Members of the UK’s first all hybrid car sharing club have travelled almost 40,000 miles since it was launched last year.
Co Wheels launched the car club in August 2020 in partnership with Harrogate Borough Council, providing a fleet of nine hybrid cars in Harrogate town centre for pay-as-you-go hire around the town.
Since being launched – despite a global pandemic – a total of 38,590 miles have been driven by almost 100 members across 927 bookings. These journeys have saved 2.9 tonnes of CO2 compared to driving personal cars.
Each car has its own designated zone, and comes with a parking permit which allows parking anywhere in this area thanks to support from North Yorkshire County Council.
When booking a car, a handy location map on the Co Wheels app or website shows where the nearest one is. Members are then emailed 15-minutes before the hire with the exact location of the car, which is also shown on the location map in the app.
Keys aren’t needed as members are provided with a smartcard to access the car. Members can also book cars in any of Co Wheels’ locations around the UK.
Councillor Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for carbon reduction and sustainability, said: “Despite a difficult 18-months for everyone, the figures from the past 12-months are encouraging to see and show people have a desire to help reduce carbon emission across the Harrogate district.
“I hope more people utilise this scheme moving forward and reduce the number of cars in their household as well as the dependency of owning a car.”
Car clubs have been shown to reduce car dependence with, on average, each car club car removing 18.5 privately owned cars from the road*. Use of walking, cycling and public transport also increases with the introduction of a car club.
To protect users, Co Wheels carries out extra measures to ensure the highest level of cleanliness. Every vehicle is professionally cleaned regularly and all touch surfaces are cleaned with a revolutionary new disinfectant once a month that keeps surfaces germ-free for up to 30 days.
Richard Falconer, managing director of Co Wheels, said: “There’s a lot of great work going on to reduce carbon emissions in Harrogate and we are pleased to see membership increasing and usage of the vehicles start so strongly during the first 12 months.
“We’re making it more accessible for people to have the option to hire a car when they need it and would encourage more people in Harrogate to try the car club alongside walking and public transport as a far cheaper and better alternative for the environment than private car ownership.”
Insurance, cleaning, servicing and refuelling are all included in the cost too. A van is also available for hire as part of the new club.
Cars are already available in Harrogate but Co Wheels will now explore basing a car in Knaresborough and Ripon.
For more information and to sign-up customers should visit: www.co-wheels.org.uk/harrogate.