Car Club

Image by Freepik

In 2022, the Town Council asked the town what it thought of the idea of a car club. The response was enthusiastic, with 143 people saying they were definitely or maybe interested. You can see the Car Club Survey Results (2022) by clicking on this link.

Image by prostooleh on Freepik

There are two models for car clubs. There are traditional cars clubs like ZipCar or Commonwheels, which provide their own cars – Charlbury is too small for these schemes to be viable, particularly with EVs.

There are also what is known as peer-to-peer systems, where people borrow and lend private cars via a service provider’s website or app.

There are three peer-to-peer operators in the UK – GoCarShare, HiyaCar and Karshare – and the Town Council has resolved to promote any car sharing companies that are being used in the town.

HiyaCar is currently the only available provider in Charlbury, with a small car for rent on Hixet Wood, or an alternative option can be found by clicking here. Other schemes may be used in the future and will be promoted equally. The Town Council has resolved to encourage residents to put their car into a peer-to-peer car sharing scheme or borrow a car from such a scheme.

How does a peer-to-peer car club work? They all work in a similar way:

To lend their car – owners upload their car to an app and their car appears for rent. Owners can set the periods when their car is for rent and they can choose to meet renters to hand over a key, or use a keyless entry system whereby the app opens the car. Owners set an hourly rate for their car and the rest is taken care of by the car club website/app, including vetting renters and providing insurance.

To rent a car – renters find and choose a car via an app or browser. Renters are verified by uploading personal data including a driver’s licence. The majority of the fee goes to the car’s owner and a smaller percentage to the car club operator. Renters pay insurance alongside the rental. Cars are usually rented and brought back with the fuel full. This is easier with petrol cars than with EVs, currently, given the lack of local EV charging.

Could you rent out your car at times when it is not needed?

Could a peer-to-peer car club enable you to manage with fewer cars in your household?

We are encouraging all car owners in the town to consider adding their car, perhaps a second car, to a car club system (currently HiyaCar in Charlbury). A peer-to-peer car club in Charlbury would save carbon emissions, money and free up space needed for parking in the town. But a car club will only work if there is a range of cars to borrow: we would love to see a range of cars (big, small, older, newer, etc.) being offered on car club websites for Charlbury. We are really looking for car owners to come forward to help get the scheme off the ground – could this be you?

Come and see a HiyaCar for yourself

One of a number of initiatives which the Town Council has organised for Great Big Green Week is the opportunity to have a look at the HiyaCar hire car. Come along to the Playing Close between 10:30 and 12:30 on Saturday 17th June and members of the Town Council’s Journeys Team will show you around the HiyaCar car and talk to you about how the system works.

Car Club photo