The largest UK car club outside of London is at Brighton & Hove

Brighton & Hove is the capital of modern thinking according to the City Car Club, With their membership base increasing in the region by 24% up to over 3000, it would appear that an increasing number of us are giving up our cherished motors and instead favouring an option that is all the more sustainable and economical.

Due to the increasing high demand for their car sharing scheme, City Car Club have been forced recently to expand their fleet by 38% and now have 72 vehicles. There is even more expansion planned within Brighton & Hove over the next year, meaning that by 2014 Brighton will be home to more than 100 City Car Club vehicles, and this is mainly thanks to the hard work by Brighton & Hove City Council.

Amongst these new vehicles will be the new Toyota Auris Tourer – the greenest estate car available with CO2 emissions of just 87g/km, perfect for families and big car enthusiasts alike. A more exciting prospect is the introduction of the new Toyota Aygo ICE, available to rent from as little as £4.95 an hour, making it the most cost effective city car – perfect for the budget conscious.

Carplus – the regulatory body for UK car clubs state that up to £3,500 a year can be saved by switching from car ownership to this pay as you go model, not a small sum in anyone’s books. As well as the obvious financial savings, the cars come with their own allocated parking spaces mostly in residential areas. The car club operator looks after all of the maintenance and cleaning of the cars, saving members all the hassles and time commitments that come with traditional car ownership. A recent survey conducted by Carplus has found that 97% of car club users were thrilled with the car club scheme.

People are very attached to their cars – after all the car is on average the second biggest purchase you will make in your life, car ownership has always been ‘normal’. However, excluding the daily commute (which can often be done via public transport) you would be surprised how little people actually use their car. Yet people continue to pay thousands of pounds a year running and maintaining their vehicles to just sit dormant on the driveway the majority of the time.

However there seems to be a shift in mind-sets (particularly within the Brighton and Hove areas) in favour of a more economical and environmentally sustainable option. Imagine never having to pay for break down cover, fuel, repairs, servicing, MOT’s, or excessive insurance premiums ever again – As well as knowing you are doing something nice for the planet.

According to Norman Baker ,Transport Minister “Each car club vehicle can result in taking 24 private vehicles off the road and the low carbon vehicles used typically emit approximately 33% less CO2 than the average car. This is why we are supporting the continued growth of car clubs across the country”.

City Car Club provides its members with self- service, hourly vehicle rental 24/7/365 as a convenient and cost effective alternative to ownership. 600+ cars and vans (set to increase by 15% in 2013) are located in convenient locations across Manchester and 14 cities UK wide including Leeds, Edinburgh and London. Vehicles are booked online or by phone, from as little as 30 minutes and accessed using smart-enabled membership cards.

James Finlayson, City Car Club’s MD and manager of the London fleet commented: “we are continuing our expansion within Brighton as the people there are becoming more and more responsive to the scheme, and why not, it’s helping them reduce costs, congestion and emissions whilst retaining convenient access to a car.”