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Car club membership rises by almost a quarter, report finds

A report has revealed 10,000 private vehicles have been taken off the road due to car clubs (Credit: Yui Mok/PA)
A report has revealed 10,000 private vehicles have been taken off the road due to car clubs (Credit: Yui Mok/PA)

Membership of car clubs in Scotland has seen nearly 10,000 privately owned vehicles taken off the roads, a new report has revealed.

Research by Collaborative Mobility, a transport charity, showed 37,993 people in Scotland were members of car clubs in 2021 – up by almost a quarter (24%) since 2020.

Car clubs allow members to use vehicles through pay per use and save money on the cost of running a car.

Collaborative Mobility’s Car Club Annual Report estimates that 17 private cars were replaced by each vehicle in Scotland’s 567-strong car club fleet, and that nearly 10,000 have been taken off the road by currently active members.

A survey showed 73% of respondents in Scotland agreed that membership had saved them money.

The charity also said car clubs cut carbon emissions and congestion as it provides members access to cleaner vehicles.

Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth MSP, welcomed the report. She said: “Car Clubs are growing from strength to strength in Scotland and have the potential to reduce reliance on private cars and ownership, reducing inequalities and helping to protect our climate.

Jenny Gilruth MSP
SNP’s Jenny Gilruth who welcomed a report from Collaborative Mobility showing car club membership has risen in Scotland (Jane Barlow/PA)

“When considering our world-leading commitment to reduce car kilometres travelled by 20% by 2030, car clubs can play a role – in combination with other interventions to support sustainable travel, as set out in our route map. I look forward to continuing our work with Collaborative Mobility UK to evaluate and champion the benefits of shared mobility.”

Rachael Murphy, Scotland director of Collaborative Mobility UK, said: “Car clubs replace privately-owned cars with fewer and more efficient vehicles, which are easy and affordable to access 24/7.

“Motorists can save thousands of pounds a year by not owning a car, and our survey shows this also results in them engaging in a more active lifestyle through walking and cycling.

“These schemes, along with other shared transport modes like bike and ride sharing, have the potential to dramatically reduce congestion on our roads and carbon emissions.

“If Scotland is to meet its ambitious climate change targets, we must harness the full potential of car clubs and shared transport.”