Zipcars location in front of Rite Aid & Whole Foods Market on Soquel Avenue

(See Below)
Zipcar hotline: (866) 494-7227
UCSC Transportation and Parking Services: (831) 459-2190
Website Corporate website

Zipcars is a new program implemented downtown and on the Westside of Santa Cruz, as well as on the UCSC campus. Community members over age 21 are eligible for membership, as well as UCSC students, faculty and staff over 18 years of age.


The zipcar program is a pay-by-the-hour or by-the-day carshare program. It is intended as an economical and convenient alternative to car ownership. UCSC invited the program to the UCSC campus to try to reduce the need or desire for students to bring their cars to Santa Cruz, and Ecology Action has recently partnered with Zipcar to expand the community program. In turn, the hope is that the program will reduce traffic congestion, reduce the need for additional campus parking, and reduce automobile emissions.

Instead of using keys, zipcar members are issued a Zipcard, which allows the card holder access to a vehicle during the time of his or her reservation. Gas is included in the price, but if the tank runs under 1/4 full, you must refuel the tank using the FuelCard that is located inside the Zipcar.

The Fleet

Currently, the fleet consists of regular and low-emissions vehicles, including the Toyota Prius and the Toyota Matrix. The cars vary in size, and the smaller ones have a lower hourly rate. If demand for the Zipcars increases beyond current capacity, the program will add more cars to the fleet as needed.

Cars are located at eight locations, with four locations on campus and several off campus. On Campus: College Eight upper parking lot 146 (2 vehicles), East Field House OPERS parking lot (1 vehicle), College 9/10 (2 vehicles), and at Heller Drive/McLaughlin Drive(2 cars). Off Campus: Walnut Tree parking lot on Cedar Street, behind Lulu Carpenter's (2 cars), across from the University Town Center at Cedar Street and Cathcart Street (2 cars), on Laurel Street at Blackburn Street (1 car), on Olive Street and Mission Street(1 car), and on Soquel Avenue in front of Rite Aid/Whole Foods Market. For locations visit:


In order to use a Zipcar, you must have already been approved for membership and have reserved your vehicle online. Reservations can be made far in advance or minutes before you wish to drive, though there is no guarantee that a Zipcar will be available at that moment.

Rates and Fines

In addition to an annual fee of $50 for the basic plan ($35 for UCSC students, faculty, and staff), one pays by the hour or day. The price per hour runs between $8 and $10. For a 24-hour period, the price is $66 and up per day. This price includes use of the car, maintenance costs, gas, and insurance.

Smoking and/or having pets in the car is not allowed. The fee for these violations are $50 each. If you return a car late, the fee is $50 plus $50 for each additional hour the car is late. Other contract violations cost $20 each. There are also additional charges per mile if you go over the 180 mile limit, between 35 and 45 cents per mile.


In order to reserve and use a car, you must have a clean driving record and be age 21 or over. University students ages 18 and over can also use the zipcars, but must meet additional safety requirements. You can visit the Zipcar website for specific requirements, including issues with out-of-state licenses and various types of violations.

Related Links