Scottish car club membership more than doubles 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, a report released today has revealed.

CoMoUKCoMoUK, 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 today released its findings from the 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 per cent more, cycling 10 per cent more and using their own private cars 26 per cent less, which has had a huge impact on local air quality and carbon emissions across the country.

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.

“With increasing public concern about the climate crisis there is a growing recognition that we need to take radical action now to cut transport emissions and shift more journeys to more sustainable modes – and car clubs are a huge part of this.”

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.

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.

Around 29 per cent of Scottish car club members also decreased their annual mileage by an average of 2,796 miles, while 25 per cent increased it by an average of just 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 is 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 behaviour.

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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