September 16th 2015
One of the first members of Derby’s brand new community car club was on hand to help launch the new Car Club scheme yesterday (15th September) in Derby city centre.
The Derby Community Car Club, which is operated by Co-wheels, will give residents access to ten low and ultra-low emission vehicles across the city on a flexible ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis.
To become a member of the scheme, drivers pay a one-off lifetime joining fee which enables them to book one of ten cars, depending on their requirements, with prices starting at as little as £3.75 an hour for a vehicle.
New members receive a smartcard which will allow them to open the car, which they reserve online. At the end of the booking they return the vehicle to its dedicated bay and their debit card is charged.
The new Co-wheels branded cars will be made up of a mix of fully electric, hybrid, and low emission vehicles.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who is MP for the Derbyshire Dales, welcomed the launch of the new car club. He said: “Derby’s car club is a flexible and affordable way for people to travel around the city. Car clubs help cut congestion and allow families and businesses to access low-emission cars when they need them. This £75,000 funding continues our commitment towards car clubs and plug-in vehicles, making journeys cleaner and greener.”
One of the first Derby residents to sign up is Dayse Birkenhead, 29, of Littleover. Dayse is a full-time student at the University of Coventry where she studies Occupational Therapy. She lives with her husband Daniel and their two young children. She said: “I saw something on Facebook about Co-wheels Car Club coming to Derby and I thought it sounded like a really good idea and very beneficial so I decided to sign up. We do own a car but my husband works in Swadlincote so he usually takes it or I have to drop him off at work and then drive to Coventry.
“I live in quite a secluded area, it’s difficult to get a bus and the shops are about 15 minutes away too. I really like the idea of just hiring a car for a few hours to take the children out and I think I will be using it regularly and as soon as possible. We didn’t really want the expense of a second car, also this will be more private than using the bus and I don’t have to worry about things like tax or insurance either.”
Co-wheels Car Clubs already operate in more than 50 locations across the country and they are aimed at residents and businesses and are designed to improve links between key locations and developments in the city.
Ellie Grebenik, Co-wheels regional manager for Derby, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch this brand new Car Club scheme in Derby. The scheme is part of Derby’s Connected initiative which is all about making sustainable travel choices a way of life in Derby. This theme ties in with Co-wheels’ ethos of promoting car clubs as a low cost sustainable transport option that can save users money, time and help people to keep fit and active. Car Clubs are growing in popularity across the UK as more and more people see the benefits in terms of costs and flexibility that they bring. Car clubs enable both residents and businesses to benefit from more choice of sustainable transport options, with the flexibility of knowing they have access to a car when needed. For businesses, a Car Club is a convenient and low cost alternative to running expensive pool cars or claiming business mileage.”
The cars will be available from dedicated parking bays in Derby as follows:
- Queen Street
- Vernon Street
- Friar Gate
- St. Helen’s Street (BBC Radio Derby)
- Tennant Street (Guildhall)
- Midland Road (Derby Train Station)
- Belper Street
- Drewry Lane
- Derby City Council House
Councillor Asaf Afzal, Cabinet Member for Cohesion and Integration, said: “I am pleased to be part of the city’s new car club launch, and look forward to seeing this scheme enhance the city’s sustainable travel agenda. It will give more and more people access to additional sustainable travel options, as well as reducing travel associated costs for our local businesses. I invite and encourage businesses and residents to register and get access to one of the ten cars available.”
To celebrate the launch of the car club in Derby, Co-wheels are offering residents free membership and driving credit in September. Derby residents can find out more and claim their promotional joining code at www.co-wheels.org.uk/derby