Southwark and Sutton councils are launching car sharing clubs following the first birthday of a similar plan Avis has run in Oxford. The scheme gives members the use of cars at an hourly rate after paying an initial annual fee of around £99.
Local employers are one of the groups being targeted, according to Ian Saxon, Avis car club manager: 'The car clubs have a number of applications for companies. They could replace a fleet of pool cars. This is about challenging the way people use cars and providing a viable alternative'.
Southwark Council has estimated that each of its CARvenience hire cars will replace six private cars, as members give up their own vehicles once they join the scheme. Car club members are issued with an electronic key fob and can ring up to book a car, parked in the club compound.
All cars are fitted with GPS tracking. A remote immobiliser disarms the specific vehicle, and the personalised key opens the car. The actual keys are hidden inside. The firm says the tracking software means security is not a problem.