Plans can change at a moment's notice, so look no further for help changing your reservations

extending your reservation by SMS

Extending via the app

What to do when running late

cancelling reservations


extending your reservation via SMS

We know all too well what it’s like to be caught up in traffic or realise you’ve not booked quite enough time to get everything done, so we’ve made it nice and simple to extend your reservation, the quickest way to do so is using our SMS extension service.


text message alerts

You can activate SMS notifications using the Zipcar website here. You can then choose which alerts you wish to receive. Once set up you can receive reminder messages 36 hours and/or 1 hour before your reservation, and 30 minutes before the booking is due to end. Additionally we will text you if someone makes a reservation directly after yours, meaning you are no longer available to extend. You will need to have two-way texting enabled. Look for the  symbol here to set this up.


how to extend

To extend, simply reply to this message with the amount of time you’d like to extend by in this format:

  • ext 30m  - extends by 30 minutes
  • ext 1h – extends by 1 hour
  • ext 1h30m – extends by 1 hour 30 minutes

Alternatively you can choose to extend to a specifc time:

  • ext today 6pm – extends to 6pm
  • ext today 6:30pm – extends to 6:30pm
  • ext tomorrow 6pm – extends to tomorrow at 6pm

We'll then text you back to confirm your extension has been succesful.


not received a notification text?

You can extend your reservation without a reminder message by sending a new text in the format detailed above to +447624802786 – if you’re sending this from your registered mobile we’ll recognise you straight away, if we can’t find you call our member services team or update your contact details.

running out of time?

As long as you’ve opted in, we’ll send you an alert 30 minutes before the reservation is due to end letting you know if the Zipcar is available after you.

If you need to extend, please do so as soon as you can, late fees start at £35 and we want to do all we can to avoid you paying this and the next member being inconvenienced. If you’re unable to extend your reservation and may be late returning the vehicle, please call us on 0333 240 9000 as soon as it’s safe to do so. You can find more information on late fees here.

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Extending via the App

From the ‘Drive’ page, if you click on the ‘Change Reservation’ option, it will display your current reservation times, and allow you to change these. You can also select the reservation you wish to change by going through the ‘My Zipcar’ tab. 

You can extend your reservation by tapping on the blocks of time displayed under the date, where white blocks are available time periods and grey blocks are unavailable time periods.

You can also extend by selecting the date and time boxes to the right of ‘Ends’ and selecting a new time (and date if desired) from the scroll wheel.  A new estimated cost will be displayed for your changed reservation.  If you are happy to make these changes, just select ‘Change Reservation’. If the extension is successful you will see the new reservation times highlighted in orange, along with a message at the top of the screen saying ‘Reservation Updated’, as shown in the image above.

If you can’t see the new time highlighted in orange there is a good chance the reservation did not extend properly. Try and make the extension again but if you continue to have trouble please use the text extension service or call through to Member Services.

If you are unable to extend your reservation and may be late returning the vehicle, please call us on 0333 240 9000 straight away. Please note that returning the vehicle late will result in late charges being applied. 

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what to do when running late

CALL MEMBER SERVICES on 0333 240 9000 as soon as you can! The more time we have to notify any members affected the better.

If your ETA changes and you may return earlier or later than the time originally stated, please let us know so we can pass on the information accordingly.

Most importantly, drive carefully, there's no need to break the law or risk your safety to get back on time.

If you return your car late, you will be charged late fees starting at £35. Timely returns are really important in the world of car clubs. If someone returns a car late, then the next member can't start their reservation on time, so you can see why we need to have late fees. We're not trying to be mean, we're just trying to make sure that members get their cars when they need them.

a few tips to help avoid late return fees

  • When you reserve your car, make sure you allow enough time for your entire trip. Think about travel time (there and back), potential traffic and the amount of time you'll spend at your destination. Go ahead and book a little extra if you're not sure (before someone else does!).
  • Leave your destination on time. If it took you an hour to get there, most likely it's going to take you an hour to get back. Allow some cushion for traffic delays too.
  • If at any time during your reservation you realise that you won't be able to get the Zipcar back on time, you can always try to extend your reservation. If no one's waiting for the car, it's all yours (once the extension is confirmed). If someone is waiting for the car, we will need to make other arrangements for them, so the sooner you can let us know, the better.


what if I'm only a couple of minutes late?

If you've returned late by a few minutes, don't chance it! Call Member Services straight away, we can check the exact time you finished your reservation and confirm if you're at risk of being fined. Late fees are automatically applied regardless of whether another reservation follows your own, so make sure you extend your reservation if you can.

We'll do everything we can to avoid you being charged. The best action you can take as a member is letting us know with as much notice as possible. The more time we have to notify other members, the happier everyone will be!

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cancelling your reservation

We expect now and again that your plans will change and you need to cancel or amend a reservation. There’s no penalty to cancel or change a reservation provided you give us enough notice prior to the start of your booking.

If your reservation is 8 hours or longer, you need to provide a clear 24 hours’ notice to cancel without charge. If your reservation is less than 8 hours you only need to provide 3 hours’ notice. 



via the website

All you need to do is go to 'my stuff', then 'my reservations'.

You'll see any active reservations at the top of this page. Simply hit the cancel option in orange just below the car/location description and voila! Your reservation is cancelled.


via the app

Once logged into the app, go to the 'My Zipcar' tab


Tap 'Reservations' to bring up a list of all your active reservations. Select the booking you wish to cancel, hit the big red cancel button!

(Please note that if you don't cancel or change your reservation with the required advanced notice, you will be charged the full amount of the reservation)

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