services 03.31.03

Zipcar

Plenty of reasons not to own a car in the city: alternate side of the street parking, no spaces anyway, exorbitant garage prices, insurance, vandalism, et al.

Enter Zipcar. If you need a car occasionally, for a few hours at a time, Zipcar will seem nearly miraculous.

Here's how it works:
With their basic plan, you pay a $30 application fee, $75 annual membership fee, and a $300 refundable deposit.

Then, any time you want a car (for a trip to Home Depot in Secaucus, let's say), you reserve online (which takes less than a minute), go to the car (they're in garages around the city), wave your Zipcard, doors unlock and off you go. No waiting in line, filling out forms and all that. It's basically self-service, with automated billing.

What it costs:
Monday through Thursday: $10/hour plus 40¢ a mile (maximum daily rate is $75).

Friday through Sunday: $14/hour plus 40¢ a mile (maximum daily rate is $90).

The maximum daily rate includes 125 miles free; after that, it's 18¢ per mile. Gas and insurance are included in the price. But if there's an accident, you're responsible for the first $500. Most of their cars are Beetles, Jettas and Golfs.

If this sounds like something for you, you'll have a lot of questions, which their website does a good job of answering. They're at www.zipcar.com.
Several readers pointed out that our list of 18 Cool NYC Websites (March 27th) left out a good one: www.newyorkish.com. It's as cool as CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr's glasses, it's won the same number of Pulitzers for journalism as The Onion, and its New York-centric brand of satire provides some needed comic relief.


Rockaway Beach

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