January 28th 2016

Co-wheels Car Club, a social enterprise and the UK’s largest independent Car Club operator, has now been operational in Derby since September 2015, providing cheaper, cleaner and more convenient car alternative for businesses and residents of Derby.

The car club, which forms part of Derby City Council’s sustainable travel program Connected aims to reduce car ownership by enabling more residents and businesses to use 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 new Co-wheels branded cars are made up of a mix of fully electric, hybrid, and low emission vehicles available from dedicated parking bays across the city centre.

The car club now has over 150 members including membership from students, businesses and the general public. Car Clubs are growing rapidly across the UK, and the adoption in Derby shows that we will soon become one of the largest car clubs in the region. Over the past five years, there has been sustained growth in Car Club membership to over 22,500 members using almost 700 vehicles in England outside London. Co-wheels now plan to expand with additional vehicles expected in the next 12 months.

Councillor Asaf Afzal, Cabinet Member for Cohesion and Integration said “Derby is already leading the way on the sustainable travel agenda through its Connected programme, and the introduction of the car club has further enhanced this by providing more travel options for local residents, businesses and their employees. I’m delighted the car club has been so successful in the few months, and I believe the scheme will continue to further improve access to services and opportunities for people without their own car, as well as helping local people and businesses save money”.

Ellie Grebenik from Co-wheels added: “As a social enterprise, Co-wheel’s mission is to help members and partners to save money, reduce car ownership and create environmental benefit. We are thrilled that the car club in Derby has shown such strong membership growth, and we will continue to engage with the community to push the club as an alternative to car ownership and to improve air quality in the city.”

Advantages of joining a car club include: 

  • Over 12 cars are removed from the roads for every car club car on the street, which also helps reduce parking congestion.
  • Electric and hybrid vehicles help tackle air quality issues in the city centre.
  • Studies show Car Club vehicles are 37% less polluting than average public-owned car.
  • Car Club members are more likely to use public transport and active travel modes more as part of their personal transportation requirements.
  • Just under a third of car club members would have bought a private car if they had not joined a car club, representing a deferred purchase of approximately 6,360 cars.
  • Only 29% of longer term members (members for more than six months) now own a car, compared to over half who owned a car before joining a car club.

Anybody wanting to sign up to the Co-wheels car club scheme should visit the website to register for membership: www.co-wheels.org.uk/derby