A car sharing club or scheme is a sort of mini car rental. You join the scheme and then you are entitled to rent a car, whenever one is available paying a per hour charge for the priviledge. I decided to look at Whizzgo, which have several locations across the country to see what circumstances they would be cost effective.

There are discounted deals for heavier users, but I’ll just compare the basic pay as you go package with owning a car.

For the purposes of this, I’ll assume that you don’t use your car for commuting as public transport is more convenient, but you need to do a weekly grocery shop on Wednesdays, the supermarket is about 5 miles from your house and it takes just over an hour and a half, and you also need to use a car for three hours on the weekends to run various errands, driving about 40 miles in the process.

With Whizzgo, the cost to join is £25, plus you need to pay a £125 insurance deposit. The fees to drive a Citroen C3 in Sheffield are £4.95 per hour which includes 30 miles, each extra mile is 20p. Insurance, fuel and maintenance are covered. There is a £250 excess on the insurance for drivers over 25. The cost would then be

Supermarket £4.95 x 2 = £9.90

Weekend Errands £4.95 x 3 + £0.20 x 10 = £16.85

Total Weekly Cost = £26.75

Joining fee £25

Insurance deposit £125

Total Annual Cost = £1541

Using the AA cost of car ownership tables for a car that cost less than £10K new we have the following costs for just owning the vehicle:

Road tax = 115

Insurance = 396

Cost of capital = 328

Depreciation (at 10,000 miles/annum) = 1132

Breakdown cover = 40

Total of Standing Costs = £2011

We haven’t even driven anywhere yet! If we add in the cost of actually driving 50 miles each week we have:

Petrol £0.0933 x 50 miles = £4.66

Tyres £0.005 x 50 miles = £0.25

Service labour costs £0.0289 x 50 miles = £1.44

Replacement parts £0.0161 x 50 miles = £0.80

Total Weekly Cost = £7.11

Total Annual Cost = £369.72

This gives the total cost of owning the car as:

Total Annual Cost = £2011 + £369.72 = £2380.72

So someone driving about 50 miles a week could save more than £800 by giving up their car and joining a car-sharing / car club scheme.

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