Car clubs critical to securing net-zero future

Car clubs across the UK helped remove tens of thousands of private vehicles from the road last year and support more than 750,000 people in moving towards a ‘low-car lifestyle’.

An annual report into car club use across the UK also found membership numbers are more than double their pre-pandemic level, with users citing cost savings, convenience and reducing their own carbon footprint.

The study was produced by national shared transport charity Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) which carries out detailed annual research of car clubs and their users across the UK.

It said the results showed car clubs reduce congestion, cut emissions, and help those with health problems and low-income families access convenient and affordable transport. These findings fit with trends their research has consistently found for over a decade.

People signed up to car clubs also tend to walk and cycle more, reducing their overall dependence on cars for work, leisure, and everyday activities.

Richard Dilks, chief executive of CoMoUK, said: “Car club membership has grown strongly and now numbers well over three quarters of a million people right across the UK. Those people are benefitting from access to cheaper and cleaner vehicles that are used more sparingly than owned cars.

“Then there are the wider benefits: tens of thousands of private vehicles taken off the road, reducing congestion and freeing up space; use of other sustainable modes boosted. And car club use can make members more active too. Users are more likely to walk or ride a bike regularly than average members of the population, and the transition has helped them move towards a low-car lifestyle.
“These schemes, along with ride and bike-sharing initiatives, have been shown to reduce congestion and pollution while providing members of the public with improved transport options.

“All of this is why if the UK is to meet its net zero targets, the role of car clubs will be increasingly significant, as is recognised by the Committee on Climate Change.”