Nissan-LEAF-Car-ClubBritish car clubs are to receive £500,000 of government cash to help further increase their popularity, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has announced.

The cash will be used to increase the number of pay-as-you-go car club members, which already totals 150,000 since they first came to the UK in 2005.

Ministers are hoping to tackle city centre traffic problems, particularly in Central London (where most current UK car-share members reside) by encouraging car clubs. One rental car, suggest estimates, can take the place of 17 individually-owned cars.

They also “cut congestion, reduce carbon and save people money while still giving people the freedom and flexibility to use a car when they want to,” said Baroness Kramer.

“Interest in car clubs is already gathering pace and we want to give that interest added momentum.

“This funding will highlight their many advantages to even more people and help take car clubs up a gear.”

Car club members: on your bike

The government argues car clubs really are a win-win. They help drivers saves thousands of pounds a year, and also help them get fit: studies show car club members tend to walk and cycle more often.

Careful fleet selection of pay-as-you-go car schemes means that the vehicles tend to have lower emissions than the average car (although in fairness, this is true for most new cars sold).

The government currently funds 48 car club and car-share schemes across the country, through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. More details of the two pilot schemes being funded by the some of the £500k cash will follow: these will, promises the government, “promote much wider access to car clubs”.

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