If you own a car that you don’t use every day, or you don’t own a car but would like access to one, a car club provides the option of affordable occasional access to a local vehicle.
Car club vehicles are cleaner than the average car (at 33% lower CO2 emissions per kilometre) without the hassles and expense of ownership (such as tax, MOT, insurance, fuel, servicing, repairs, depreciation and parking). If you drive less than 6,000 – 8,000 miles per year, a car club could save up to £3,500 a year.
As multiple users share one car and one parking space, parking pressures are much reduced, typically removing the need for more than 10 privately owned cars which would otherwise be stored on public roads while not in use.
Access to a vehicle without the upfront and fixed expense of ownership can also help tackle social exclusion and improve quality of life where the level car ownership is low, such as Glasgow, where fewer than half of households have access to a private car.
Co-wheels is a pay-as-you-go scheme, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with four vehicles for hire in Dennistoun, each with its own reserved on-street parking bay:
- Hanson Street, at Alexandra Parade (Toyota Yaris car)
- Craigpark, at Alexandra Parade (Renault Trafic van)
- Westercraigs, at Duke Street (Toyota Yaris car)
- Whitehill Street, at Duke Street (Toyota Aygo car)
- There are five other vehicles nearby in the Merchant City, plus many more available for hire throughout Glasgow and the rest of the UK. This includes vans as well as cars.
Just book a car for when you need one, online or over the phone. Hire charges start at £4.75 per hour, plus a small mileage fee (for non-electric cars). All-day and overnight bookings have fixed fees, at a rate lower than the standard hourly charge.
Insurance, cleaning, servicing and refueling are all included in the cost: you only pay for the hire time and distance you drive. No need to pay for petrol – a fuel card is in every car.
If you have two drivers within the same household, they can be jointly added on one account. A hired vehicle can then be used interchangably by these drivers, so the driving can be shared, however suits.
Using the promotion code GLASGOW25 will give new sign-ups free membership (worth £25), no monthly charges (saves a £5 a month minimum charge fee), and £25 start-up credit on your account.
After signing up, you are issued with a smartcard which is used to access the vehicles using the card reader located on the windscreen – no need for keys. At the end of a booking, you return the car back into its bay, locking the car with your smartcard.
Further details about how it works, as well as locations, pricing, sign-up details, and answers to frequently asked questions can all be found via co-wheels.org.uk.
In addition to the on-street model of Co-wheels there are other providers of similar schemes operating from private locations. The largest of these is the Enterprise Car Club, which has a vehicle located at Hanson Park.
Alternatively, car sharing, which has been ongoing since the advent of the car, usually as an informal arrangement between friends and colleagues, has been formalised via various dedicated car sharing websites. Whilst there are a few journey matching websites available, by far the most established is Liftshare, which has been promoted by SPT and as such has the highest number of members in the Glasgow area.
A wide range of other shared ride schemes can also be found on the CoMoUK site here.
CoMoUK, the national charity for furthering the social, economic and environmental benefits of shared transport, is the source of the savings figures quoted at the top of this post.
Understanding Glasgow – Vehicle Availability (2018).
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