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Zipcar Reviews

Updated January 18, 2018
240 reviews

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2.9
StarStarStarStarStar
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Tracey Zhen
36 Ratings

240 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • None of the bad parts of a startup (except maybe understaffing and facilities) -- a huge emphasis on work life balance and sustainable pace (in 14 reviews)

  • Very relaxed and fun work culture, great people in management, all around a wonderful experience (in 21 reviews)

Cons
  • Not much room for growth in the local offices typically (in 13 reviews)

  • The parent company Avis Budget Group is extremely tone deaf and injects a lot of nonsense into the company's direction and processes (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "product"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Zipcar full-time

    Pros

    Great business and exciting space
    Strong marketing B2C product is unique in Boston
    Smart, energetic team

    Cons

    Challenges being owned by Avis


  2. "Tracey knows what she is doing."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Zipcar full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    * Work on an actual problem by improving urban transportation.

    * Work/life balance is great!

    * Tracey seems to be hitting her stride and the balance sheet and execution to milestones shows it. This means more opportunity for everyone in the company.

    Cons

    * Communcation needs improvement throughout the organization. We need to identify ways we can improve. We need to build channels from the ground-up so that it becomes part of the culture.

    * Less perks when compared with a place like Google.

    * Blunders of past management and shell shock from the Avis takeover still plagues morale. Getting mobile on new platform was a big win, but that's just the beginning of the battle.

    Advice to Management

    * Tracey has a great longer-term vision. Now we need the planning and execution to go along with that vision. It's not clear what the steps of execution are going to be for various sub-teams within teams like engineering.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "The disruptor that got disrupted, but is ready to re-capture its dominance in urban mobility"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Zipcar full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    An inclusive, dynamic group of people who are passionate about the mission and can navigate ambiguity. A willingness to make hard choices in the short term for long term gains.

    Cons

    We are not a startup with VC funding and all the material "perks" that might come with that, we are a mature company with tangible constraints and real problems to solve.

    Advice to Management

    Keep championing your highest contributors and don't be afraid to let go of those who aren't up to the challenge. And when something isn't working, don't be afraid to acknowledge failure and learn.


  4. "Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Zipcar full-time

    Pros

    Good atmosphere, work life balance, friendly and comfortable environment.

    Cons

    Not an excess of perks


  5. "Marketing Director of Zipcar"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Director
    Current Employee - Marketing Director
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Zipcar full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are truly no pros about working for ...or having a career at Zipcar.

    Cons

    bad leadership, no vision, do strategic direction, they do not empower employees and they do not foster an environment of innovation, they stifle creative idea generation. There is no talent at the leadership level, no experience, they are not visionaries. They are all good ole boys or girls club and are blindly going in non strategic directions. This is a non growing company. They do not mentor or career path their employees. They do not care about employees or customer / members. Avis will soon spin off zipcar or just dissolve the entire business. It is NOT WORKING.

    Advice to Management

    Plan an exit strategy. The current model is not working. Employees and customers view the company poorly. It is miss managed and there is no real leadership ......or knowledgeable leaders at top levels. I have wasted my time at Zipcar and looking to leave the company asap.


  6. "Recovering from past mismanagement, on the way up!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Zipcar full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome culture and people, new leadership
    Exciting product and market space
    Tons of opportunity to build a great product
    Great HQ office in Boston

    Cons

    Recovering from past mismanagement and tons of attrition
    Ownership by Avis-Budget causes some bureaucracy
    Stagnant growth (but profitable)

    Advice to Management

    Keep the turnaround going, build a positive employer brand


  7. "Marketing Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexibility with hours
    Overall upbeat team
    Amazing discounts on driving
    Independence

    Cons

    Low pay
    Lack of innovation/Employee input
    Poor Management

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees more in this type of role.
    Compensate, and create more of a innovative/entrepreneurial environment.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Zipcar in San Mateo, CA: The greatest "skunk works" office you've never heard of"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Zipcar full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Zipcar in general:
    * a real part of the future of transport, and impact a million members in a practical way, not just social media.
    * a real product, not just selling ads.
    * you won't be exploiting anyone with gig jobs.
    * a chance to as part of Avis shape the future of a 100 year old transportation company, and maybe even the future of transportation overall.
    * the new President (Tracey Zhen) is really sharp and is doing a good job of getting Avis to see us as a strategic resource, and not just as another brand to make profitable by cutting costs.
    * relatively BS-free engineering culture, good emphasis on quality.
    * free zipcar membership, huge employee discount on weekday zipcar use, huge employee discounts (after some months tenure) on Avis rental cars

    Zipcar West in particular:
    * Great engineering talent, with a great collaborative culture
    * A small team which operates like a start-up in some of the best ways, can execute very quickly, free of BS processes, very little "not my job," opportunities to work on just about anything in the business, and really smart people.
    * None of the bad parts of a startup (except maybe understaffing and facilities) -- a huge emphasis on work life balance and sustainable pace. Great technical culture. Several of the cofounders of the startup that Zipcar acquired were French and that comes through in the office culture.
    * Downtown San Mateo has TONS of good lunch places, many of them inexpensive.
    * Funky, very distinctive office space (but see below) in downtown San Mateo, like 100 feet from Caltrain. Free access to test vehicles which is a huge plus if you live in the city and don't have your own (and few enough people in the office that they're usually available if you need them.)
    * Relatively accessible to free parking if you come from someplace not accessible to Caltrain.

    Cons

    While for the most part we execute like a startup in San Mateo, the behemoth of Avis as a whole is less than agile, and the home office support staff in Boston means well but is away.

    Other cons of Zipcar in general:
    * If you're reading this in 2017, there's a lot of legacy code and the technical platform is very much in flux. With any luck, that won't be true if you're reading this much of the way into 2018.
    * There are tremendous cost controls, and we're relatively short on Bay Area standard tech "perks"; the Boston office is even less so. See above about unique perks, however.
    * We're part of a big, non-tech company so while salaries are pretty much at market, what you see is what you get there -- there's no equity, but see above for work-life balance.

    Cons specific to the San Mateo office are:
    * we're understaffed and recruitment has been slow -- although management is very good about keeping goals realistic, and we've got headcount.

    * the funky office space we're in (while also a plus) is a little crowded, and it's definitely not the most practical office space. If you can't be patient with sometimes flaky A/C and wifi and having no fallback beyond other engineers and an office manager when something goes wrong, this is probably not the place for you. :)
    * What parking there is somewhat inconvenient, either in a long driveway (e.g. coworkers to ask to move) or several blocks away in a residential neighborhood.

    Advice to Management

    Zipcar in general: trust the west coast management, and put resources here. We won't disappoint you. Other than that, keep doing what you're doing -- what we see from out here seems way healthier than right after the acquisition.

    West-coast management: keep doing what you're doing, and just make sure that growth plans don't derail what's awesome about the culture here.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Out of touch company with no direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Zipcar full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people doing most of the day to day field work in the markets are dynamite. Casual dress code, and a lot of managers are flexible with your schedule.

    Cons

    No vision. No direction. Pathetic communication. The home office looks down on the field employees and doesn't value the work they produce. Example: hey literally took a booze cruise around Boston harbor when field employees were told there was a spending freeze. Self congratulatory for just keeping the lights on.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up. Put someone in charge of this company. Right now there are two heads and it seems as though they never speak. Address the rampant turnover. Stop trying to fold Zipcar into the Avis business. You've proven time and again you don't know how to do this effectively, and you need to focus on stopping the bleeding from the hemorrhaging revenue.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Proceed with Caution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Fleet Associate in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Fleet Associate in Baltimore, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Zipcar full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    As a fleet associate you have a lot of time to work independently which gives you a lot of time to work with a clear head if that's what you like. The more time you spend around management the more you tend to get micromanaged.

    Cons

    The company has poor management and communication skills. I am currently being hazed and targeted. Everyone operates as if it is a competitive company and it is not. There will a lot of moments where you are being set up for something you did not do. I received a write up that detailed how I do not say hi/bye and I am not proactive, but still proclaimed that I am a good employee. Mixed signals. The company is pretty much folding so they are trimming the fat (lay offs/random write ups to get you fired). It's hard to get your voice heard when you are the only woman working for a company full of men. HR is nonexistent. if you have any problems you must speak with someone in Boston, MA who will play devil's advocate even when you provide all of the facts. There is no formal training the company is kind of just winging it. After working through my probationary period I was told that I could not move up for another year. Safe to say I'll be quitting soon.

    You will also be forced to use your vacation time if you call out for being sick.

    There is no work/life balance my schedule constantly changes when my peers go on vacation as I am expected to take all of their work in their absence


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