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Frequently asked questions

Getting

Started

How does Zilch work?

Zilch members drive electric cars on-demand, instead of owning or leasing vehicles of their own.

Zilch cars are available to book by the hour from self-service locations (hubs) in parts of the city with concentrated numbers of businesses and residential dwellers.

Zilch members drive our zero emission cars for business use, travel and private use. As an alternative to private ownership, Zilch cars go to meetings, run errands, go to the airport, stay the night at Zilch members’ houses, do the shopping, pick up TradeMe scores and head away on roadtrips.

Who can join Zilch?

Zilch can be joined by businesses, government agencies and everyday kiwis. Each individual driving a Zilch car must:

  • Be aged 21 years or older
  • Hold a full, valid driver licence

Those with licences other than New Zealand licences will need to get in touch with the Zilch Driver Care team to organise their membership: members@zilch.nz 

Overseas drivers must have been in NZ for less than 12 months and hold a full overseas driver licence or international driver permit that is in English, or has an accurate English translation.

How much does Zilch cost?

RENTAL RATES (including GST)

First hour $23.00
Additional hours – Per additional hour (booked) $11.50
Additional hours – Per hour (un-booked extensions) $11.50
24hr maximum charge $120.00

 

FEES AND CHARGES(including GST)

Early cancellation – Cancellations made at least 12hrs in advance No Charge
Late cancellation – Cancellations made less than 12hrs in advance Highest of $20 or 25% of booked time
No show – Expired bookings Highest of $20 or 70% of booked time
Minimum charge – Bookings returned early Highest of $20 or 70% of booked time
One-way booking fee $8.00
Additional kilometres fee per km over 180km per day $0.40
Cleaning fee $58.00
Soiling fee $225.00
Cleaning & soiling admin fee – In addition to grooming costs if not reported $29.00
Failure to return car to designated hub $179.00 + relocation costs 
Failure to plug car into charging unit at end of booking – Where applicable $179.00
Failure to turn car off or leave unlocked at the end of booking $179.00
Accident admin fee $179.00
Infringement offence admin fee – In addition to fine $25.00
Interest on unpaid fees and chargers 12% p.a.
Insurance excess $2,000

How do I join Zilch?

Join Zilch online, uploading images of the front and rear of your driver license. We’ll check you’re good to drive, let you know when you’re approved and post out your Zilch card – this is your key to drive any Zilch car that you’ve booked.

As soon as you’re approved you can make a booking, but you’ll need your Zilch card to lock and unlock Zilch cars, and to activate charging units.

Expect to receive your Zilch card within 7 days from sign-up.

Booking

When can I make a booking?

License checks & membership verification is completed during business hours. 

We’ll let you know as soon as your account has been verified – verification will be completed within 1 working day.

Once you’ve set up a profile and we’ve verified your account, you can go ahead and make a Zilch booking.

How do I make a round-trip booking?

  • Log in to Book a car
  • Select the pick-up location
  • Choose ‘From’ and ‘To’ Date & Time & click ‘Find a car’
  • Available car models will show a ‘Book now’ button
    • Model selection is not available from Airport hubs
    • If you do not see a ‘Book now’ button, try adjusting start and end times or give us a call to check availability
  • Check booking details and hit “Confirm Your Booking”
  • We’ll send you an email confirming your booking details
  • 30 minutes before your booking, we’ll send you a text confirming the vehicle details: Car name & where to find it

How do I make a one-way booking?

  • Log in to Book a car
  • Select the pick-up location
  • Choose ‘From’ and ‘To’ Date & Time & click ‘Find a car’
  • Choose the One Way journey you’d like to book
    • Model selection is not available online for One Way trips
  • Check booking details and hit “Confirm Your Booking”
  • We’ll send you an email confirming your booking details. This email will show vehicle details as TBC (To Be Confirmed)
  • 30 minutes before your booking, we’ll send you a text confirming the actual vehicle details: Car name & where to find it

How do I make a recurring booking?

If you need a car on a regular schedule,  a recurring booking is a great option

Firstly, make a booking as you usually would:

  • From the ‘Home’ screen, select the Zilch hub you want to pick the car up from
  • Enter From & To date and time of the first booking and click Find a car 
  • Choose your vehicle of choice and click Book now

Instead of confirming your booking:

  • Select View Details
  • Switch on Set this up as a Recurring Booking
  • Choose Daily, Weekly or Monthly recurrence.
  • Select the frequency required, the day(s) for the bookings and the number of occurrences required.

Example

You need a car every second Wednesday for the next 12 months:

  • Type: Weekly
  • Frequency: Every 2 weeks on Wed
  • Occurrences: 26

Driving

Where do I find my car?

Just before the start of your booking, we’ll send you an SMS and an email with details of the location of your car:

  • Pick-up hub address & access info
  • Booking start & end times
  • The name & license plate of the car we’ve assigned to you
  • The parking space your car is parked in

How do I unlock my Zilch car?

You can unlock the Zilch car you’ve been assigned with your Zilch card, or with the Zilch app

Zilch card:

  • A card reader is located in the front windscreen of all Zilch cars.
  • Swipe your Zilch card on the reader and you’ll hear a ‘beep’ quickly followed by a ‘click’ of the doors unlocking.

Zilch app:

  • Sign in to the app
  • Access your booking list by tapping on the icon on the top right hand corner of the screen
  • Open your booking, and tap on the ‘unlock’ icon.
  • You’ll hear the doors unlock within 10 seconds.

What if the car won't unlock?

Car not opening? There’s 3 main reasons this might happen, and an easy fix for each reason:

  • You’ve arrived outside of your booking start time and your booking has cancelled or isn’t ready yet
    • Fix: If you’re early, wait for your booking time to start, and try again. If you’re late, go ahead and make a new booking.
  • You’re trying to unlock the wrong car
    • Fix: Check your phone to confirm the name and license plate of the car you’re booked in to.
  • Your Zilch account is not verified or active
    • Fix: Give us a call or flick us an email, and we can resolve this for you during business hours.

How do I remove the charging cable?

Make sure your car is unlocked, and gently pull the charging cable out of the car. 

If you can’t get the cable out, simply lock and unlock the car, and remove the cable within 10 seconds.

How do I start my Zilch car?

  • Make sure you’ve unplugged the charger, replaced the charger cap & closed the charger flap.
  • Jump in, shut the door and belt up (make it click!)
  • Put your foot firmly on the brake pedal and press the START or ON/OFF button

What if my car won't start?

Every now and then, an error message occurs at start-up, preventing the car from starting. 

This can usually be fixed by a quick ‘off again, on again’ trick:

  • Turn the car off
  • Open the door – Any dash lights should turn off when you do this
  • Shut the door
  • Reach forward and tap your Zilch card onto the card reader – the unit will beep and the doors will lock
  • Reach forward again and tap the reader – listen for the deep and the doors unlocking
  • Place your foot firmly on the brake again
  • Keeping your foot on the brake, press the start button again.

You may need to repeat this procedure twice, but this simple reboot usually fixes any start-up bugs.

Charging

Charging a BMW i3 - The basics

Park up at any suitable charging location: At home, at a public charger, or at a Zilch hub

  • Turn the car off & open charger flap by pushing on the fuel flap, located in the traditional place you’d find a fossil fuel flap.
  • Plug the charging cable into the car and activate the charging unit in the method specified on that particular unit. 

Read a guide to Charger Etiquette 

Charging a Hyundai IONIQ - The basics

Park up at any suitable charging location: At home, at a public charger, or at a Zilch hub

  • Turn the car off
  • Open the charger flap by pushing on the fuel flap button, located on the lower dash panel, just in front of your right knee.
  • Remove the appropriate charging port cap
  • Plug the charging cable into the car and activate the charging unit in the method specified on that particular unit.

Read a guide to Charger Etiquette 

Charging a Hyundai Kona - The basics

Park up at any suitable charging location: At home, at a public charger, or at a Zilch hub

  • Turn the car off
  • Open the charger flap by pushing on the fuel flap itself, located in the front bumper, under the passenger side headlight
  • Remove the appropriate charging port cap
  • Plug the charging cable into the car and activate the charging unit in the method specified on that particular unit.

Read a guide to Charger Etiquette 

Charging a Hyundai Kona - The basics

Park up at any suitable charging location: At home, at a public charger, or at a Zilch hub

  • Turn the car off
  • Open the charger flap by pushing on the fuel flap itself, located in the front bumper, under the passenger side headlight
  • Remove the appropriate charging port cap
  • Plug the charging cable into the car and activate the charging unit in the method specified on that particular unit.

Read a guide to Charger Etiquette 

Don’t see the answer to your question? 

Give us a call on 0800-294-524 or drop us a line at kiaora@zilch.nz