Co-cars comes to Lemon Quay - offering a year’s free membership to Cornwall’s Car Club scheme

Co-cars, Cornwall’s hire-by-the-hour Car Club scheme will be on Lemon Quay, Truro on Saturday 15 July from 9am offering free first year residential membership for people who join within 7 days. Funded by Cornwall Council, the Department for Transport, Co-cars and Great Western Railways the Co-cars scheme recently launched with cars in Truro and Falmouth.

Co-cars members have 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.  Co-cars are aimed at occasional drivers, short trippers and families who don’t want or can’t afford the second vehicle and want to hire one for an hour or two. If you’re a local business or employer you can also benefit. 

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The Co-cars team will be at Lemon Quay explaining how pay-as-you-go driving works. Those who go along will be able to look at one of the smart new low emission cars which with the latest technology, allows you to book 24/7, swipe and drive as a Co-cars member.

The Co-cars in Cornwall are based at Truro and Falmouth Town railway stations and Truro’s Pydar Street car park. Co cars is a not for profit social enterprise based in Exeter operating in Devon, Wiltshire, Dorset, and now Cornwall. Co-cars membership provides access to all Co-cars vehicles. With cars now located at many railway stations people can connect their train journey with a station-based ‘hire by the hour’ car – how ‘joined-up’ is that? 

Whilst car clubs are a new concept to Cornwall, the Council are supporting this initiative as they are running successfully in other areas of the country including Devon and Dorset. Car club schemes like Co-cars go some way to supporting more sustainable, low carbon, forms of transport; research suggests that on average one car club car results in 10-20 private cars being taken off the road. As well as helping to purchase the cars Cornwall Council has provided marked parking bays for two cars at no cost. 

Co-cars aims to make car sharing simple and easy. The Company has streamlined the process down to a Click, Swipe and Drive. Once you’re a member you can book a car 24/7 on line or via a smartphone, swipe your membership card against the windscreen to unlock the car, enter a PIN and drive off. Members pick-up and return to the specially-reserved parking bays. Individual and household membership costs £25 per year, and there are two pricing options for businesses. Each hire costs from £3.75 per hour, plus 15p per mile. There are discounts for daily hire. Fuel, insurance, tax, maintenance and emergency cover are all included so there are no hidden costs.

Cornwall Councillor for Truro Boscawen Bert Biscoe, said ‘This is a really welcome new initiative. It could reduce the burdens of car ownership and encourage more people to live in the town centre, and help those already living in the centre to get out and about. It’s efficient, economic and environmentally constructive.’

Portfolio holder for Transport, Cornwall Councillor Geoff Brown said: “This is a very cost effective scheme which should greatly assist the occasional user to access a vehicle only when needed, thereby reducing congestion on our streets. Because of their eco-friendly nature these cars will also help to reduce the impact of emission levels in our towns”.

Truro resident and Co-cars member Sarah Wetherillsaid: ‘Being a member of Co-cars means I now have access to a car for those local trips that I can’t easily do by walking, cycling or using public transport. I’ve also used my membership to visit relatives near Dartmoor by taking the train to Exeter and picking up a Co-cars vehicle at Exeter station. It’s so convenient and with none of the wasted costs and stress of car ownership!’

Mark Hodgson, Founder and Managing Director of Co-cars said: 

“We are very pleased to be extending the car club into Cornwall and giving residents access to cars across our network. We focus on supporting the shift from owning to sharing, so members can focus on their life and having a great journey. And all this for only £25 per household membership (for two adults). It’s convenient, clever and once you ‘Co-car it’, you won’t look back.  You’ll save a surprising amount of money – up to £3,500 per year for the average household. That goes a long way towards funding a family holiday.”

If you are interested in finding out more, but are unable to attend the event, go to www.co-cars.co.uk, call 0345 345 2544 or email drive@co-cars.co.uk.

Posted 11 July 2017