What is a Car Club?

Car club vehicles can be booked by members for any length of time from 30 minutes, with the flexibility to increase the booking period to anything from an hour up to a whole weekend, or longer by arrangement.

Car clubs ‘pay-as-you-go’ charges are usually based on a combination of time (from around £5 to £10 an hour, depending on the company, the type of vehicle hired and whether you hire a car on a weekday or weekend) and miles travelled (typically around 25p a mile).

Some car clubs offer inclusive miles, beyond which the driver pays extra. Other car clubs don’t charge a membership fee but have higher hourly rates instead.

Most car club vehicles are tracked electronically to record accurate time and mileage data. This means your monthly bill from the car club is itemised like a phone bill, so you pay for only what you use.

If fuel starts to run low then the car club company may ask you to fill up using their charge card (kept in the glove box) or, for smaller clubs, keep receipts for reimbursement.

Many car clubs let you extend a booking by phone if you’re running late. However, drivers not rerunning the vehicle on time may face a fine (about £40) for late return, in the event of a customer not being able to collect a vehicle because there is not one available, the Car Club company will provide them with a free taxi.

Keys are kept in the glove box and you enter a PIN to release the immobiliser and drive away. You can book online, by app or by phone.

There are already over 150,000 car club members in England and government is keen to support their growth.

What are the benefits?

  • Convenient car use
    The convenience of a car without the hassle of owning one - no more servicing, insurance, parking, MOT, repairs
  • Self-service
    Cars are accessible to members at all hours
  • Saves money
    According to Carplus, joining a car club could save someone £3,500 per year compared to owning a car (if you currently drive fewer than 6,000 miles per year)
  • Protect the environment
    Car club vehicles are energy efficient and cleaner than the average car. They also reduce the need to own a car and discourage unnecessary car travel. Some car clubs offer electric vehicles (EVs) which emit neither harmful CO2 nor air pollutants from the tailpipe

Car club insurance

The car clubs we looked at took members aged between 18 and 80 and asked for a current driver's licence that had been valid for at least a year. Prior convictions and car insurance claims could affect your eligibility for car club membership.

As a car club member, you may be expected to pay between £750 and £1000* as a contribution (excess) in the event of a claim?

The cost to reduce this excess with a car club, can be as much as £90 per year

Third-party insurance should always be included. Ask about exclusions, such as theft of your possessions from the car or personal injury.

Thinking about hiring a hire car or a car club, why not get a quote to protect the excess fee you could potentially be liable for with Questor Insurance - https://www.questor-insurance.co.uk/car-hire-insurance.aspx 

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Date Created: 18 April 2016 by Rakim A Dixon