Smart Transport

Scottish car club membership more than doubles to 25,000 in three years

More than 25,000 people are now part of pay-per-drive car clubs in Scotland with memberships more than doubling in the last three years, according to a new report.

CoMoUK, a charity that promotes the environmental, economic, health and social benefits of shared transport for the public good, has been collecting car club data in Scotland since 2007, and has released its findings from its 2019 survey.

Results show that in 2015 there were 7,715 members of car clubs, in 2017 that had risen to 10,662 members, and that figure is now at 25,193 members. 

The result, the survey says, has seen its members walking 16% more, cycling 10% more and using their own private cars 26% less.

There has been a total of 4.2 million miles driven in car club cars during 2019/20, and by making these journeys in a car club vehicle rather than a private car, 354 tonnes of C02 has been saved.

Lorna Finlayson, CoMoUK’s Scotland director, said: “Scottish car clubs are playing a vital role in tackling some of the major transport problems the country is facing, primarily carbon emissions, congestion and poor air quality. 

“There is an urgent need to enact the Scottish government’s own priorities, as set out in the National Transport Strategy, which identified single occupancy, private car journeys as one of the biggest contributors to transport emissions.”

For each car club vehicle in Scotland, about 14 private cars are taken off the road. That equates to 6,700 vehicles thanks to the 488-strong car club fleet. Of those vehicles some 48 per cent of them are electric or hybrid and 98 per cent of the cars are compliant with low emission zones. 

 Around 29% of Scottish car club members also decreased their annual mileage by an average of 2,796 miles, while 25% increased it by an average of 1,096 miles and for the remainder, their mileage stayed the same. 

This represents an annual reduction of 12.8 million miles, and if it’s assumed that each mile would otherwise have been driven in a private car then this would mean a saving of 3,620 tonnes of carbon emissions. This is the equivalent of the emissions from 674 return flights from Glasgow to New York.

Over the last 13 years, CoMoUK has worked with car club operators to collect a range of data on the characteristics of their members and details on their fleets, as well as surveying car club members on their travel behavior. 

For this year’s report, it collected data from the two main national operators, Co-wheels Car Club and Enterprise Car Club, plus three community car clubs.

The survey of car club members was completed by 1,499 individuals across Scotland. Fleet data along with operational data was collected from operators.

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