A car club is an organisation which owns cars and hires them out by the hour or by the day to its members. Members book the cars over the phone or online then drive them as they would their own car, and pay the bill at the end of the month. Insurance, tax & maintenance charges are all included in the hourly rate, and a set mileage charge covers the fuel.
- SpareWheels is a locally-owned car club in Dunbar which is a not-for-profit company. It is part of a wider network of community car clubs giving members access not only to its 4 cars here in Dunbar, but also to hundreds of cars around the UK.
- City Car Club is a commercial car club based in Edinburgh which includes vans for hire on an hourly basis.
Lift-sharing (also known as trip-sharing or journey-sharing) is when two or more people travel together in a car rather than driving alone. You save money on running costs and save time looking for parking spaces.
Many people already have an informal arrangement with neighbours who work in the same place, but if you don’t know anyone who is going your way, the websites below might help.
- TripShareEastLothian is a free journey matching service puts you in touch with other local people who want to lift-share. You can register regular commutes or occasional trips, and search for other members who are doing similar journeys at similar times. There are already 60 members in Dunbar and 530 in East Lothian, but the more people who join in, the more chances of finding a matching journey. So tell your friends!
- Freewheelers specialises in matching journeys to festivals, gigs and sporting events.
How much should I charge?
Sometimes it helps to formalise the arrangement by having a standard charge for mileage. Somewhere between 30p and 60p seems fair for most cars, but if you want to work it out in detail, the AA keeps a list of current car running costs
Taxis provide a lifeline for people who are unable to drive. Although the up-front cost per journey is high, it is important to balance this against the hidden costs of running a car – repayments, tax, insurance – which add up over time. Three taxi firms are based in Dunbar and East Linton
- Torrance Taxis, Dunbar – 01368 862612
- Redline Cabs, Dunbar – 01368 864640
- Lyntoun Private Hire, East Linton – 01620 860849
Handicabs was set up to provide accessible transport for people in Edinburgh and the Lothians. The Company provides two main services – Dial-a-ride and Dial-a-bus, which provide a door to door service for people with limited mobiblity who are unable to use ordinary buses. You need to register with handicabs before using their service for the first time, and then book in advance. Dial-a-ride fares start at £3.00, and Dial-a-bus fares are 80p each way. For more details visit the Handicabs website at www.handicabs.org.uk, or come along to the Be Green shop at 16 West Port on a Wednesday morning and pick up a leaflet.
There are times when driving your own car is the only realistic option for a journey, but you can save a substantial amount of fuel by using eco-driving techniques. When replacing your car, consider low-emission models and buy the smallest car practicable for your circumstances. If you need a larger car from time to time, consider joining SpareWheels car club to access their 7-seater Mazda when necessary.
Fuel efficient driver training
Understanding how to drive more efficiently could save you a lot of money on your fuel bills. Energy Saving Trust estimates that after training you could save as much as two months’ worth of fuel. To help you adopt the techniques why not sign up for fuel efficient driver training with the Energy Saving Trust?
The training session will take around 50 minutes and the approved driving instructor will:
- be accredited by the Energy Saving Trust to provide training
- provide the car and insurance
- ensure that the training is enjoyable and will focus on giving you the techniques to enable you to drive more efficiently.
All you need to do is arrange a suitable date and time with your local Energy Saving Scotland advice centre by calling 0800 512 012 and come along on the day with your driving licence. Find out more…