A car club for St Andrews?

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Would you like the occasional use of a reliable, clean and cheap car without all the hassle of owning it? Across the UK we are now seeing the rise in car clubs that are providing their members with an alternative way to gaining access to a car whilst reducing car use and pollution. Now Transition UStA and the St Andrews Partnership has teamed up with national sustainable transport organisation Carplus to undertake a survey of St Andrews town residents on whether a car club might be set up here and who would use it?

The survey will form part of our discussions with funder’s and Fife council on whether there is a need for a car club here and how we might look to establish one that best provides for towns people whilst reducing congestion etc.

We would like to here your views so please fill in our survey here  – Extended to 15th August

If you don’t know, a car clubs is a member-based organisation that provides access to pay-as-you-drive vehicles. The vehicles are available for hire on an hourly or daily basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and tend to be parked in easy to reach locations. There has been a rapid increase in the number of car clubs springing up across Scotland, with membership doubling every 3 years to stand at around 8000 today.

Sparewheels car club in Dunbar has become a popular service cutting car use and congestion
Sparewheels car club in Dunbar has become a popular service cutting car use and congestion

Members can access car club vehicles via a smart card or by a key, which is accessible via a key safe after they have booked the vehicle online. The club covers all the costs of owning and operating the vehicles, such as insurance, tax, fuel, cleaning and servicing. Members usually pay an annual membership fee to be part of a car club and then pay an hourly charge that covers fuel and vehicle wear before being billed for their use monthly in arrears. It’s a good deal and will certainly save money for cars doing under 8000-10000 miles a year – which second cars often do!

If you live in Anstruther you can already join the Wheelshare Car club or commute to Dundee from St Andrews every work day using the same scheme.

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alistair.macleod
Ali is project manager of Transition University of St Andrews.