Car Share Clubs  - do they work?

EalingToday Forum members' comments


"Is there a shared car club in Ealing? If there is, I'd like to join. Listened to a programme about car clubs on BBC Radio5Live this morning and I think the idea is an excellent one. I use my car only occasionally(1000 miles a year) and rely mainly on minicabs and my bicycle for transport, so a shared car on an internet booked basis would be ideal for my family. Anyone know if there's a car club in Ealing? I wonder if our Council might be interested?"
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Comment on this story on the forum
"Yes, there is. City Car Club. Currently it has vehicles normally parked in Myrtle Road, Acton and in Hastings Road W13. Plans afoot to have several cars at Ealing Town Hall, Cavalier House, etc. I use them several times per week. "

"There are other car clubs starting to appear (e.g. Urbigo in Southwark & Sutton, Mystreetcar, Whizzgo in Camden, etc).  I undertand that there will be club cars as part of the old M&S West Ealing development, not from London Car Club.  So maybe it's one of the other car clubs setting up in Dorset Road. "

"I have been a member of London City Car Clubs for about six months.  We have found it very effective - haven't replaced our last car after it expired and rely solely on the Car Club. It may seem expensive - but when you calculate the real cost of owning and running a car.. I normally use the W13 car, and I believe that there are about a dozen people use it, five or six very regularly. I haven't had real problems about the car being overbooked (I've on occasion gone as far as Acton to get a car for a day trip), and I look forward to the Town Hall and Ealing Broadway cars being available.  Having a critical mass of users and an accessible pool of cars seems to be critical for success.  One potential benefit of London Car Club is that members can also use club cars in Brighton, Edinburgh and elsewhere.
London Car Clubs have cars based in the Ealing-ish area at
- West Ealing W13 - St. Leonard's Road
- Ealing W5 (opening this month) - Ealing Town Hall, Ealing Broadway (near Mattock Lane, I think)
- Acton W3 - Birkbeck Road, Burlington Gardens, Myrtle Road, Spencer Road
- Northolt UB5 - Broadmead Road (Grand Union Village) -
"I've been toying with the idea over the last couple of weeks. It's hard to make the decision to sell my exisitng car for something I'm not sure will be available when I need it. To be fair my current insurance is £40.00 per month without even taking the running costs of the vehicle into account. So £15.00 a month plus a charge for hourly use seems like a very good deal to me.

I'm waiting for City Car Club to come back to me on which car club has the space in Dorset Road.. but (not unsurprisingly) I haven't had a call back. They do tell me that the Ealing Broadway car is now available. "
" Availability is the key issue, which is why having a number of cars accessible is vital.  A lot depends on how you use your car - if you are used to jumping into it at the drop of a hat on an errand, if you need to fit a childseat, if you are used to leaving a load of oddments in the car "in case", these are problems.  The biggest downside for us is that we used to take a driving holiday down the Loire each spring (with added winetasting), and that's not an option.

The Ealing Town Hall Clio is available for online booking, but not the "Ealing Broadway" car.
The online booking system is good, and you can get a snapshot of how busy the various vehicles are.

Use of the car with LCC has three cost components:
Monthly subscription  £15
Cost per hour  £2.80 or £3.00
Cost per mile   17p or 18p "

" Car clubs seem to be the ideal concept. Yet, we can't quite take that leap of faith to sell our brand new Honda Civic. We are avid users of buses and the tube(both Freedom Pass holders) and we frequently make use of minicabs and often cadge a lift from our children, friends and neighbours. Consequently, our car mileage is only about 1000 miles a year! It makes sense to become Car Club members. Is anyone else in this dilemma? If so, please convince us, one way or the other. "

" The issues are a mix of:
Economic - you know what Car Club costs are, now calculate what that new Civic is costing you ( Fixed costs depreciation, insurance, servicing, resident's parking permit, etc. Variable petrol, car washes, etc).
Convenience - if you have a 30 minute journey to pick up a Car Club car, that might not be good, especially for emergency trips.
Social - do you have a feel-good sensation about using a Car Club?  How do you feel about driving a car with a Car Club logo on the door?
Status - you have a brand new car - do you feel "good" about it? "

" Apparently the spot in Dorset avenue is indeed the City Car Clubs space. An application was made to the council some time ago for an allocated space but the chap who was instructing the white line painters left shortly afterwards. It was thought the car club would need to make a further application so they were surprised to learn it was ready and waiting for a car.

Hence the Dorset Road spot should go live in the next month or two."


Thanks to our forum members for providing some informed views on this subject.


March 21st 2005