Stories from the Road: True Love Travels

Deyanira and Lauren

During the UC Santa Cruz fall quarter of 2010 my drives home to Southern California were ridiculous. Deyanira (in the left of the picture), the other half of my serious relationship, lived in the heart of Orange County. $45 bucks on gas each way literally sliced my wallet in half – but I had to do it. The love of my life lived almost seven hours away – and I was determined to do anything to make it work. All I can remember from those two and half months was racing out of my last class of the week, buying two Redbulls, and hitting the road. The gas killed me, but the look on her face right after midnight was soooo worth all the leg cramps and twitching eye-sockets. It was worth the drive every time and I couldn’t complain.

Then sometime later, a billowing, gorgeous blue flyer on campus stole my attention – “Sell the seats in your car, save gas, share the ride.” Could this be real? I signed up on Zimride within five minutes. I posted a ride offer to Orange County for that next Thursday. Three seats in my car had been sold less than twenty-four hours after posting – 30 bucks each way for four passengers varying between one way and round trips. I quickly did the math and thought to myself “$180 total! Holy crap! How did I not know about this before?”

I loved my first Zimride. Three other UCSC students and I were all headed to SoCal – they kept expressing their gratitude for the ride. Little did they know, I was way more thrilled than they to be making so much dinero. My gas was covered completely, and I even had some left over to take my lady out on a moon-kissed date. This same excitement continues on every single Zimride. With all the cash and smiles, how could it not?!

To make a long story short – Deyanira moved up a month after that first Zimride. I’d like to think it was all the energy I put into seeing her so often and making so many trips to SoCal. After all, long-distance relationships are more than geographically “long-distanced” – you really have to find a way to remain as close together as those first few months of puppy love. Since the move, we have driven down to SoCal to visit her and my family (February 2011 to March 2012) at least THIRTY-TWO times!

Thanks for the story Lauren! Any guesses on how much Lauren has made? Check out her Driver Tips to learn her secrets of being an awesome Zimrider. If you have a story that you want to share, please send your Zimride Story from the Road to!

-Your Zimride Crew

Zimride driver tips – the $4,800 question

Zimride is all about helping drivers sell their empty seats to passengers who are heading the same way. The most popular question we receive is “How much do Zimride drivers make?” We thought the best person to ask would be a driver straight from the Zimride community. Meet Lauren V, a Zimride driver from UC Santa Cruz, who has made $4,800 since she first started sharing her rides!

So, how can you make nearly five-thousand dollars on Zimride in a year? To be honest, I just figured out the Zim-ropes as I went along! Follow the lessons that I’ve learned and hopefully you’ll come up with tips ten times better than these that can make you even more gas cash than I made.

Timing is Everything
Post your ride offers really early. Try to post two weeks in advance of your trip – this will give you plenty of time to get passenger requests. If you take frequent trips Zimride now lets you add multiple dates for the same trip!

Communicate Efficiently
Stay in constant contact with your riders. Let them know exactly what they’ll need to know – your car’s make and model, the number of seats available, the price of the ride, round-trip or one-way, and pick-up and drop-off locations.

Discuss Every Tidbit
Can you fit extra luggage? Do you have a pet squirrel? Make sure to go over other requirements like luggage, pets, smoking, music preferences, and other things that are important to you and your riders.

Keep Your Passengers in the Loop
Definitely keep them updated if the departure time or anything else changes. Your passengers will feel secure and will be much more likely to stick with your ride. If they feel uncomfortable or do not hear from you before the trip they might question whether you’re a reliable driver and cancel their trip – it’s hard to make gas money with empty seats!

Accommodate Your Passengers
Your riders’ comfort equals gas money. Keep the atmosphere in the car easy-going and pleasant. You’ll get good reviews on your profile and these same riders may even want more rides from you in the future. A good driver also knows to adapt (sometimes, not always) to their passengers’ schedules.

Be Flexible
Be open to making changes to your rides. Learn as you go along! Try to be as safe, flexible, and kind as possible before and during the trip.

Enjoy the Compensation
Most of the $4,800 went to gas money, but every trip I save a little to get my oil changes and other car maintenance. Some of that four-geez even went to road snacks. I haven’t paid for my own gas on a round-trip ride to SoCal in fifteen months. And let’s not forget – I’ve helped students and Santa Cruzan’s easily get where they need to go at super low prices, especially compared to plane expenses and train travel times.

A big thanks to Lauren for sharing her tips. Do you have any Zimride tips? Share them with us at!

Happy Travels,
Your Zimride Crew