Thank you for your interest in Co-wheels Car Club!
Co-wheels is the only independent, national car club, operating as a social enterprise. We provide a greener, cheaper, and more convenient alternative to the hassle of owning and using your own car.
As a car club, Co-wheels provides high-spec vehicles for communities across the UK to use, parked in special bays on the street in more than 60 locations. These cars can be booked for as little as 30 minutes, or up to days at a time. Our tariffs are simple and affordable.
Joining the car club grants you access to all of your local Co-wheels cars, as well as our entire national fleet, for a one-off joining fee, plus a monthly minimum spend of £5. Take a look at our FAQs to find out all about joining, using, and paying for the car club.
As you've received one of our flyers, you're eligible to claim £20 free driving credit when you join Co-wheels - simply enter the promotional code Flyer on your application, and the driving credit will automatically be applied to your account.
Need a car in Reading?
Now you can drive whenever you need to...
The University of Reading is now hosting a Co-wheels Car Club car, available on Whiteknights Campus at Park Group Halls (Dunsden Crescent) - just one of the numerous cars available to hire by the hour in Reading, and across the UK.
Students and staff can sign up to the scheme at a special discounted rate - get going with £10 driving credit and FREE membership (and no monthly minimum spend). Just use the code UOR10 when applying to join the club.
How does it work?
After joining the car club, members receive a smartcard, allowing them to book online and have keyless access the cars.
The high specification cars can be booked for short periods – from half an hour - or for days at a time at discounted rates. At the end of the hire, the car is returned its bay, ready for the next driver to use.
Tell a friend & help us grow
We know word of mouth and direct referrals to friends are the single best way to grow our community car clubs quickly and effectively.
- Nearly 20% of new members found out about Co-wheels through a friend.
- Growing organically means spending less money on advertising, and more on developing car club provision.
How does referral work?
Simply tell a friend about Co-wheels!
When a friend decides they want to join, you simply email our customer team telling us the name of the friend you have referred and preferably the email address they signed up with.
Then once your friend successfully completes their first booking* you'll both get £20 driving credit added to your account.'Refer-a-friend' cards are in all of our cars, which you can write your name on and give out. Feel free to take a few.
*Note - First booking must be over 2 hours, if shorter bookings are made, credit will not be applied until 2 hours have been accumulated.
Is there a referral limit?
You can refer as many as times you like - and you'll keep getting credit for each new member!
Is there a way to directly refer someone online?
We haven't got a direct way of doing this at the moment, but we're working on it!
Our cars are available to pick up from Oxenholme, Windermere, Penrith and Carlisle train stations. The vehicles are located either at the station car parks or very close by.
Oxenholme station is on the West Coast mainline with direct routes only 3 hours from London. Oxenholme, the Lake District provides a convenient first hope off point to access the Lake District. It is situated near Kendal, well worth a night or two either at the beginning or end of your trip to the Lakes.
Vehicle: 2 Toyota Yaris Hybrids – located at the top of the entrance road to the ticket office, just outside the main station car park on the southbound side of the station.
Windermere station is located on the Lakes Line, simply jump on a connecting train from Oxenholme and be in the Central Southern Lake District in no time! From here on, use the Co-wheels car to explore the splendor of the Lake District National Park.
Vehicle: 1 Toyota Yaris Hybrid – located on the opposite side of the car park, adjacent the station entrance.
Staveley is a pretty little village which can also be reached on the Lakes Line from Oxenholme to Windermere. The car here is centrally located, 5 minutes’ walk from the train station. Staveley Mill Yard is a popular destination, home to a fantastic array of independent shops, including the famous Hawkshead Brewery, Wheelbase cycle megastore, and Wilf’s café.
Vehicle: Citroen Berlingo (7 seater, or seats can be removed to create more storage space) – located in the small car park next to the Pharmacy on Main Street (with the recycling containers).
Penrith is a bustling Market Town, on the north east corner of the Lake District. The station is also on the West Coast mainline with direct routes from London, just like Oxenholme. Use Penrith as a great convenient start and finish point providing easier access to the Northern Lake District such as Ullswater, Keswick and Borrowdale. Our car is located in the car park right at the station entrance.
Vehicle: 1 Toyota Yaris Hybrid – located in a designated bay at the entrance to the station car park.
Carlisle is the most northerly Cumbrian station on the West Coast Mainline. Often called the Border City, Carlisle offers easy access to both the Lake District to the south, the Scottish Borders to the north, and Hadrian's Wall to the west and east. As a city, with a cathedral and a castle, it also offers a variety of shopping, attractions and accommodation.
Vehicle: 1 Toyota Yaris Hybrid – located in a designated bay 10 metres from the main entrance to the station
All of these vehicles have the capability to carry two roof-mounted cycles (bike rack keys are in the glovebox). So you can either bring your own bikes, or hire bikes locally when you arrive. The Lake District and Cumbria have fantastic networks of cycle ways, both on- and off-road.
Co-wheels is a pay-as-you-go car hire scheme, with vehicles available to hire in convenient locations across the UK.
As a car club member, you can book any of our cars on our online booking system or over the phone, and use your smartcard to access them - no need for keys. At the end of your booking, you return the car back into its bay.
Insurance is included, and you can book a car for 30 mins to days at a time, only paying for the hire time and distance you drive.
It's as easy at that!
How it works
Driving is easy when you're a car club member. We cover everything, including insurance, cleaning, servicing and refueling - you just book a car when you need one, and drive away!
Joining Co-wheels is common sense. We provide a cheaper, greener and more convenient alternative to owning and using your own car.
Owning a car has the added cost of insurance, loan charges, tax, servicing, breakdown insurance and the biggest cost - depreciation! With Co-wheels, you just pay for what you use. People who don’t need a car everyday save money by giving up their own car and using Co-wheels instead.
We want to provide people with better travel options. Co-wheels members choose walking, cycling and public transport much more, only using the car club when it really is the best option. They drive less, they pollute less. When they need a car, Co-wheels cars are electric, hybrid & low emission.
Owning a car is a hassle - finding a reliable car, organising bank loans, getting a parking space and then costs which seem to increase every year for insurance, tax, garage bills & MOT charges. With Co-wheels, you can book and be on your way in a well-maintained, lower-emission car. You use the car for only as long as you need it, and return it to its dedicated parking bay. We have a range of vehicles for different journeys, including vans in some locations.
Frequently asked questions about...
Using cars in a smarter way
Co-wheels provides businesses and organisations in the private sector with a greener and more cost effective travel solution:
No need for pool cars with associated costs, and reduced reliance on taxis
Reduce parking pressures on site
Eliminate admin for business mileage claims
Enable staff to travel to work by more sustainable modes, knowing there is a car available if needed.
One-off joining fee for access to cars in 60 locations across the UK.
How it works
SMEs can sign up for a business account with Co-wheels. Once registered, staff members can sign up as drivers under the account.
This gives staff their own smartcard and ability to log in and book cars as needed on the online system.
Trips taken by drivers are charged to the main account, and a breakdown of bookings by driver is provided at the end of the month.
Staff Driver Brochure
Business Rate Card
Organisations can sign up for a one-off joining fee of £20.83. There is no monthly ongoing charge or minimum spend.
Additional drivers can sign up to an account for £10.
All drivers also qualify for free personal membership to Co-wheels. This means bookings for both work and private use can be managed under the same log in and with the same smart card.
If you're reading this page, you'll have seen an exclusive offer to join our car club for free!
Here is your opportunity to become a member of the UK's only national independent car club without paying to join!
Don't forget that free membership can only be claimed by entering the promo code into the 'Promotions' box on your application.
This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, and cannot be claimed retrospectively
What does 'Join for free' mean?
This means you will be able to join Co-wheels car club as a member for free (usually £25). Unlike other car clubs who charge large annual membership fees, we only have a one-off joining fee, which we will waive.
We also have a £5 monthly minimum spend, which will be debited from your account if you don't use this up in hire time during each calendar month.
You can cancel your account at any time with no charge.
What is 'Free driving credit'?
Driving credit is automatically added to your account when you sign up. The credit applies to hire time charges only, not mileage or the monthly minimum spend. You can use the credit on multiple journeys, and there is no expiry date. After your credit has been used, you will be charged normal rates.
Car hire costs
Cars hire is charged in 15 minute increments, based on your booking. There is a per hour rate, with discounted overnight and 24hr periods. There are no fuel costs, but there is a nominal mileage cost, except for electric vehicles, which are exempt.
See our full list of prices.
Who can join?
If you've held a licence for over a year, and have no more than 6 points (0 points if 21 or under), you can join Co-wheels!
See our FAQs page for any other questions you may have.
Co-wheels is at the forefront of electric vehicle provision in car clubs across the country.
Easy to drive, automatic, smooth and silent, our electric vehicles (EVs) are proving popular with all members.
Why choose Electric?
Electric vehicles represent the best environmental choice for new cars for many reasons:
- Improved air quality – there are no emissions at all at the point of driving, delivering a significant benefit to city centre pollution levels, including NOx and particulates, as well as CO2.
- No noise – at speeds under 15mph the cars are almost silent (at higher speeds the noise comes from the wheel resistance), creating a more pleasant local neighborhood.
- Fun, quick and easy to drive – the EVs are automatic, are very responsive and quick off the mark.
- No mileage costs – making your Co-wheels booking even cheaper.
- Lower impact option – EVs are over 40% more efficient than standard petrol and diesel cars, when looking at 'well to wheel' and life cycle analysis.
How do I use them?
- The EVs are booked on the Co-wheels system, just like all our vehicles.
- Instead of a fuel card, there is a card giving you access to the charging point. Just use this to retrieve the charging lead, put it in the boot, and you are ready to drive off.
- All of the cars clearly display how many miles you can complete on the trip.
- At the end of the booking, use the charging card to access the charging point, plug the car in, and lock it up with your Co-wheels smart card, as you would with all Co-wheels cars.
- All of the vehicles have information sheets in them, with detailed instructions, just in case!
- See our vehicle guides in the sidebar.
What about recharging?
- All of the Co-wheels EVs are parked in bays with dedicated charging posts. Please note that these charge posts are not operated by Co-wheels - if you encounter any issues, a dedicated helpline is printed on the units themselves.
- The access card is in the on-board computer (where the fuel card can usually be found). The charging lead is in the boot.
- Cars typically take about 4 hours to recharge completely, but some will be a bit quicker, some a bit slower.
- Please put the car back on charge at the end of every booking – ready for the next member!
- There are more and more public charging points popping up across the UK – find your nearest one on Zap-Map. The map also shows which access card you need – most of them will be accessible free of charge.
- Many of the EVs have charging cables ending in a 3 pin plug. Please do not charge these cars at home, and just use the public charging network or dedicated EV charging points only.
Ecotricity operate the Electric Highway - a network of rapid chargers in service stations and IKEA stores on major trunk roads across the UK. Renault ZOE and Nissan LEAF cars can use these charge points, but please plan your journey accordingly if you do not wish to pay to recharge (cost not covered). To charge:
- Download the Electric Highway app
- Register for an account (free), and register your debit card
- Pay per charge - £6 for 30mins, which will charge an empty tank to 80%.
Several electric Twizys are also available for hire, throughout Cumbria and the Lake District, offering zero-emission driving across the region. Visit our Twizy page to find more information on these vehicles, including hiring instructions, Twizy hosts, and costs.
Please note that hire costs for Twizys differ from our standard electric car hire pricing.
During our mission to get car clubs established across the country, we have been able to develop a number of different schemes which are heavily influenced by local partners and residents. Therefore, if you are keen to see Co-wheels where you live or work, there is a solution to fit.
Our vision is to develop a network of Co-wheels community car clubs which are accessible to as many people as possible. So what are you waiting for, get in touch!
Member car scheme
Our Member Car Scheme offers members and potential members the opportunity to convert their car into a Co-wheels car. This has proven to be a great way of starting new car clubs and expand existing fleets.
How it works
You remain the owner of the car, but you agree to put your car into the Co-wheels fleet for other members to use. From the point you do this, Co-wheels will cover all maintenance, servicing, tax, insurance and will regularly clean and check the car.
You will receive a healthy allowance of ‘free use’ of your own car or any car in our fleet. So the benefits are you stop spending money on your car; you have access to Co-wheels cars across the UK and you are helping to develop the car club in your area!
We are pretty flexible on cars we accept. Generally though, we are looking for cars five years and under. We do a full mechanical check of the car before it enters the scheme.
To offer your car or to find our more, please contact us.
Co-wheels Social Franchise
A Community Resource. An Environmental Travel Choice. A Business Opportunity.
As a social enterprise, Co-wheels is very keen to see the network grow and need local partners to help with this process. Locally managed, community based car club schemes operating under licence within the Co-wheels family will be provided with the resources required to set up and operate a scheme themselves.
We run franchise operations in a range of locations from small villages (eg Ashton Hayes) to larger towns (e.g. Swindon). We are by far the largest and the fastest growing not-for-profit car club operator in the country.
What do we offer?
Basically we can make available a full range of resources to set up and operate a car club. We will provide ongoing support to enable the scheme to grow effectively and sustainably.
- Co-wheels Franchise Manual
- Software and systems
- Car Park Advice
- Launch and Promotion Package
- Branded Stationery
- Booking website
- Billing and collections
- Vehicle Insurance
- Member processing including driving licence checks
- 24/7 emergency helpline for members
- Fuel cards
- Marketing support for potential business and residential members
- Support for negotiating with developers setting up car clubs.
What do you need?
The local partner will usually need to source their own vehicles, whether these are owned, leased or borrowed from within the local community. Co-wheels can provide some assistance is securing vehicles. You will also need enthusiasm for the concept, commitment to the project and some start up funding. You will need sufficient finance to cover the initial outlay to establish the scheme.
What does it cost?
The tariff is set as low as possible to cover costs. Successful schemes pay more to help support growth of the wider network. Please get in touch for up to date prices or for more information by clicking here.