New ways of running shared cars are emerging across the UK. These new models have mostly been pioneered in Western Europe or North America. Car clubs started with informal car clubs and in 1999 with formal commercial car clubs charging by the hour and by distance.
Standard or back to base
In the standard model, you book the car, drive it and then return it to the same location. This provides easy, affordable access to vehicles 24/7.
The following are some of the variations on the classic version of the car club:
Peer-to-peer car-sharing enables people with under used vehicles to offer them for rent to their neighbours and other members of the local area.
The service provider needs to establish insurance cover for its members. It takes a modest commission for arranging the hire and providing cover.
One-way car-sharing is just starting in England. It enables members to pick up a car from within a pre-defined zone and drop it off when they have finished with it, using approved on-street parking spaces (often pay and display bays). Charges are inclusive of fuel and parking and are for time only (by the minute or hour).
The leading operators are now established in over 20 world cities. In Berlin both main operators have several hundred cars each. In Hanover Germany, the back to base traditional car club (Stadt Mobil Carsharing), has developed a 30 car one-way model within a zone in the city.
One operator, car2go, has started using EVs in two locations, including Amsterdam. Over 100 Citroen EVs have been introduced in a one-way scheme in Berlin run by DB Rent GmbH, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG.