The pilot program is designed to give residents an alternative to owning their own cars, and the related costs of parking, insurance, depreciation,
fuel, and maintenance, which add up to $8,000 per year for the average driver. For car sharing users, all of these costs are wrapped up in a flat hourly
rate starting at $8 per hour, and users only pay for the time that they are driving around.
Zipcar allows Los Angeles residents to
set up their car reservation from their home computer and at the start of their reservation time, hold their Zip card over the little box stuck to the windshield.
Keys to the Zipcar will be in the glove compartment, and gas is provided by way of a gas card also found in the glove box, so the hourly fee is all that is paid by the user. Return the car promptly at the end
of the reservation period so the next person may use the Zipcar.