Pencaitland Community Council is looking into the pros and cons of having a local car that anyone can use. What do you think?
Car Clubs are becoming an increasingly important part of the personal transport mix. They offer a way to have access to private transport without the added hassles of insurance, maintenance, road tax and car recovery memberships.
For subscribing members it also gets around the often thorny topic of poor, or no, public transport between local villages and reduces the need for owning a car or second car that sits idle the majority of the time.
Basically it’s all the benefits of private transport without the downsides of owning a car. That’s why your Community Council is asking you to give your views in a short survey.
In recent years private companies have sprung up offering Car Clubs around the UK. One such is the Edinburgh Car Club which has one vehicle in Musselburgh. However, the economics of running a commercially-based Car Club in rural areas makes it unattractive to for-profit shareholder businesses.
This is where community based car club schemes can make all the difference, providing local villages with the same benefits enjoyed by large urban areas, but with all the proceeds going into developing the service rather than paying shareholders.
Dunbar already enjoys the benefits of its car club scheme SpareWheels, launched in 2011 and now with three available vehicles. It operates as a not-for-profit, using any surplus to provide a better service to its members and keep member costs as low as possible. Shortly Haddington will do likewise with the launch of Easywheels later this month.
In Pencaitland, working with Carplus, your community council wants to assess the level of interest in having a car based in the village and accessible to any members for use for as little as half an hour up to several days at a time.
Carplus was established back in 2000 to support the development of car clubs across the UK, in response to growing environmental concerns around private car use.
Do the Survey
Please take a few minutes to take part in the short survey and help us assess the level of interest in this community becoming part of the wider network of community-backed car clubs developing in the county. Please also pass on the word to others — especially those who may not be online but would benefit from access to a private car.
Background: How do Car Clubs Work?
Car clubs typically provide members with access to pay-as-you-drive vehicles which are parked in reserved spaces and available for hire on an hourly or daily basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The club covers all the costs of owning and operating the vehicles, such as insurance, tax, fuel, cleaning and servicing. Members usually pay an annual membership fee to be part of a car club and then pay an hourly charge (typically between £3 and £5) to hire a vehicle and a mileage charge (typically around 21p per mile) that covers fuel and vehicle wear and tear and are usually billed for their use monthly in arrears. Members book vehicles online or over the phone for as little as 30 minutes up to several days at a time and can access car club vehicles via a smart card or by a key, accessible via a key safe.