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 factors:

  •         time (from around £5 to £10 an hour, depending on the company)
  •         the type of vehicle hired
  •         whether you hire a car on a weekday or weekend
  •         miles travelled (typically 20p to 30p per 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.

Typically, the fee will cover the cost of checking your licence checked with the DVLA and administrative costs associated with setting you up on a car club system.

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 only pay for 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.

Extending a car club booking

Many car clubs let you extend a booking by phone if you’re running late. However, drivers not returning the vehicle on time will often face a fine (from £30-35 per hour) for late return, as other customers are unable to collect a vehicle as a result.

In the event of a customer not being able to collect a vehicle because thCar clubere is not one available, the Car Club company may provide them with a free taxi.

Accessing a vehicle

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

There are already around 250,000 car club members in the UK and the government is keen to support their growth. Carplus, a not-for-profit, environmental transport non-governmental organisation, has even suggested that membership could pass the one million mark by 2025.

What are the benefits?

  • Convenient car use
    The convenience of a car without the hassle of owning one - no more servicing, insurance, parking, MOT or repair costs.
  • Self-service
    Cars are accessible to members at all hours
  • Saves money
    According to Carplus, joining a car club could save someone up to £3,500 per year compared to owning a car (if you currently drive fewer than 8,000 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.Eco car club vehicle

Young drivers should check the individual terms of each Car Club, as some have higher minimal ages and other requirements. For example, you may need to have held a driving licence for 18 months or even two years in some instances, if you are under 21.

As a car club member, you may be expected to pay between £250 and £1,000 as a contribution (excess) in the event of a claim. This figure is often higher if you’re under 21, starting at anywhere between £500 and £750.

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

If you are thinking about hiring a hire car or using a car club, why not get a quote to protect the excess fee you could potentially be liable for with Questor Insurance. NB. As defined in our policy wording, a Car Club Company is A company or agency which is fully licensed with the regulatory authority of the country, state or local authority who provide registered paying members use of all hire vehicles within the Car Club Company fleet.

 

Date Created: 04/04/2019

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