Kent State welcomes Zipcar service to campus

Anthony Hill

Kent State launched its partnership with Zipcar, Inc. on Wednesday, a car-sharing program that will allow members to rent cars on campus at hourly and daily rates.

Students, faculty and staff who are 18 and older can become Zipcar members, as well as Kent community members who are 21 and older.

Kent State is the second public university in the region to offer the Zipcar service. Cleveland State University also offers the rentals to its students.

“The trend of car-sharing is growing, and Zipcar is expanding around the country,” said Kent State’s sustainability manager, Melanie Knowles.

“The Zipcar program offers an alternative to car-rental services, which typically rent cars out by the day and are only offered to those 21 and older,” she said.

“If you only need a car for an hour or two, to run to a store or something, you only have to pay for the hour or two that you’re using the car,” Knowles said.

Signing up for Zipcar is done online at There are different links to follow for students and staff, but the process is the same. After applying for the service, the prospective member’s driving records will be checked, and once approved, there is a $25 fee for the first year of membership.

Once the fee is paid, a ‘Zipcard’ will be mailed to the new member, and reservations can be made 24/7. Members with smartphones can download the Zipcar mobile app and make reservations from there as well.   

There is a daily rate for those who want to use the car for a longer period of time. Daily rates start at $69 per day, and hourly rates start at $7.50 per hour. After the first year of use, the annual membership fee increases to $35.

There will initially be four cars offered for service – two Ford Focuses, a Toyota Prius and a Kia Soul, but the number of cars could increase as demand increases, Knowles said. Two of the cars will be located in the R-3 parking lot behind Terrace Hall, and the other two will be in the R-6 parking lot facing Manchester Field by Fletcher Hall. This is where members will go to pick up the cars they’ve reserved.

Sophomore pre-nursing major Ashtyn Yutzy said she plans to be one of the first Kent State students to rent a car through Zipcar. Yutzy does not have a car on campus, and said she is excited about the new car-sharing service.

“I think it’s really convenient for a lot of students here that don’t have cars on campus,” she said. “Some of my friends [have cars on campus], but you can’t really drive their cars, so it’s nice being able to have access to a car when you need it.”    

Contact Anthony Hill at [email protected]