Car share scheme success

A “PAY as you go” car sharing scheme is driving home its success with a project encouraging owners to earn money from their vehicles when they are not using them.

A “PAY as you go” car sharing scheme is driving home its success with a project encouraging owners to earn money from their vehicles when they are not using them.

Wombat Car Club, established two years ago by Ipswich-based Justin Hunt, operates throughout the Ipswich, Manningtree and Colchester areas and offers all-inclusive access to cars on a pay-as-you-drive basis.

Drivers can book a car online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unlock it with a swipe card from a residential location and return it when they have finished, reducing the need for car ownership or leased cars.

Mr Hunt, who quit a senior post in London to launch the business, said: “A lot of our drivers use the cars for pleasure rather than business, doing a big supermarket shop or visiting relatives. However, we are offering special rates for businesses because we think they could benefit financially.

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“The service benefits businesses that are looking to cut mileage costs as we charge around 18p a mile in most cases. It is also suitable for employees who have to use costly car parks where workplace parking is limited.

“We are so convinced that businesses will see the payback that we are offering 10 free hours of driving during the first 28 days of membership.”

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The Car Club, which has grown to a fleet of 10 vehicles across the UK with six in the region, has more than 80 users and has recently launched a 'Convert Your Car' scheme.

“We established the 'Convert your Car' scheme to encourage people to earn money from their cars when they are not using them,” said Mr Hunt.

“Often, vehicles are left sitting on the driveway, but a successful pool car can earn some owners up to �600 a month, depending on usage. We provide the advertising, insurance, breakdown cover, online booking and invoicing service, plus telephone support. We also get the swipe card technology installed in your vehicle.”

Car clubs are increasing in popularity with several national brands including City Car Club, Connect by Hertz, Streetcar and Zipcar operating in most major UK cities, with the use of community co-operative schemes such as Wombat Car Club also on the rise.“Wombat has been popular amongst companies whose staff live locally, that don't have a vehicle available at work for business use or that cannot justify the expense of pool or lease vehicles. Obviously, it is also very eco-friendly and can be incorporated into a business' green travel plan or environmental and carbon reduction objectives,” said Mr Hunt.

The car keeps track of the time and the distance it is driven, so customers are only charged for how long they use it for.

For more information abourt Wombat Car Club go to

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