What is a car club

Why would I want to join a car club?

  • Affordable: Joining a club is much cheaper than buying a car (can be as little as £25/year) and then you pay as you use it. See the FAQ for more on costs. It is often much cheaper than running one car that you don't use often, or a second car that you rarely use.
  • Reduced hassle: With a car club you don't have to worry about MOTs, insurance, maintenace stuff. That is all done for you. The cars are reliable.
  • Choice of vehicles: Do you need a town runabout, an estate or a van to take a load of stuff somewhere, something comfy for a long journey? A car club offers you a range of different kinds of vehicles
  • Easy parking: Each car has a designated bay so there is no need to look for a parking place when you bring it back. Also by reducing the need for owning your own car, it reduces the number of cars competing to park (see the FAQ for more on reducing ownership.

A car club is like a car hire firm for people who want to use a car (or van) sometimes – there is a membership fee and then you can hire by the hour. Club cars are dotted around the city (or elsewhere) in designated parking places so there is likely to be one near you. There is usually a range of vehicles available. Car clubs can be a cheap way of having access to a vehicle occasionally, for example to shift stuff around or for irregular journeys. You might be a member of a car club instead of owning a car or instead of owning a second car.

Car clubs can benefit the environment in several ways. Firstly, people who hire from a car club are less likely to use a car when they don’t really need to, reducing carbon emissions. Secondly but at least as important, it means less cars parked on the road and in car parks – and more space for people. Imagine if there were only a few cars parked on the road instead of nose to tail all along! Imagine if housing developments had less space for cars and more space for wildlife or for children to play!

For more about car clubs and car sharing see this from the Transition Cambridge blog or this from carplus bikeplus

Currently there is one car club in Cambridge called zipcar. This is part of a profit oriented national scheme. However, there is the possibility of a new car club which would be non-profit, possibly partly community owned, perhaps with a fleet of electric or hybrid vehicles.

Please take a few minutes to fill in our survey - we need your views on what sort of car clubs we want in Cambridge, where, and how much difference they can make.

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