AN EXPANDED car club run on behalf of Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council is set to get under way following the appointment of a new supplier, Enterprise.
A car club service has been running in Cambridge since 2009, providing individuals and businesses with access to sustainable transport, available for hire by the hour or day.
The car club supports the councils’ goals of improving air quality through the use of cleaner vehicles, reducing vehicle emissions and cutting congestion.
It will also support efforts to encourage more sustainable methods of transport use in the city, such as car sharing.
A fair, transparent and detailed tender process was undertaken to select the new supplier. Enterprise Car Club was appointed because of the company’s ambition to expand the car club service and to make more low-emission vehicles available for hire.
Vehicles will be located at various car parks in Cambridge as well as on-street bays. The majority of the vehicles will be hybrid Toyota Yaris in addition to a number of vans.
Enterprise Car Club has committed to making the transition process as easy as possible for existing car club members by waiving its membership fee.
Existing members can simply quote CCAR20 to become Enterprise Car Club members for free and get a £20 driving credit. Additionally, the councils have negotiated a discounted rate for all Cambridge residents.
It is hoped that with more low-emission vehicles in use, this means of getting around the city will become more popular with more people choosing car club vehicles for themselves and for car sharing.
Individuals and businesses can sign up and be driving within a few hours, booking and accessing the vehicle with a smartphone app.
Enterprise Car Club will formally replace the current supplier, ZipCar, on 9 August, when it will begin running a full service with 35 new low-emission hybrid vehicles.
There will be a transition period between 31 July and 8 August during which Enterprise Car Club will make available as many cars as possible.
In addition to the new vehicles, a steering group involving the city and county councils and Enterprise Car Club will look at ways of moving towards greater use of electric vehicles in and around Cambridge.
James Elms, Head of Commercial Services at Cambridge City Council, said: “The council is committed to improving air quality, reducing congestion and cutting vehicle emissions and the car club is an important part of our strategy.
“Enterprise Car Club was chosen following a rigorous tender process. One reason for that selection was their ambition to expand the car club with more low-emissions vehicles. Existing car club members can look forward to an improved service with more vehicles available to hire and I hope they will be joined by many new members.”
Cambridgeshire County Council’s chair of Highways and Infrastructure Committee Cllr Mathew Shuter said: “We want to ensure residents, students and businesses in the city have access to cost-effective and low-emission vehicles at any time and this new, improved scheme will do just that.
“Car clubs help to reduce traffic congestion, which is one of our key priorities. People can use them for business trips rather than bringing their own cars into work, which relieves the pressure on the morning commute and on parking spaces. They also allow people and students in Cambridge to have cars on their doorstep.
“As the scheme transfers from ZipCar to Enterprise, there may well be a short period of time where the availability of vehicles will be slightly limited and we would like to thank everyone for their patience during this transition time.”
Residents and businesses in Cambridge can sign up by calling 0345 266 9290 or at www.enterprisecarclub.co.uk using the code CAMB20 to get the first year’s annual membership for £20 and £20 driving credit.
In addition to the 35 cars located in Cambridge, Enterprise Car Club membership enables Cambridge residents to access a growing network of 1,100 on-street vehicles available for rent 24/7, 365 days of the year, in more than 130 cities, towns and communities across the UK.
Enterprise Car Club membership is available to drivers aged 19 years or older and costs from £20 per year. Vehicles are available from £5.30 per hour including VAT and 21 pence per mile.
Many Enterprise Car Club vehicles are located at transport hubs or railway stations to make it easier to travel around the UK using public transport.