An answer to my wife's need for a car - daveyjp
My wife hasn't had a car for over a year and she is yearning for another, but she is on maternity leave at the moment so finances are tighter than they have been. We were discussing this and agreed that when she goes back to work a priority will be a car for her.

Last week she was out and saw a notice on one of the lamposts on the street next to ours. It was from the Council and said it is applying to provide parking for 'Leeds Car Club'.

Went to the local library and it seems we are to get two 'pay as you drive' cars in our area. The current scheme in Leeds is done through 'Whizzgo' and looking at the info this could provide a good answer to my wife's car needs as she only needs a car for occasional journeys.

Join the club for £25, pay £4.95 per hour plus 4p per mile (first 10 miles free) - this covers ALL costs (cheaper if you buy blocks of time). Her last car cost about £400 a year just to insure, so on this basis she could have a Whizzgo car for 70-80 hours a year.

The only major downside is you have to drive Citroen C3 (only joking!!).

Is anyone a member of such a scheme and is it as cost effective as it appears?

An answer to my wife's need for a car - daveyjp
Well no replies, but an update. The spaces are now marked on the street, but I have yet to see a car there. They have revised their charges - cost is £4.95 an hour and you get 30 miles included, additional miles are 20p each (my 4p rate above was wrong). They have also introduced Picassos - handy when I need to shift something big! Once I see the cars there we will probably join - much cheaper than buying a car.
An answer to my wife's need for a car - Bill Payer
Sounds brilliant - I work from home, and find it incredible that most of the prople around here have at least 2 cars, one of which hardly ever goes anywhere. I'm sure a scheme like that (especially with a range of cars to choose from) would work well.

I guess the downside of the pricing model (although difficult to know how else it could sensibly be done) is that if you go somewhere and then park for a few hours, then you're paying for the car when it's just sitting there. Although that's still probably better than your own car which just depreciates *all* the time.
An answer to my wife's need for a car - Lud
Not for everyone of course but for those who are merely obliged to be drivers, instead of wanting to be, schemes of this sort may well offer a good solution.

Don't suppose the industry will be all that keen, but the roads might well benefit.

When Nikita Kruschev was Soviet first secretary, and the citizens were starting to clamour for goodies in a big way, a government scheme was discussed that would have provided people with hire cars at holiday and other destinations where they might be needed, and use what would, it was hoped, become a super-efficient rail and bus network for long distances.

Later Brezhnev, a car freak himself, scrapped the scheme and chose the capitalist road, Lada being one of the first results.
An answer to my wife's need for a car - Bill Payer
When Nikita Kruschev was Soviet first secretary, and the citizens were
starting to clamour for goodies in a big way, a government
scheme was discussed that would have provided people with hire cars
at holiday and other destinations where they might be needed,

Didn't that happen somewhere in the UK with bikes, but the whole lot where nicked in about a week?
An answer to my wife's need for a car - AshT
>>Didn't that happen somewhere in the UK with bikes, but the whole lot where nicked in about a week?

Yes - in Bristol a few years ago. Over a hundred green bikes released onto the streets, most of them were gone within the first 24 hours, as predicted by local residents and press.
An answer to my wife's need for a car - jacks
The other issue is - of course - will there be a car available when your wife needs it, as there are only 2 cars.
If her occaisional journeys can be scheduled around the availability of the cars (presumably you have to book in advance - possibly online? ) then it could be a good option.

Many people will need (or maybe just want) to have a car sitting outside their house knowing that they can use it anytime 24/7.

Jacks
An answer to my wife's need for a car - mike hannon
La Rochelle has an electric car borrowing scheme, and you see lines of little Pugs parked under big signs as well as charging points here and there. But I have never yet seen one move.
Of course, being France, it probably takes three weeks of form filling, a screening process and a strip search before you are allowed to borrow one.
An answer to my wife's need for a car - daveyjp
The website seems to indicate a car will be there most times. You can book by web or phone and they only need one minute notice of intended hire - it will take that long to walk to the space from our house so it's as convenient as having a car on the drive. As I said I've not seen a car there yet so our location may not be live.
An answer to my wife's need for a car - bell boy
didnt top gear or similar do a piece on these in london and the cars were golfs,you got them out of designated garages and put them back in when finished with them and you booked it online?
An answer to my wife's need for a car - ukbeefy
There is more than one company offering this sort of thing. One uses C3s and the other uses Golfs. I've been lobbying both to put one near to me as I think this scheme could be an answer to my current car needs.

The one thing I imagine is that everyone will want one on Saturday morning....so how far ahead do you need to book?

I know that at much more than day's use the discounted pre booked car hire places become more attractive esp for longer journeys with no mileage limit.

Evidence thus far is that car club people do use the car less than they would if they owned one.
An answer to my wife's need for a car - commerdriver
A colleague in Amsterdam uses a scheme like this and it works very well for him, he has no problems getting a car when he wants one but I can see that there might be more problems with a limited number of cars.
An answer to my wife's need for a car - funinhounslow
It was the Channel 5 car show (5th Gear?) that did a piece on Streetcar - it was a postive piece and there's a link to it on their website - streetcar.co.uk

As it happens I joined them a couple of weeks ago. No joining fee - you pay a £150 deposit, refundable when you leave. The whole process was simplicity itself - I signed up via their website, they called me minutes later to confirm my identity via a conference call with the DVLC and my membership card arrived in the post the following day!

That afternoon I was cruising round Richmond Park in a brand new Golf that I had collected from its reserved parking space at Richmond station car park. The pricing is fair - £5/hour with discounted daily and weekly rates. Over 30 miles a day you get charged something like 19p/mile. Thus far I've always got a car when I wanted one - there are several fairly close to me in Twickenham, Kew, Chiswick etc. The cars are insured with a £500 excess. If you pay a monthly fee you can reduce this to £250 or £0.

For someone like me who only needs a car occasionally it is ideal, and I'm sure that this could be a viable alternative to running a second car for many people. Of course it will never be as convienient as owning your own car, but it's close enough and it saves me the money and hassle of a car that just sits outside my house most of the time.

Two things - smoking and pets in the cars are not allowed, and one way rentals are not possible - you must return the car to where you picked it up from. >>
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car