The latest findings of a national, annual survey from Carplus has revealed that Britain’s car club
membership is steadily reducing its car ownership, car use and motoring costs.
The survey responses, which were analysed by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), revealed that 32% of those replying reported a reduction in vehicle ownership, and a further 30% reported that they had deferred purchase of a vehicle as a result of car club membership. Even conservative estimates suggest that each car club vehicle is potentially displacing more than 20 cars.
In addition to cutting car ownership levels, the survey revealed low levels of car club usage. Fewer than 2% of members hire car club vehicles on a weekly basis or more frequently, and 85% of households with car club members drive under 5,000 miles per year. In addition, on average, car club vehicles are 26% more efficient than the average UK car, in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.
Chas Ball, chief executive of Carplus, commented: “Car clubs make the costs of driving transparent and as a result car club members are more likely to walk, cycle or use public transport, limiting their car use to occasional journeys where use of the car is a necessity.”
Dr Sally Cairns, a Senior Research Fellow at TRL and UCL, commented: “The effects of car club membership on household car ownership appear to be dramatic – which may have significant impacts on the travel habits that members choose to adopt in the longer term.”
Eric Manners of Islington Council and Chair of Carplus Trust board commented: “In limiting their car use to journeys where the car is most suitable – and in using efficient vehicles - car club members are having a positive impact on air quality.”