Zipcar, a car rental service, is now available to George Mason University students. Photo By Nicole Francisco.

Zipcar, a car rental service, is now available to George Mason University students. Photo By Nicole Francisco.

Zipcar, the popular short-term rental car service, is now available for members of the George Mason University community.

“The Zipcar program as a whole is really aimed at providing people who don’t have a vehicle but occasionally need a way to get around,” said Josh Cantor, director of parking and transportation at Mason.

The service costs $8 per hour and $66 per day to rent one of the four vehicles – two Toyota Priuses and two Scion XBs – assigned to Mason. Two vehicles are available at the Fairfax campus and two at the Arlington campus, Cantor said.

“At Mason, we are always looking for new ways to innovate,” Cantor said in a press release. “By bringing Zipcar to campus, we are continuing with this tradition and offering students, faculty, staff and the community a new and greener way to think about transportation on campus, in a hassle-free and economically friendly way.”

In order to become a “zipster,” Mason community members can visit There is a $35 annual fee for the service, though free annual memberships are available to departments for business use. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is open to all students, staff and faculty ages 18 and older.

“Zipcars are well used in very urban environments,” Cantor said. He said that the on-campus population is a smaller version of the urban environments in which Zip-car thrives.
Gas is included in the rental fee along with a reserved parking spot and roadside assistance, according to the press release.

“Having a car on campus isn’t cheap,” Matthew Malloy, the vice president of global university operations for Zipcar said in a press release. “Parents and students have to think about the additional expense of parking, gas and maintenance.”

Cantor said the Arlington campus had a contract with Zipcar in the past but it was not renewed when it expired since Zipcar was going through an internal reorganization.

“We were looking at bringing back a car-sharing vendor,” Cantor said. He said a Request for Proposal was considered, but it became unnecessary when University of Virginia signed a contract with Zipcar that Mason was able to become involved with.

The contract lasts for three years and includes the four vehicles, though the contract allows for more vehicles on the two campuses if needed as well as a possible expansion to the Prince William campus if the demand is present.

Cantor said the next few months will give an idea of the demand for Zipcar at Mason.

Zipcar is present at more than 200 campuses, including Old Dominion University, College of William & Mary, UVA and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Zipcar offers an iPhone application that allows users to reserve a car, honk the horn and unlock the doors remotely.