There have been numerous calls in recent weeks for car ownership to be reduced in the coming years for the benefit of the environment and the Government’s push for net zero emissions. Transport minister Trudy Harrison called for the culture of car ownership to be phased out and instead support a system “fit for the future” by moving towards shared transport methods.
A national scheme like this could include bike share schemes, car clubs, shared rides, e-scooters and digital demand responsive transport.
She said the UK was at a “tipping point” and needed a “realistic option” for the public to get around and ensure mobility hubs are part of the future.
More recently, London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for London and the UK to “significantly reduce car use” as new data found that London had the worst congestion in the world.
On average, drivers in the capital lost 148 hours per year because of congestion, with an average cost of £1,211 per driver in 2021.
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Richard Falconer, Managing Director of Co-Wheels Car Club, praised the impact car share schemes can have on drivers and the environment.
Speaking with Express.co.uk, he said: “It has a really positive impact on the planet. If more people shared cars, the number of vehicles on the streets would decrease – which means, in turn, less traffic and cleaner city air.
“By signing up to a car club, you can book your slot for a car and collect it as soon as you are ready to hit the road.
“Additionally, car sharing helps you keep your expenses at bay.
“In the event of mishaps along the way, including flat tyres and dead batteries, it will be up to the car sharing company to cover the vehicle’s maintenance costs.
“What is more, you won’t have to worry about pricey pit-stops at the petrol station – there will already be fuel in your tank when you jump into the driving seat.”
Co-Wheels Car Club are also warning drivers of the high costs of clean air zones and the ULEZ charge, especially since more are set to launch in 2022.
With thousands of drivers expected to be affected by new car tax zones in the next year, they may have to invest in a new CAZ-compliant vehicle, which can be costly.
Mr Falconer added: “Finally, car sharing provides you with the opportunity to select the vehicle you want. Are you looking for a van?
“Would you like to drive an electric car and steer confidently through low-emission zones? You can always pick and choose the vehicle that best suits your journey at a reasonable price.
“It is fair to say that driving is more expensive now than ever before.
“From rising fuel costs to hefty repairs, drivers are facing pricey bills that are affecting the enjoyment of their car travels.
“Is it not the right time to make the most of car sharing services? Save money, protect the planet, and… keep driving!”
However, many drivers have voiced their concerns about ending car ownership, especially from those in rural areas.
Data from the Department for Transport shows that only six percent of those in rural areas do not own a car, down from seven percent in 2002.
There are fears that any schemes with the aim of reducing private car ownership could alienate anyone living outside of major metropolitan cities.
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