(this article first appeared on Transition Truro’s website)
One year on and the number of Co-cars ‘hire by the hour’ car club members in Cornwall continues to grow. To mark the anniversary Co-cars are providing a special offer to new members at an event on Lemon Quay on 9th June.
Co-cars launched the car club in Truro and Falmouth in May last year to provide members with the convenience of a car without the hassles and costs of car ownership. Members pay for a car only when they want to use one. Ideal for occasional drivers, short trippers and 2 car families who don’t want or can’t afford the second vehicle and want to hire one for an hour or two, local businesses and employers can also benefit.
The smart low emission cars are based at convenient locations across the south west, including Truro and Falmouth Town railway stations, Truro’s Pydar Street car park and Waterside House in Penryn. This is helping to develop a joined-up transport system for Truro, Falmouth and beyond and enables people to connect their train journey with a station based ‘hire by the hour’ car as part of the expanding network. Co-cars is a not for profit social enterprise already operating successfully in Exeter, Topsham, Plymouth, Newton Abbot, Dorchester and Salisbury. Co-cars membership includes access to all Co-cars vehicles.
Co-cars offers its cars for hire to members by the hour with pick-up and return to the specially-reserved parking bays. Members can book 24/7 online or via a smartphone and use a smartcard and PIN to open the car and log their trip.
Individual and household membership costs just £25 per year, while business membership is free. Each hire costs from just £3.75 per hour, with discounts for daily hire, plus 18p per mile. Fuel, insurance, tax, maintenance and emergency cover are all included so there are no hidden costs.
Peter Gildener’s annual car mileage had been less than 1000 so he calculated that it was extremely expensive to run the car. “My partner agreed to ferry me about as and when I might need a lift so I sold my car. It was therefore an absolute boon when I discovered Co-Cars in Truro. It just involves a short walk or a bus ride to the station and there it is all pristine, the car is brilliant to drive and the service and help at the base really is second to none. Go Co-cars!
Co-cars member Helen Trevaskis said “I joined Co-cars the minute I moved to Falmouth as I’d been a member of something similar when I lived in Brighton. I use the car to visit family and friends or go out for the day and occasionally to do a big shop, basically in the moments when I really need it. The rest of the time I have a Vespa, use the bus and train and walk so it fits my lifestyle perfectly. Owning a car makes very little financial sense if you don’t use it almost every day so I know I’m saving a lot of money versus having a car sitting outside on the road depreciating!”
Marie Marks appreciated the opportunity to use Co-cars on holiday. She said “I travelled from Surrey to Cornwall by train. I had seen the advertisement for Co-cars before I left and once there, I joined the scheme. It was quite simple (note: you do need your driver’s licence) and enabled us to have the freedom of Cornwall without getting stuck in all the traffic on the way there and back. It was great value for money and the people on the other end of the phone were amazingly helpful. It’s a brilliant scheme and I only wish it were available in Surrey – I would definitely subscribe. Try it!”
To mark the first anniversary in Cornwall Co-cars will be on Lemon Quay from 9.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday 9th June. Find out what it’s all about, take a look at a car, and take advantage of the first anniversary offer. Those who register on the day and complete the application process within a week, will receive their first year’s residential membership for half price (£12.50 instead of £25) and £5 driver’s credit per person (£10 for 2 person household), which has to be used by 31st August.