Zipcar to offer free car rentals for UConn students to get to the polls

Students can rent Zipcars to make their ways to the polls at the Mansfield Community Center tomorrow. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

Zipcar, a company founded in 2000 that allows people to rent cars for a short period of time, will be offering free car rentals for anyone looking to travel to their polling location for today’s election.

The University of Connecticut currently has ten Zipcars on campus, located at Northwest Residence Halls, Towers Residence Halls, Field House, Whitney Road and the Nathan Hale Inn. Students and staff ages 18 and older, and members of the surrounding community 21 years or older, can access these cars 24/7, according to a Daily Campus article.

The company is excited about being able to give UConn students this opportunity, as they are very passionate about encouraging people to vote, Zipcar spokesperson Nabila Mahmud said.

“Zipcar encourages all of its members, including any first-time voters, to take an active role in this year’s election by sharing their commitment to #DRIVEtheVOTE,” Mahmud said.

Because of its dedication to getting out the vote, Zipcar has taken steps to ensure that its customers have the ability to get to the polls in a quick, easy way. This includes, for the first time, giving its customers access to free cars on Election Day, Mahmud said.

“This is the first time Zipcar has made vehicles free for Election Day. Four years ago Zipcar discounted vehicles by 50 percent, but this year chose to completely eliminate the cost barrier to voting by making cars free,” Mahmud said.

The company then decided to offer the free rentals during the time of day that they believed most people would be able to take advantage of them.

“Zipcar selected the evening hours on election night to ensure that members who need to zip to the polls during the last few hours have free, easy access to transportation,” Mahmud said.

Mahmud said Zipcar hopes that the process of securing a free car rental is quick and easy for all customers.

“Our community of Zipsters are actively engaged in civic affairs and passionate about issues, but may also need quick and easy access to transportation in order to vote,” Mahmud said.

Only Zipcar members can reserve a vehicle online through sorting by price. Free vehicles will show up as $0. Registering for a Zipcar account is a fast, easy way to ensure that one will have the opportunity to vote, Mahmud said.

UConn’s students pay only $15 to become a member, according to a Daily Campus article. Rates for Zipcar vehicles on campus start as low as $7.50 per hour and $69 per day.

Zipcar members of all ages are expected to take advantage of this option, as “Zipcar’s membership base ranges from 18 to 93 years of age, including a large number of Generation Z and Millennial members on over 500 college and university campuses,” Mahmud said.

The company hopes to expand in the future, allowing them to reach even more people both on election day and in general. Mahmud concluded by saying, “Zipcar… is continuously looking to bring more cars to more people in more places, including on college campuses.”


Gabriella Debenedictis is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.