SHARED CARS

Overview and benefits

Introduction

Pay per trip car clubs allow individuals and organisations to have access to a car without being tied to ownership. Through years of ongoing research we have found that this cuts costs and mileage while boosting use of public transport and active travel.

Car clubs started with informal car clubs. 1999 saw the first formal commercial car clubs charging by the hour and by distance. The sector has grown considerably since and continues to grow, with member numbers at an all time high.

Car club vehicle parked up

Total users

784,304
Active users*
339,017

* Anyone who has joined, renewed their membership or used a car club in the last 12 months

Figures: September 2023
Map of Great Britain with icon showing three people over the top of it

Fleet size

557
in Scotland
2,996
in London
1,748
in the rest of England Wales and NI
Total fleet size
5,301

History

Total Users
Members icon
2023
(
Mar
)
767,899
2022
(
Mar
)
784,870
2021
(
Mar
)
696,454
2020
(
Mar
)
555,928
2019
(
Mar
)
353,726
2018
(
Mar
)
341,039
Total vehicles
Car club vehicles icon
2023
(
Mar
)
5,167
2022
(
Mar
)
4,863
2021
(
Mar
)
4,260
2020
(
Mar
)
5,312
2019
(
Mar
)
5,385
2018
(
Mar
)
4,784

Shared car models

Car club

Using mobile phone to unlock car club vehicle

Back to bay

This is the most common form of car club in the UK whereby cars must be returned to their unique designated parking place.

Back to area

As with back to bay, but the car must be returned to a small designed area, usually a street or two.

One-way / flex

In this newer but now also spreading model, the car can be taken on a one way trip and parked on-street wherever it is legal to do so (sometimes including pay and display bays).

Peer-to-peer

Private car parked in street with colourful buildings

Peer-to-peer car sharing is where people offer privately-owned vehicles for rent to others via an online platform. The platform provides insurance.

This option can provide solutions in areas where a car club model would not be economically viable.

Benefits of car sharing

Car clubs provide socially inclusive, low emission mobility which helps to break dependency on private car ownership.

At the same time, they help policy makers to meet targets at local, regional and national levels, including emissions reduction, reduce congestion, improvements to air quality and encouraging individuals to increase their use of sustainable modes.

Annual car club research reports
A Hiyacar car club vehicle being driven

Annual car club research reports - 2022

The latest edition of the car club annual survey was completed by over 8000 car club users. This evidence is collated alongside operational data to understand in depth how car clubs are used and to refresh our evidence base on their role in reducing private car ownership, delivering modal shift and relating to use of other sustainable transport modes.

Key findings

Historic car club reports

2019

Full reports
Summary reports

2018

Full reports
Summary reports
Key findings

2017

Key findings

The costs of using a car club EV compared with owning or leasing an EV

Car clubs are leading the way with the conversion to electric vehicles. As well as reducing emissions, electric car clubs provide a more affordable alternative to ownership or leasing. This research looks into the costs savings between the options.

The costs of using a car club EV compared with owning or leasing an EV

Understanding users and non users of shared transport in Scotland

While year upon year we consistently see an increase in membership and scheme usage where services remain in place, the potential that shared transport has to effect more meaningful change is limited by two key factors. The ability for services to be made available to prime users without provision and the need to address barriers to adoption from non-users.

In this report, CoMoUK has set out to understand more about users, non-users and the barriers faced to the spread of car clubs and bike share in Scotland.

Understanding users and non users of shared transport in Scotland

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Existing schemes and operators

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