meet jiri kobalicek

Meet Jiri Kobalicek - Jiri is Head Technician at Zipcar UK. Originally hailing from the beautiful Czech Republic, Jiri has been keeping our zipcars running for the last six years.

Hi Jiri, tell us a little about yourself; how do you like to start your day?

The best way to start my day is to stay in bed for the whole day! Sadly that never happens; my son never lets me. The working day starts with the alarm clock going off at 6am. I have breakfast, get dressed and drive to the office.

What does a typical day at Zipcar consist of?

Most working days start in the office checking my tickets – a ticket is the term for any issue created in the Zipcar system. I read them through; some of them are amusing (for example, tire is flat but only on the bottom). I write them down, set up my route and, finally, I enjoy driving and fixing cars for members in London.

What do you enjoy most about working at Zipcar?

My colleagues, and working on challenging tasks. For example, I helped to migrate the whole Barcelona fleet from their old technology to Zipcar technology, and I found out how to get all the information we need for our technology to work with the next generation VW Golf. Yes, next year you will see the new Golf Mk VII in our fleet!

How did you find yourself as Head Technician at Zipcar, or Streetcar as it was when you joined?

Through lots of hard work and by making and learning from mistakes.

What is your background?

I worked at VW, Skoda, and Alfa dealerships and garages for more than 10 years. I was also self-employed for 4 years. I think being self-employed is a good lesson for everyone.

Apparently you love being asked questions about cars. Can you share an interesting fact that not everyone knows about the VW Golf?

There are a couple - for example, if the rear wiper is not working, make sure the boot is shut properly (there is a warning light on the dash if it is not shut). Also, when you hold the lock button on the key remote, all the windows roll up. Another fact is that cars nowadays usually have only one reverse light and one rear fog light, where the fog light is placed on the off side of the car (driver’s side). It’s also good to know that when you leave the parking lights or indicator on it will drain the battery. The most important tip is to not drive if you get a red warning light shown on the dash – it is far better to stop and contact member services!

How do you like to wind down outside work?

The best is to spend time with my son or back at home traveling around and enjoying the lovely food and countryside in the Czech Republic.

Any parting messages for our members in Czech?

“Je spousta mìst kam se můžete podìvat Já bych doporučil laznĕ Luhačovice je to trochu z ruky kdyz jste v Praze ale stoji to za to!“ This translates as – There are a lot of places worth seeing, my personal recommendation is Spa Luhacovice about a 4 hours drive from Prague but definitely worth it!

Thanks Jiri, it sounds like you and the team put in a lot of hard work ensuring zipcars are at their tip top performance.

We’ll be meeting other members of the Zipcar team in the coming months, plus read other interviews at the top of this page. If there’s anyone or any team you’d like to know more about, get in touch.

meet the team


Mark Walker

UK General Manager

Naomi Heffernan

(former) Member Services Manager UK

Ciana Perry

Graphic Designer UK

Jean-Paul "JP" Hewlett

Fleet Maintenance UK