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car sharing clubs

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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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6 comments for “car sharing clubs”

  1. We have ZipCar in the States. I think it makes sense for people who seldomly need a car and when they do, only need it for short distance and brief period of time.

    I think each individual will have to do a similar calculation and judge for themselves.

    Posted by Pinyo | August 28, 2007, 3:13 pm
  2. Agreed. Its interesting that you need to drive a car an average of more than 7 hours a week just to make the fixed costs worth it. Which basically means you have to use your car at least once everyday to be better off owning.

    Posted by plonkee | August 28, 2007, 4:51 pm
  3. I have thought about using ZipCar because there is a drop place really close to my office. However, I just can’t give up my car yet…

    Posted by SavingDiva | August 29, 2007, 9:08 pm
  4. I just love cars! Great site btw!!!!

    Posted by Barry White Speed Shop | January 3, 2008, 3:11 pm
  5. There is another way of looking at it.

    I just bought a 20 year old Citroen 2CV6.
    It does 45mpg.
    It is appreciating in value (as it has reached as a ‘classic car’ status).
    It is in the lowest tax bracket and insurance group 1.

    There will, of course, be repair costs but for this make and model, spares are still easily available and are cheaper than spares for my ‘normal’ car.

    It is a VERY cheap way of keeping costs down.

    Downside? Well, it is a 20 year old car, won’t go above 70mph and does 0 to 60mph in about 35 seconds.

    However, with the number of speed cameras around these days, that may prove a bonus :)

    Posted by 2cv6 Classic Car Owner | January 31, 2008, 12:57 am
  6. I’m not surprised that classic cars can be very economical choices. I get the impression that you need to know a bit about cars to run one though.

    Posted by plonkee | January 31, 2008, 8:57 am

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