Car club schemes shift up a gear in Highland capital

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Provost of Inverness Cllr Helen Carmichael and Chair of Community Services Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson at the Car Clubs launch in Inverness

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The Highland Council and partners HITRANS are delighted to announce the launch of two car club schemes operating in Inverness from this week onwards.

Provost of Inverness, Cllr Helen Carmichael, Cllr Allan Henderson, Highland Council’s Chair of Community Services and Neil MacRae, HITRANS Partnership Manager met with Tom Usher, Business Development Manager at Europcar UK and Keith Stark of Enterprise Car Club at Inverness Castle today - to launch the introduction of car clubs in the Highlands.

The Highland Council’s Community Services is supporting the launch which has involved creating 16 car club parking bays in Inverness with more planned for Fort William, Wick and Thurso. These bays allow self-service vehicles to be made available for hire by the hour if drivers join a car club. The best part is that motorists only pay for the time they use the car; all costs such as insurance, road tax, and maintenance are covered in the rental rate.

The services will be provided by Europcar and Enterprise Car Club who have been approved by the council.  Car clubs provide a cost effective and environmentally friendly service reducing overall vehicle ownership and therefore the number of vehicles driving in towns and cities.

Provost Carmichael welcomed the two car club companies to Inverness, she said: “Car club schemes have worked effectively in other cities and towns in the UK and hopefully this will provide alternative transport opportunities for both locals and visitors to the area.”

Cllr Henderson, Chair of the Council’s Community Services Committee added: “Highland Council is committed to creating sustainable transport in the region and car clubs are a good way of reducing vehicle numbers on our roads and therefore emissions. We will watch with interest the uptake of this scheme as it progresses.”

Neil MacRae, HITRANS Partnership Manager, added: “HITRANS welcome the work that Highland Council is doing with Europcar and Enterprise to establish car clubs in the region. We look forward to other towns expanding the scheme. In other cities car clubs have been shown to reduce car usage and provide people who don’t want to buy a car with a sustainable alternative.”

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Carplus - the not-for-profit organisation that helps to support and develop car clubs across Scotland is supporting the car club schemes in Inverness, through the Transport Scotland funded Developing Car Clubs in Scotland programme.

Susan Jeynes, Car Club Programme Manager (Scotland) said: “We are delighted to see the network of car clubs expanding to cover Inverness. Scottish car club vehicles play a key role in reducing emissions, with carbon emissions 49% lower than from the average vehicle. They also provide a valuable alternative to car ownership – providing access to a vehicle when you need one without the hassle of ownership.”

“By providing flexible access to vehicles, we believe we are bringing a new, low-impact and low cost travel option to the region” said Gary Smith, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group. 

“This initiative builds on Europcar’s already strong presence in Scotland, with car-sharing schemes already successfully operating in Stirling, St Andrews, Stornoway and several airports.”

Keith Stark, Business Regional Sales Executive for Enterprise Car Club, said: “Enterprise has been renting cars by the day in Inverness for many years from our location at Seafield Road. We are absolutely delighted to now have the opportunity to extend that service with our by-the-hour Enterprise Car Club service right in the city centre. It will bring even greater flexibility for customers to rent a car either by the hour or by the day, right on their doorstep, whenever they need it.”

Visit www.carplus.org.uk to discover car clubs and the benefits they can bring.

Further information on the car clubs operating in Inverness and details of how to join can found at:

Car clubs provide easy and affordable access to vehicles 24/7. Just book, drive and return the car.

  • Book a car online or by phone, weeks ahead or with just a few minutes’ notice, for anything from an hour to a weekend
  • Unlock a car in your neighbourhood, parked in a designated parking bay. It’s clean and ready to go. Just swipe your smart card get the keys from the car and off you go.
  • Drive for as long as you’ve booked it for (anything from an hour to a weekend or more). When you’ve finished just return your car to the same location.
  • Payment is taken from your account. You get a breakdown by email or text message. No forms, no fuss.
16 Jan 2017
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