UK active car club membership doubles in 12 months

More than 116,000 cars have been taken off Britain’s roads in the past year thanks to car clubs, with the 96% rise helping slash emissions through short-term access to cleaner vehicles and increased public transport use.

The number of active car club members has almost doubled in the last year, with the number of people joining schemes hitting 450,231 in 2021. 784,122 UK residents now signed up. According to national transport charity Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK), an estimated 20 private cars have been replaced by every car club vehicle, with total available stock across all schemes now surpassing 5,800. 

man driving a car wearing wrist watch

This equates to around 116,000 cars being taken off British roads as people sell their own and  engage with vehicle sharing, and use public transport more frequently where possible. The ability to save money through these initiatives is also thought to have encouraged uptake, with 73% of respondents to a recent CoMoUK car club member survey agreeing their overall costs had reduced, with 27% of members saying finances were a key reason for joining. Given the cost of living crisis, more people are now expected to sign up in a bid to reduce outgoings. 

Car clubs can also have a high environmental impact as a result of the models available. On average, vehicles available through these schemes are 27% less polluting than the average car on Britain’s roads, and 12% are fully electric compared to 1% of privately owned cars. Experts point to transport as the biggest single source of emissions in the UK, citing clear potential of having more people switch over to active car clubs, especially as electric vehicles begin to account for greater percentages of stock. 

‘Car clubs replace privately-owned cars with fewer and more efficient vehicles, which are easy and affordable to access 24/7 while boosting use of public transport and walking and cycling. Motorists can save thousands of pounds a year by not owning a car, and our survey shows this also results in them engaging in a more active lifestyle through walking and cycling,’ said Richard Dilks, Chief Executive of CoMoUK. ‘These schemes, along with other shared transport modes like bike and ride sharing, have the potential to dramatically reduce congestion on our roads and carbon emissions. If the UK is to meet its climate change targets, we must harness the full potential of car clubs and shared transport.’

In related news, the EU Parliament has been told that its proposed new emissions targets for car manufacturers do not go far enough, fast enough.

Image credit: Why Kei



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