While cars are fun to drive and abuse, in New York, owning one is an incredible pain in the ass. The insurance destroys you, the garages rob you blind, and those shady attendants are constantly "borrowing" stored vehicles to impress minors by doing smokey burnouts outside Webster Hall. To taste sweet automotive freedom without the hassles of ownership, try Zipcar, our new go-to car rental service.
Zipcar's main innovation is the same one made by America's grimiest motels years ago: they rent by the hour. For between $8.50 and $16 per, you choose from a range of models, from the somewhat lame Toyota Matrix to a crisp BMW 325 (24 hour rentals are also available from $69.)* Everything's included but tax: insurance, 125 free miles, and parking. You simply charge fill-ups to Zipcar's account, like they're your Sugar Daddy and you're their conniving, Joe Millionaire-esque gold-digger.
Usage possibilities are endless. We calculated weekday rates with the cheapest car available, but if you have even a shred of dignity, you'll splurge on something ballsier:
- Costco run: 3hrs, $25.50
- Golfing: 6hrs, $51
- Overnight at the Borgata: 24hrs, $95 (including mileage)
- Mob execution in Hackensack: 2hrs, $17
Reservations are by email or phone. Cars are conveniently stashed in garages located in every conceivable part of New York, with keys inside. Just press your Zipcard against the windshield, and you're in business. After robbing convenience stores up and down the Turnpike, just return the car to the same spot you got it. As long as the tank's over 1/4 full, refilling isn't required
Ultimately, Thrillist uses Zipcar because it let's us do the amazing things we couldn't do without our own vehicle. As for our former garage's disreputable attendants, they're just going to have to pick up high schoolers the old-fashioned way: with lies and Zima.