Car clubs - a form of neighbourhood car rental - offer an alternative to private car ownership. Carplus, the environmental NGO promoting car clubs and car sharing, has conducted annual surveys of people belonging to car clubs since 2007. This year, the results have been analysed for separate geographical areas - specifically, London, England & Wales (excluding London) and Scotland. This report outlines the results for Scotland. As in previous years, the survey results show that car clubs have a significant effect on personal car ownership. From a sample of 366 Scottish respondents, after becoming a car club member, 33% report that they have reduced the number of cars in their household. Of members getting rid of a car, 63% report that joining the car club has been the main, or a major, factor in their decision, whilst only 15% report that it has not had any effect. In addition, 31% of respondents report that they would otherwise have bought a car, and 66% report that their likelihood of buying a car in the next few years has reduced (compared with only 4% who report that their likelihood has increased). Compared to the average Scottish household with at least one full license holder, car club members make relatively frequent trips by means other than the car, and drive relatively low mileages. Specifically, their households drive an average of between 1,864 and 2,629 miles a year (the average figures for 95% and 99% members, respectively), whilst, according to the National Travel Survey, the average Scottish household with at least one full license holder drives a total of 9,688 miles a year. After joining a club, 40% members report that their mileage stays the same, 24% report that it increases, whilst 36% report that it decreases - however, whilst the average increase is a relatively modest 930 miles p.a., the average decrease is much greater, at 3,424 miles p.a.. Given the low mileages driven, and the fact that car club vehicles are typically considerably less polluting than the average British car, on average, car club member households are likely to be generating considerably less than half of the carbon dioxide emissions and local air pollutants from car use compared with the average Scottish household with at least one full car license holder.

Want to know more about this project?