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Running a car is an expensive business, between paying for petrol, insurance, tax, petrol, MOTs and repairs for any problems that arise.
But as students Alisa Mellins and Sophia Wiedermann have found out, there are other options out there to allow people to access to vehicles as and when they’re needed – without the hassles and expenses that can come with ownership.
Both girls are members of City Car Club, a service which allows people to rent a car 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, for as little as half an hour at a time, across cities including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, London and Cardiff.
All the vehicles as are serviced and maintained by someone else, meaning users don’t have to worry about the costs or hassles associated with maintaining a car, but still enjoy the benefits of using one.
Some of the other main benefits of City Car Club compared to other car hire services include the fact that the cars are conveniently located in designated parking bays across cities around the country, which means users can generally get access to vehicles near their work and homes or wherever else they need them.
Cars can also be booked online or by phone, in advance or at the last minute, and users don’t have the hassle of showing their driving licence and paying a deposit every time they want to hire a vehicle.
We can all become reliant on our cars, using it even for the shortest of journeys, but Sophia says being a member of City Car Club means she plans out her trips more carefully now, helping save her money in the process.
She explained: “You know that way if he car was sitting at home you’d be like ‘oh I’ll just pop to the shops’ but in this case you’re like ‘oh no, I actually need to book a car’, so you plan your journeys much more.”
Sophia added: “You are more aware of what you’re using it for because you’re like ‘do I really need to make that journey?’ and it saves you money I think.”
Members pay a basic rate to join the service annually, and in addition to that they pay to rent that car, as well as a mileage fee. Then all they need to do is book their rental online or over the phone, swipe their membership card, pick up the car keys, type in a pin, and off they go.
The clubs are based all over the UK, so the club's current 24,000 members can simply state their location and find out their nearest City Car Club service.
Another added benefit is car lovers get the chance to drive some of the most up-the-minute car models on the road.
Ailsa explained: “They are brand new cars, which is the main thing, so you’re not getting a little rust bucket that’s been sitting out in the cold since 2000.” She added: “It’s so easy. And there are always new cars…you get a big variety of cars which is quite fun.”
If you drive less than 6,000 miles a year, using a car club could save up to £3,500 a year.
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