Fleet News

End of the road for City Car Club

BRITAIN'S first City Car Club is to close at the end of March after two years because it is not financially viable. Launched amid a fanfare of publicity by Edinburgh City Council in conjunction with Budget Rent a Car UK the scheme, like others launched elsewhere in the UK, was seen as part of the Government's integrated transport revolution.

But Budget this week said it was withdrawing from the club following a review of the project's commercial viability. Roddy Graham, Budget UK general manager, said: 'Despite extensive marketing efforts and an almost £100,000 investment per year by Budget since the launch of the City Car Club, membership numbers have been disappointing. The level of commitment we expected from the council was not forthcoming.'

Currently, Budget is operating 27 City Car Club vehicles. All members will have any remaining months of their annual subscription reimbursed. The club, the first of its kind in the UK, was an innovative scheme where local residents joined and had access to a car without having to own one. Andrew Holmes, director of Edinburgh City Development, said: 'The council has always seen the club as a long-term project, which would take a significant amount of time and effort to become a success. We are now looking at ways in which the project could develop in the future.'

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