Car Clubs – What are the benefits for developers/investors?

As the population is continually growing in the UK this means we face many challenges with housing, transportation, congestion and the environment as a whole, Car Club schemes such as Zip Car bring an alternative to owing a car and introduces a new way of dealing with some of these challenges.

What is a Car Club scheme?

Members of a Car Club can book a car or van for hire 24 hours a day online, through an app, or over the phone. Payment is made directly from a bank account based on how many miles the driver has driven and how long they have had the vehicle for. Insurance, fuel, and any congestion charges are all included in the cost paid, making it hassle free, easy and convenient. Joining a Car Club ultimately gives the member instant access to a car or van in their local area whenever needed without the expense of owning one.

Transport for London supports the scheme and explains in more detail:

https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/car-clubs

What are the benefits for such schemes in property?

Used in the right locations, Car Clubs can be a very effective way to promote sustainable housing developments.

  • Plans to incorporate the scheme in a development area could potentially help to increase some elements of planning permission, the scheme supports polices to cut congestion, reduce emissions and reduce parking issues.
  • Can be a selling point specially in congested city areas.
  • Could support issues surrounding parking facilities or car storage facilities for professionals or households who residents have one or more vehicles.
  • Increase the value of the development and each apartment.

Articles dated as far back as 2009 in the Telegraph newspaper highlight’s the issue surrounding new builds and parking facilities:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/new-homes/6215728/New-homes-with-car-parking-space-are-hard-to-find.html

Consideration of the below points should indicate the suitability of the scheme, it is important to look at each project individually as every development and catchment area differs.

  • In urban areas with high population rates i.e. London, Manchester, Birmingham.
  • A high number of residential developments within the same location.
  • Parking constraints roads, developments with no parking facilities, congested street parking, developments which are based in or very near city centres.

Further comprehensive information can be found in a report conducted by Car plus in 2016 where it provides a review of good practice and the experiences of key local authorities in the UK in implementing car free and low car developments over the ten year period 2003-2014:

https://como.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Car-Clubs-in-New-Developments-Report-1.pdf

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