Car Clubs and Car Sharing
What is car sharing?
The term 'car sharing' refers to two or more people travelling together by car for all or part of a trip. One of the people travelling is usually the owner of the vehicle and the other(s) usually make a contribution towards fuel costs.
Car sharing may be formal, via an organised car share scheme, or informal, for example friends or colleagues travelling to work together.
Formal schemes will match people who register with others making the same trip. Alternatively there are schemes which help people find someone to share a one-off car journey. Informal schemes operate on a more ad hoc basis between friends, family members or colleagues, but can be very effective.
The best–developed schemes are targeted at the daily commute. Such schemes may operate within a single company or across a number of different employers in the same area. Car sharing can also operate for parents taking children to and from school or as one-off schemes related to specific events, such as the Glastonbury Festival or Motor Show.
Companies may introduce schemes and promote them to their staff, for example as part of a workplace travel plan, to address parking restrictions or help employees to reduce their travel costs. Local authorities can promote car sharing across an entire area involving many employers.
What is a car club?
A car club gives people the choice of a fleet of vehicles parked in their neighbourhood and gives them access to a car whenever they need it but without the high fixed costs of individual car ownership.
Car club members are able to mix and match their travel, using a car when that is the best option but travelling by public transport or cycling or walking at other times.
A number of commercial car clubs now operate around the country in addition to smaller, community-based social enterprise clubs.
Members of a car club usually pay an annual fee of between £100 and £200 plus a charge for each mile and hour they use a car. The total annual cost for members is usually less than that of buying and running a car. Membership of a car club may also replace a second car .
The following content is available from the Department for Transport web archive .
- Making car sharing and car clubs work: Case study summaries (PDF - 1024 KB)
- Making car sharing and car clubs work: Final report (PDF - 3072 KB)
- Making Car Sharing and Car Clubs Work: A Good Practice Guide (March 2005) (PDF - 413 KB)
- Promoting car sharing and car clubs in rural areas: government response
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