Although lift-sharing with companies like Bla Bla Car is sometimes popular, many people like to be alone or with people they know when travelling by car. Car-sharing clubs own the car and pay for absolutely everything apart from the hourly rental you pay (with grace periods) and a tiny surcharge per mile, of around 20p or so. For that, people that drive less than 10,000 miles a year get the benefits of a modern safe car, but none of the hassle. They pay for the vehicle and the road tax, insurance, MOT, cleaning, repairs and most have a gas and breakdown card in the car. Also read tips to be a greener driver and making roads safer for wildlife.
Some car clubs don’t allow pets, so check due to allergies. Others have bigger fleets with pet-friendly vehicles, and ones that are suitable for buggies, wheelchairs, roof racks etc. Just see what’s available near you. Usually you just pay a small joining fee and then sign up to rent by the hour or for cheaper rates overnight. The advantage is that you get a car without any of the normal expense and hassle. And it frees up parking spaces, because each vehicle is used throughout the day. In cities where the average car is used by around 20 people, this means 19 cars less on the road.
- CoMoUK has a full list of nationwide car-sharing clubs including regional outlets and peer-to-peer car sharing, where individuals rent their cars out to you, covered by insurance.
- Co-Wheels is the main social enterprise that has several branches nationwide. For a £25 joining fee, you can benefit from discounted overnight rental, and just return the cars when you’re done. In several sizes, electric cars have no mileage charge.
- Ubeeqo (London and Manchester) has branches throughout Europe, so you could use it there if you travel abroad. It offers vehicles to share with business fleets, with in-car technology so no need for car keys. Book online or via app, and customise the platform to use for easy tracking of use and expenditure.
- Zipcar has access to over 3000 cars and vans, via the app. Apply online with a picture of your driving license, and as soon as you’re approved, you’re good to go. Hire by the hour or day for weekends away or trips around the town. Unlock with the app or your zipcar, and try Zipcar Flex for a one-way trip. Just return the car and pop the keys in the glovebox.
Peer-to-Peer Car Rental
The UK has 38 million cars currently parked on roads and driveways, where they sit idle for 96% of the time. So why not use these to serve a fleet of people who want to rent cars for by the hour or day. And for each one shared, 14 cars are taken off the road. Peer-to-peer car rental simply means that car owners themselves rent out the cars through the companies, with all the boring stuff like insurance taken care off. Car owners can make up to £550 a month, when signed up.
- Karshare is an app that lets you rent cars from people in your local community. The cars include insurance and breakdown cover, and are also a great way to earn extra money, if your car stays parked in the drive or in a garage for most of the time. Users can take their pick from dazzling electric city cars to family SUVs with plenty of storage. Download their guide on making hundreds of pounds a month.
- Hiya Car (mostly London) has a free app to let people hire cars direct from others in the neighbourhood, using a unique keyless technology. It’s fast, secure and cheap, and all hires are covered by comprehensive insurance and protected by roadside assistance. All drivers go through 7 layers of verification including facial recognition technology, and their member support team are available round-the-clock.