Car club memberships increasing rapidly

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Car Rental News - 09/02/2009


The number of urban dwellers joining car clubs is on the rise, as residents seek to save on their car expense.

City Car Club, with operations in most major UK cities, has seen its membership increase by 93 per cent in 2008, while competitor Streetcar reported that it doubled its membership – up to 50,000 - in the 12-month period ending 31 December.

Established rental car companies have gotten involved, with Hertz opening a new car club in London a few months ago, to offer an alternative to long-term rental for its customers.

At least £2,500 annually is spent by the average UK family on car ownership, including fuel, maintenance and insurance costs. The AA has indicated that insurance premiums are likely to rise by 10 per cent this year.

By joining a car club, motorists do not have the associated costs of car ownership, including insurance, MOT, parking permits or road tax. Car clubs often provide members with a certain amount of petrol, also.

City Car Club was launched in 2002, and presently has a fleet of 350 cars in locations across Britain. Its chief executive, James Finlayson, noted: "When we first started, the concept of car clubs was unusual and the main reasons for people joining were environmental. Now, people are joining predominantly to help ease their financial situation and remove the hassle of owning a car."

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