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Car Rental News - 17/04/2008


Car share clubs are gaining in popularity

Since car taxes have increased, Streetcar, one of Britain’s car sharing clubs, has seen a 10 per cent increase in their membership numbers.

The club currently boasts 30,000 members and offers 750 cars in six cities across the UK. Since Chancellor Alistair Darling introduced sharp rises in car taxes, the car club has had 3,000 more people sign up. Darling has recently instituted a showroom tax of up to £950 for large, gas-consuming vehicles.

Streetcar was founded four years ago, by two friends who met in university. One fo the founders, Brett Akker, says he expects membership to double in the next year and is aiming to put another 1,000 vehicles on the road as a part of the car-sharing scheme.

Members of Streetcar pay an annual membership fee of £49.50 a year, which includes insurance coverage. Members are given a swipe card which allows them to access a number of environmentally friendly cars, such as VW Polos and Golfs. The cars are parked in central locations, close to where members live. The card, in combination with a pin number, turn off the car’s immobilizer and open the glove compartment of the car, where the keys are stored.

In addition to the annual membership fee, members pay by the hour for the cars they hire. A Polo, for example, costs £3.95 an hour, while an hour in a Golf costs £5.95. Weekend rates and day rates are also available. A full 24 hours costs £39.50 and a weekend costs £90.

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