Changing the way we drive - What is a Car Club?

It’s a relatively new phenomenon which is increasing in popularity in the UK and abroad. Car Clubs are set up so people can easily drive when they need without having to own a car. It’s a great option for the environment but there are many other benefits to joining a car club. So here’s the low down:

What is a Car Club?Beach Road Houses

Fundamentally a Car Club is a rental company but instead of being restricted to offices and opening hours, it allows its users to hire a car as and when they need to drive.

A Car Club can be a group of people who have an arrangement to share a car. However, when we refer to a Car Club, we mean a rental company. The reason being, the company will have measures in place to provide elements of insurance, contractual agreements with its users and controls in place for the safe return of vehicles. In essence, there’s a lot less risk involved.

How do car clubs work?

Car Clubs will have a fleet of cars dotted around available for customers to book as and when they need to. Most companies will require customers to book online or through an app which means cars can be booked and collected 24 hours a day.

Drive away for the day, maybe to the seaside, but just beware there are usually limits to how far you can travel in a day so it’s worth checking the companies policy before you travel.

Then when you’re done, return the car to where you found it, simple.

How much are car clubs?Mountain Road

Prices vary from club to club and you can pay hourly, daily or annually depending on how much you think you may use a car. But it’s what you save that really counts.

Having a car on the road can be extremely costly during the course of a year. As you don’t own the car, so there’s need to pay for road tax, motor insurance, costly maintenance bills or parking permits.

What’s more, you don’t have to store it! If you find it difficult to park in your area or simply don’t have the space then car clubs could be the solution.

Do I need insurance for car club rentals?

As we mentioned, you won’t need a regular insurance policy as the car does not belong to you. Due to the Road Traffic Act however, there must always be an element of insurance in place. The RTA specifically refers to public liability insurance which is a must in the UK, but companies like Zip Car and City Car Club will provide their customers with a little more cover on top provided they stick to certain rules e.g. no drink driving.

It’s important to remember that even when insurance is provided within the cost of membership, an excess may still apply if you cause damage to the car. You can cover yourself for your Car Club excess as well as regular car hire excesses with our UK and Europe policy. In addition, the policy would cover windows, undercarriage, roof, tyres and headlights which are usually not covered by damage waivers from car hire companies or car clubs.

What we don’t include cover for you excess if you damage the interior or the contents of the car so be a little careful with drinks etc. Your Car Club must be UK club for this cover to apply and usual terms and conditions will apply too. You can check out the full policy details here.

We hope this helps you understand car clubs and encourages more people to take up a new way of thinking about the way we drive.