[Updated] Zipcar beta finally arrives in Android Market

UPDATE: The Zipcar Android app did not function for me because the credit card I had associated with my Zipcar account was disabled for fraud protection. The questionable transactions were not related to Zipcar. I will get this sorted out and post a proper review of the app as soon as possible. In other news, Zipcar’s customer service/tech dept. rocks. Thanks, Dan!

Ever since a dead car, stranded in Colorado during a cross-country move, forced our hand in the transition to two-wheeled transportation, my wife and I have relied on Zipcar in situations where a bicycle, motorcycle, bus or train just won’t cut it. Whether we’re moving furniture, purchasing larger items, or hauling miscellaneous junk, being able to hop online and reserve a car that’s less than a mile away is a great convenience. The only time the rental process is not mind-numbingly simple is when we are mobile and forced to use my wife’s iPhone to manage our Zipcar account. *Gasp* Can you imagine?

Zipcar has now released a beta version of their app for Android, and I was pretty excited to learn of it this morning. That is, until I ran the app, only to be alerted that my account is not available for reservations. It could be a glitch on the server side, and there’s a chance of some sort of maintenance, though the website system is working just fine for me. I’m going to venture a guess that some beta stage wrinkles need to be ironed out. Whatever the case, it’s great to know that Zip car is making progress in the Android arena.

For those of you unfamiliar with Zipcar, they park rental cars all over major cities. Account owners have a card that is held over the windshield to unlock the vehicle, and to confirm that a car picked up and returned on time. The keys are always inside. Zipcar offers hybrids, pickup trucks, SUVs and even vans. The rental rates (which come on top of a low, annual membership fee) vary depending on the type of car you rent, but generally run from $7.50 an hour up to $12 or so. That hourly fee includes insurance and a gas card can be found in the visor. No need to fill it as long as the tank is at least a quarter of the way full, though. When you need a car, you book it online and pick it up–from a side street, lot, or garage. That’s it. Zipcar removes all the hassle we’ve come to know and hate associated with traditional car rentals. No signing, no up-selling, no waiting in line. The company slogan, “Wheels when you want them” says it all.

The free Android app allows for standard account management (reservations, extensions) and locking/unlocking the vehicle.

If you haven’t already, give Zipcar a look

Via Android Police

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