Zipcar, Practice Driving

After missing a stop sign and failing my 1st road test in NYC, I decided to give it more practice time before the next try. As the test officer said, it usually takes ~50 hours driving time to manage this skill. And it was a bit too aggressive for me to jump into the test after 5-hour lessons…

NYC is different than other places in US. Not many friends own cars and live close to me. So I got a zipcar membership with my Chinese driver license. It allows me to rent cars by hours. Good for practice driving.

Last Saturday I had my first Zipcar trip! With riki riding the shotgun, and riki’s wife sitting in the back… We rent a Mini Cooper just for trying this famous model. It took me 5 minutes to figure out how to ignite it. Then the whole car feels like a big plastic toy. It’s small and easy to control. During the exam I turned either too wide or too narrow. But with this Mini I made turns well at most times.

We drove around my neighborhood for about 15 minutes then drove all the way down to Brooklyn Chinatown. Parked. Had some Yunnan flavor snacks. Then headed back. There was a little pressure on the way back because of the time limit of returning cars. I extended the rent for 30 minutes, but heavy traffic and a few wrong turns still put us on a tight schedule. When we drove into the parking lot there was only 3 minutes left!

It feels much better to drive a car out of driving school. The coach in school always tried to interfere with my driving, like using the break on his side or tune the wheel. The result was I didn’t know how it would be when I drive by myself. Now I has a better idea. I’ll practice a few more times and do the road test again!

If you read this post and want to join Zipcar, here is my referral link: (25$ free driving credit).


  1. 牛逼。。50小时还是必要的,不过brooklyn的交通还是比北京这鬼地方强太多了,可能30小时就已经可以survive了。

    1. No idea… I downloaded an almost blank “driving record” PDF and Faxed to them, soon got approved.

      Zipcar is not that cheap actually. In NYC the cheapest car is ~15$ per hour (including tax), Mini Cooper is ~17$.

      1. hey, I have a chinese license for 3 years. how to get the record? I cannot find where to get and download the record, since I wanna apply for a zipcar

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