Businesses in Nottingham are driving a sharp increase in car club usage in the city, a year after the introduction of Enterprise Car Club bays at the city’s tram park and ride service.
In 2012 Nottingham City Council introduced the Workplace Parking Levy (WPL), which requires employers in the city to obtain a licence and pay a charge if they provide parking to employees. This has driven demand for alternative means of mobility.
One business that has utilised car club services is Nottingham Trent University. According to David Hobday, the university’s sustainable transport officer, car clubs are highly useful tools for keeping businesses mobile.
“We have an electric car based on campus and our users can access other vehicles in the city too. It means people without a car can stay mobile, and we’re able to reduce our reliance on people using their own cars for work trips and claiming reimbursement,” Hobday said.
“Changing behaviour is incredibly important if you want to get away from the hassle and expense of offering mileage reimbursement. Using Enterprise Car Club encourages our employees to think differently about business travel while also reducing our corporate risk and our CO2 emissions.”
Nottingham-based telecoms business Answer-4u is another company making use of Enterprise Car Club. General manager Stuart Wilson said: “Our head office is in the city centre of Nottingham so parking spaces are at a premium. Added to this, our travel needs to visit new and existing clients has a very fluctuating demand, so it doesn’t make sense to have expensive company cars that are underused for periods of time.
“Overheads such as these invariably are passed on to customers, which is not what we want to do. We needed a cost-effective solution that was easy for our team to take advantage of and helped us in our drive towards being energy-efficient and responsible.
“Using the car club makes it all really easy to manage and keeps us on track with our sustainability objectives. Our 24/7 call centre utilises thin client workstations, we have energy-efficient lighting throughout our offices and a new heating and cooling system that is part powered by our rooftop solar panels.
“Access to the low-CO2 and hybrid cars from Enterprise Car Club fits perfectly with our corporate goals.”
Enterprise Car Club now operates 14 vehicles in 10 locations across Nottingham, an increase of 64% since July 2015. These include bays at the tram park and ride sites as well as bays in key locations throughout the city.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the parent company of Enterprise Car Club, currently has four rental branches covering all of Nottingham and recently relocated its regional headquarters to the Glasshouse development in the city’s university district. This means businesses can access daily and hourly rental from one company and Enterprise Plus corporate members can enjoy discounts on both.
Councillor Nick McDonald at Nottingham City Council added: “Local residents and businesses benefit hugely from access to car club vehicles. We’ve always been keen to promote alternative means of transport to help reduce traffic congestion, ease the pressure on parking and lower carbon emissions in Nottingham. Our partnership with Enterprise Car Club is an important element of our transport strategy.”
Adrian Bewley, director of business rental UK & Ireland at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, concluded: “Mobility is a vital part of business and car clubs are an ideal solution for short local trips, particularly for companies in Nottingham that don’t want to have to pay to offer extra parking to their employees.
“The WPL charge can also be passed on to employees, which can make some businesses less competitive when it comes to attracting talent.
“Our growth in Nottingham has come about because businesses in the city are starting to think seriously about the best way to keep their people mobile. Hourly and daily rental provide drivers with a modern, well-equipped and low-emission vehicle and gets them away from old-fashioned and expensive approaches like mileage reimbursement. It’s a 21st Century solution for business travel.”