please use your Stanford email address and enter your Stanford ID number when applying.) Once you are approved, you will receive your Zipcard in three days to a week by mail.

Already a Zipcar member? Contact Zipcar to transfer to a Stanford membership.

Do you have a driver's license outside of the U.S. or Canada? You can apply. Visit Zipcar's website for instructions on how to provide them with your driving record.

New to California? Be sure to consult the California Driver Handbook to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road.

Step 2 - Reserve

Once you have received and activated your Zipcard, reserve one of the Zipcars at Stanford or at any other Zipcar location for an hour or an entire day - you decide how long. Reservations can be made online or by phone at 866.4ZIPCAR.

Step 3 - Unlock

Walk to the car, and then just hold your Zipcard to the card reader on the windshield. The doors will unlock, and it's all yours! Your Zipcard will only open the car you've reserved during the time you reserved it, which means no one else can open your Zipcar during that time. (You will be instructed where to find the keys in the car.)

Step 4 - Drive

Drive away, and then return the Zipcar to the same reserved parking spot at the end of your reservation. It's that simple. And remember, gas and insurance are included in the hourly rate. You just need to fill the tank using the Zipcar fuel card inside the car when it gets to ¼ full.


As part of the application process, you will need to enter a credit card number. Your credit card will initially be charged your annual fee and applicable taxes. Once you become a member, your driving charges will be charged to your credit card when you have completed a reservation.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage is included in the cost of your Zipcar reservation. For Zipcar members 21 years of age or older, Zipcar insurance coverage consists of a combined single limit of $300,000 per accident. For drivers under 21, Zipcar provides coverage at state-mandated minimum levels. In California, the required levels are $15,000 for bodily injury liability per person in an accident; $30,000 for all bodily injuries in an accident; and $5,000 for property damage in an accident.

Visit Zipcar’s website for more information on insurance coverage.


You will be charged fees if you do not adhere to the basic membership guidelines. All fees are assessed by Zipcar. Fees result from actions including returning the car late, returning the car with less than ¼ tank of fuel, leaving the car excessively dirty, smoking in the car, and allowing pets outside of a pet carrier while in the car.

Please note that someone who is not a Zipcar member cannot drive the Zipcar that a member has reserved. Anyone behind the wheel must be a Zipcar member for liability and insurance reasons. Membership can be revoked for unauthorized use.

Zipcar charges late fees of $50 per hour with a minimum charge of $50 plus regular hourly charges. So, when you're making your reservation, book the car for an extra half-hour or hour if you have any doubt about being able to make it back on time.

You can also extend your reservation with Zipcar's automated telephone system (866.4ZIPCAR), via SMS, or from the iPhone or Android app, but keep in mind that it's not always possible to extend your reservation once you have the car - another member may have already reserved it!

Visit Zipcar's website for more fee information.

Zipcar FAQs

Zipcar provides an FAQ page. Please note that after selecting your Zipcar location, the FAQs that appear are on the general Zipcar site, so some of the fees and rates differ from those offered to Stanford Zipcar members.

Have questions about Zipcar service or memberships? Contact Zipcar at or 866.4ZIPCAR. Have suggestions for Zipcar at Stanford? Contact P&TS at