The Highland Council and partners Hitrans have announced the launch of two car club schemes operating in Inverness.
The Highland Council’s Community Services is supporting the launch which has involved creating 16 car club parking bays in Inverness with more planned for Fort William, Wick and Thurso. These bays allow self-service vehicles to be made available for hire by the hour if drivers join a car club.
Motorists only pay for the time they use the car; all costs such as insurance, road tax, and maintenance are covered in the rental rate.
The services will be provided by Europcar and Enterprise Car Club who have been approved by the council.
Cllr Henderson, chair of the Council’s Community Services Committee, added: “Highland Council is committed to creating sustainable transport in the region and car clubs are a good way of reducing vehicle numbers on our roads and therefore emissions. We will watch with interest the uptake of this trial scheme as it progresses.”
Neil MacRae, Hitrans partnership manager, continued: “HITRANS welcome the work that Highland Council is doing with Europcar and Enterprise to establish car clubs in the region. We look forward to other towns expanding the scheme.
“In other cities car clubs have been shown to reduce car usage and provide people who don’t want to buy a car with a sustainable alternative.”
Carplus - the not-for-profit organisation that helps to support and develop car clubs across Scotland is supporting the car club schemes in Inverness, through the Transport Scotland funded Developing Car Clubs in Scotland programme.
Susan Jeynes, Car Club programme manager (Scotland), said: “Scottish car club vehicles play a key role in reducing emissions, with carbon emissions 49% lower than from the average vehicle. They also provide a valuable alternative to car ownership – providing access to a vehicle when you need one without the hassle of ownership.”
Gary Smith, managing director of Europcar UK Group, added: “By providing flexible access to vehicles, we believe we are bringing a new, low-impact and low cost travel option to the region.
“This initiative builds on Europcar’s already strong presence in Scotland, with car-sharing schemes already successfully operating in Stirling, St Andrews, Stornoway and several airports.”
Keith Stark, business regional sales executive for Enterprise Car Club, concluded: “Enterprise has been renting cars by the day in Inverness for many years from our location at Seafield Road. We are absolutely delighted to now have the opportunity to extend that service with our by-the-hour Enterprise Car Club service right in the city centre.
“It will bring even greater flexibility for customers to rent a car either by the hour or by the day, right on their doorstep, whenever they need it.”