Liverpool is gearing up for hassle-free, pay-by-the hour city centre motoring – as the city’s new Car Club gets up-and-running.
City Car Club – the largest independent Car Club in Britain –officially launches its Liverpool scheme on Monday 21 October.
Awarded a three-year contract to deliver the scheme in August, City Car Club will now be driving forward with the plans to give people low-cost, easy access to a fleet of vehicles around the heart of Liverpool, without the time and financial commitments of owning their own car.
Members can use cars for as little as half an hour and collect them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from convenient city centre locations. The scheme will launch with an initial seven cars – and one van – with plans to expand it to 20 vehicles by year two.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Tim Moore, said: “Our new Car Club will really boost our work to tackle congestion and pollution in the city, by providing cars that residents and businesses can use as and when they need them
“We want to make travel around the heart of Liverpool as easy and as flexible as possible, while building sustainable transport into everyday life in the city. This scheme will give people more choice when moving around the city and will provide a fantastic alternative to car ownership. I’m looking forward to it being a big success.”
City Car Club will launch in Liverpool with a phase one of eight vehicles (seven cars and one van) at the following locations:
– Moorfields (two cars, one van)
– Old Hall Street (one car)
– Brook Street (one car)
– Old Haymarket (two cars)
– Victoria Street car park (one car)
There are already plans to expand the car club in and outside the city centre as early as the New Year.
Liverpool City Centre Councillor, Nick Small, said: “The new Car Club is the latest part of our plans to keep our city centre moving and give the increasing number of people living and working here low carbon, low cost and flexible ways of getting around.
“It can be difficult for residents in our busy city centre to own a car. We want to ensure they can still get from A to B quickly and easily, and this scheme is a great way of achieving that. A more mobile city centre can only be good for business, while at the same time, a reduction in reliance on car ownership can only be good for the environment. So it’s a win-win situation for our city.”
City Car Club has been independently audited as having the greenest car club fleet in the UK. Vehicles included in the fleet include the Toyota Aygo and Toyota Yaris. The Yaris Hybrid emits 79g of co2 per kilometre and will operate as an electric vehicle, with zero tail pipe emissions, when operating at low speed in the city centre, or in slow moving traffic.
City Car Club’s Managing Director, James Finlayson, said: “Liverpool is the missing piece of the puzzle to our extensive UK car club coverage. We have had numerous requests to come to the city, from local businesses and residents alike so it’s great we can now fulfil this demand.”
The scheme will focus on short business trips; trips in conjunction with public transport; and trips made by city centre workers, residents and students. It forms part of the council’s drive to widen the choices of sustainable travel around Liverpool and reduce congestion.
Join the club
• City Car Club operates in 14 other UK cities, has 700 vehicles and 29,000 members that make 200,000 bookings every year.
• Motorists will be charged an annual membership fee of £60, with the charge for businesses set at £30. The club pays for tax, insurance, servicing, cleaning and fuel.
• The hourly rate for car hire ranges from £4.95 for a small car, to £7.95 for a seven-seater. The hourly rate for van hire is £8.95.
• Members can book vehicles online (desktop or mobile), by phone or by email. Bookings can be made minutes, days or months in advance – for as short as 30 minutes or for several days.
• Memberships are approved following the completion of a driving records check. All members are given a special pack with smartcard, online guide to the booking process and PIN. The smartcard enables members access to any vehicle in the fleet, in any city, without the need for keys.
• Independently audited as the greenest car club fleet in the UK, it has significantly reduced emissions through the introduction of many new hybrid (electric/petrol) cars, an eco-conscious approach to motoring which it will be bringing to Liverpool.
• Research by independent regulator Carplus states that 24 vehicles are absent from British roads for every one car club car.
Pictured: Councillor Moore (left) and James Finlayson with one of the Car Club cars.