Car clubs provide socially inclusive, low emission mobility which helps to break dependency on private car ownership. Pay as you go cars offer affordable, occasional access to cars to benefit individuals. At the same time, they help policy makers to meet targets at local, regional and national levels, including emissions reduction, improvements to air quality and encouraging individuals to increase their use of sustainable modes.
Car Club Survey Results
The twelfth edition of the Car Club Annual Survey for Scotland has now been completed and the summary report published below. The report below summarises member and fleet information which has been collected from car club operators. This year we did not carry out a members survey but for the first time included a focus on peer-to-peer and ride share in Scotland.
The latest edition of the Car Club Annual Survey for England and Wales has now been completed and has been published below. The survey was completed by almost 2,500 car club members from Co-wheels, E-Car Club and Enterprise Car Club. The report below contains three sections: the members survey, emissions and fleet profiling and operators survey. From the survey we feel there is clear indication of how car clubs can help to: reduce private car ownership, enhance modal shift, more environmentally friendly car use and improve car safety.
Benefits for members
Car clubs provide their members with convenient access to cleaner vehicles without the hassles and expense of ownership (such as tax, MOT, fuel, servicing, repairs, depreciation and parking). For members who drive less than 6-8,000 miles per year, a car club could save up to £3,500 a year.
Benefits for policy makers
Car clubs can help policy makers reduce congestion, reduce emissions, reduce parking pressure, improve air quality and increase the uptake of sustainable transport modes.
Making car clubs work - The social, environmental and financial case for car clubs
Car clubs have a big role to play helping to deliver economic, social and environmental goals.
This guide explains what a car club is and provides information to help you decide whether a car club is feasible in your area, and how to establish a viable car club.
Research undertaken for CoMoUK reveals that:
• British car club vehicles emit over 33% fewer CO2 emissions per kilometre than the average British car.
• London car club member households generate less than half of the carbon dioxide and local air pollutants per year from car use compared to the average London household (with at least one full car license holder).
28% of car club members based in London have reduced the number of vehicles owned by their household since joining a car club, of which 53% report that the car club was the main factor.
Car club members typically belong to relatively low mileage households, with 72% reporting that their household did not drive any distance in household cars in the past year.
Improving access and social inclusion
Car clubs and car sharing can help tackle social exclusion and improve quality of life by providing access to a vehicle without the expense of ownership. Freeing up road space that would otherwise be required for parking improves social cohesion, increases space for children to play and helps contribute towards vibrant communities.
In rural communities car clubs can help to reduce social exclusion and contribute towards rural resilience by ensuring that people have access to key services when public transport is not a viable option.
Regenerating brownfield sites
Car clubs enable parking ratios to be tightened, controlled parking zones to be effective and residential parking schemes to be more popular. With less emphasis on parking needs, planners and developers have the freedom to focus on low car housing and improved quality of life.
This may allow space to be given over to shared amenities or even extra housing units, or open up the development of brownfield sites that would previously have been refused planning permission because they lacked parking space.
Reducing parking demands
Car clubs reduce parking congestion (as multiple users share one car and one parking space) as well as by reducing traffic on the road as car club members tend to drive less and use public transport, walk and cycle more after joining a car club.
Locking-in behaviour change and supporting modal integration
Car clubs provide access to a car without ownership. They act as a catalyst to increased use of sustainable transport. They also nurture adoption of progressive low emission technologies.
Car club members make more trips by public transport, and walking and/or cycling after joining a car club.
Supporting low carbon technology
Car clubs can help to support the adoption of low-carbon and zero carbon technology through providing access to petrol/electric hybrid and electric vehicles. When car club members have had a chance to test new technology, this will help to promote more rapid adoption and use of low carbon technology in private vehicles.
Benefits for businesses
Car clubs offer unique benefits for businesses and employers who shift their business travel from funding employees’ own car use to pooled and shared cars. Personal vehicles that are used for business travel (often known as ‘grey fleets’) are often relatively old and emit higher levels of greenhouse gases than comparable car club vehicles. Businesses can improve the efficiency, cost and safety of their grey fleets by encouraging employees to use car club vehicles or by investing in a fleet of low emission or electric vehicles for work related journeys. Car club cars can be block-booked, ensuring dedicated access in the working day. Employers can establish a hierarchy to ensure that car club cars and pool cars are used for journeys of under (say) 100 miles and rental cars are used for longer duration trips.
Benefits for communities
Car clubs also enable communities to share assets, and by working with developers and local authorities car clubs can help communities tackle local parking pressures, support sustainable transport initiatives and improve accessibility.
A summary of existing research
The emission impacts of car clubs in London
Transport Research Laboratory, February 2012
External research and reports
Click on the different links to explore the documents.
Annual Survey of Car Clubs (2015 to 2018)
The Annual Survey of Car Club Members provides information about the size of the car club sector, the travel behaviour of car club members and the emissions data of the car club fleet. It is carried out on behalf of CoMoUK by independent travel consultants and also supported by Transport Scotland and Transport for London.
Summary: Carplus Annual Survey of Car Clubs in London 2016-17
Carplus | Steer Davies Gleave, 2017
Report: Carplus Annual Survey of Car Clubs in London 2016-17
Carplus | Steer Davies Gleave, 2017
Summary: Carplus Annual Survey of Car Clubs in Scotland 2017-18
Carplus | Steer Davies Gleave, 2018
Report: Carplus Annual Survey of Car Clubs in Scotland 2017-18
Carplus | Steer Davies Gleave, 2018
Summary: Carplus Annual Survey of Car Clubs in England 2015-16
Carplus | Steer Davies Gleave, 2016
The Economic Case for Car Clubs: Benefit Cost Ratio Tool
The strategic case for car clubs has been well understood for over a decade.
The report and tool analyses the benefit cost ratios for car clubs and provides a downloadable spreadsheet enabling car club projects to calculate their own BCRs.
The report was commissioned by CoMoUK and written by Keith Buchan, MTRU.
Illustrative headline BCRs were calculated using data from the Developing Car Clubs in England Programme.