Co-wheels working in partnership with Harrogate Borough Council has launched its first all-hybrid car share club in the Yorkshire town.
A fleet of nine new hybrid cars, seven Toyota Yaris and two Toyota Corolla Estates, are now available in Harrogate town centre for pay-as-you-go hire around the town for as little as 30-minutes up to full days.
In another first the club is Co-wheels’ only one without fixed parking bays, meaning the cars can be collected and parked all around Harrogate. Each car has its own designated zone, and comes with a pass allowing parking anywhere in this area thanks to support from North Yorkshire County Council.
When booking a car, a handy location map on the Co-wheels app or website shows where the nearest one is. Members are then emailed 15-minutes before the hire with the exact location of the car, which is also shown on the location map in the app.
Keys aren’t needed as members are provided with a smartcard to access the car. Members can also book cars in any of Co-wheels’ locations around the UK.
Hires in Harrogate start from as little as £5.50 for one hour. Insurance, cleaning, servicing and refuelling are all included in the cost too. A van is also available for hire as part of the new club.
Richard Falconer, managing director of Co-wheels, said: “There’s a lot of great work going on to reduce carbon emissions in Harrogate which we are pleased to support with the launch of this new car club. We’re making it more accessible for people to have the option to hire a car when they need it rather than having to own a vehicle – it’s far cheaper and better for the environment this way.
“To celebrate the launch, we’re offering people in Harrogate £1 memberships and £40 credit to try our service.”
The club has been welcomed by Harrogate Borough Council and Zero Carbon Harrogate, whose chair has already become a member.
Councillor Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “We have ambitious plans to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions across the district. One way to support this is by encouraging people to reduce the number of cars in their household as well as the dependency of owning a car.
“Partnering with Co-wheels to run a car club scheme across the Harrogate district will give people the confidence to do this and will complement walking, cycling and public transport use.”
Cars are available now in Harrogate and will follow in Knaresborough and Ripon in the future.
Jemima Parker, chair of Zero Carbon Harrogate, added: "I'm delighted that Harrogate has a car club. Zero Carbon Harrogate has been working with Harrogate Borough Council to bring a car club to the district as shared transport is such a good way to reduce our carbon emission. The club gives you all the convenience of a car when you need one and none of the carbon cost of having a car manufactured just to sit outside your home for 90% of the time. I'm already a member and hope others will sign up and try out this new service rather than pouring money into owning their own vehicle."
Car clubs have been shown to reduce car dependence with, on average, each car club car removing between 10 and 15 privately owned cars from the road. Use of walking, cycling and public transport also increases with the introduction of a car club.
To protect vehicle users, Co-wheels is carrying out extra measures to ensure the highest level of cleanliness. Every vehicle is professionally cleaned regularly and all touch surfaces are cleaned with a revolutionary new long lasting disinfectant that keeps surfaces germ-free for an extended period.
For more information and to sign up to the £1 membership and £40 credit offer visit www.co-wheels.org.uk/harrogate.