In this economic slowdown most people are looking at ways of saving money, especially when it comes to running a car. That could be simply downsizing, doing less mileage or buying a lower engine size and spending less. However if you only use your car sporadically or just at weekends there may be an easier way.
Streetcar.co.uk operate a car/van members club and for a £49.50 annual fee members can have unlimited use of a car or van for as little as 30 minutes or as much as 6 months at a time. The fees are from £3.95 per hour for a car and £8.95 for a van (or £39.50 and £69.50 per day) with the vehicle being fully insured and coming with 30 miles of free petrol for customer use.
The scheme is mainly run in London and the south and operates by having cars parked in a dense network of dedicated spaces strategically located around the city so a member is never far from collecting (or returning) their car. They are reserved online or by phone and the precise location of the vehicle is sent via SMS or e-mail. Access to the vehicle is gained through the use of a high tech smartcard which then further enables the customer to punch in a pin number and obtain the keys to start their journey.
The cars themselves are mainly Volkswagens Golfs and Polo BlueMotions (which in London means as the c02 emissions are so low there is no congestion charge payable).
This simple idea means that the cost of usage is based on how long the car is used and unless you are a high mileage regular car user streetcar claim that annual costs will be dramatically lower than owning and running your own car but without the hassle of maintaining it and (even more relevant today) no worries about depreciation costs.
We here at MTI think that this is a great alternative to car ownership and means that there are less cars on the road which in turn has a positive effect on the environment. We would obviously like to hear from any members or people who have experienced this service but, on the face of it we can see nothing but positives and if you do use a car for maybe only the weekends then the cost will be far lower annually than ownership.
A great way of carrying on using a car and saving money, and a more flexible alternative to traditional car rental.
Check it out for yourself… www.streetcar.co.uk