Car rental in Stockport is set to change with Enterprise Car Club introducing four vehicles based around the town hall which can be rented for as little as an hour.
The programme is the latest offering from Enterprise Car Club where council employees and the general public will share the vehicles.
Select council employees will have exclusive access during working hours between 7am and 7pm on weekdays, when the cars will be used for essential and generally short trips around the borough. Outside of these hours, and over the weekend, the vehicles will be available for use by the public.
Research by Enterprise has shown that peak demand for Enterprise Car Club vehicles is generally outside of office hours, meaning the hybrid council and community programme will offer the most efficient use of the vehicles possible.
As well as providing a convenient transport solution for the public, the programme will bring benefits to Stockport Council, such as providing council workers involved in the programme with an alternative to their private vehicles, relieving pressure on parking around the offices, and reducing carbon emissions.
Enterprise Car Club is very easy to use – anyone with a credit or debit card and valid driving licence can apply for membership via the Enterprise Car Club website or its iOS and Android apps.
Once the application has been approved, which typically takes less than a couple of hours, the app indicates the location of the nearest available vehicle and sorts out the booking. Smartphone users can access vehicles instantly.
Membership to Enterprise Car Club also opens the door to a growing network of vehicles at over 1,400 locations in almost 25 cities nationwide, and at key transport hubs including many railway stations.
Cllr Sheila Bailey, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “The Council is committed to promoting sustainable transport and we are pleased to support Enterprise in bringing this alternative means of travel to Stockport.
“Although we are starting in a small way we anticipate that the car club will help to reduce vehicle numbers on our roads and therefore emissions. It also provides existing and potential town centre residents with access to a vehicle when they need one without the burdens of car ownership.”
Dan Gursel, head of Enterprise Car Club, said: “Stockport is a tremendous opportunity for Enterprise Car Club. We already run a number of employee programmes across the country that have enabled councils to save on the cost of keeping key workers mobile. We also run successful programmes in 25 towns and cities across the UK. In Stockport, we will combine both to deliver benefits both to the council and to local residents.
“Our centrally-located daily rental branch has been really popular with both residents and visitors for many years. Now, Enterprise Car Club offers fast access to vehicles on the roadside available at a moment’s notice at the times we know there is most demand.
“We are working closely with our customers and partners in Stockport to ensure that we are offering the vehicles in the right locations and may add further locations if the service proves as popular as we expect.”
Enterprise Car Club uses the latest website and mobile technology to deliver a convenient and user-friendly process for people to apply for membership and then book vehicles.
A new driver qualification process also allows applicants to simply upload a ‘selfie’, a picture of their driving licence and to register their payment details to qualify for membership.
Photo: Cllr Sheila Bailey, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities & Housing with Andrew Bland, Enterprise head of Mobility Consultation for the North West, with one of the Enterprise Car Club cars located on Piccadilly, Stockport.