Monday, March 17, 2008

£77.50 - the benefit of a clear green conscience

I read this announcement this morning, which made me think of the number of sustainable transport initiatives operating in Scotland already, including the one I recently joined – the City Car Club in Edinburgh.

My trusty Renault Laguna went for its MOT last month and didn’t return. If I’d have known the Scrapyard was going to give me £77.50 for it based on its weight I definitely wouldn’t have spent an hour clearing out 3 years of accumulated crap from the boot ;)

So I joined the Car Club. It cost £75 upfront, and £5 a month to bring the insurance excess down from £500 to a more manageable £100, and costs me £4.50 an hour to drive, which includes tax, insurance and petrol. It’s currently working out slightly cheaper than running my old car, but I’d expect it to save me in the medium term as I don’t have repairs to pay. I’ve booked on the phone and online so far with no problems.

The best thing about it is the fact that after a couple of quick emails to the Car Club, they are due to put one of their cars in my private parking space outside my flat. The car will be available to all members, so anyone can hire it, but it’s going to be pretty handy to have immediate access to a car at my doorstep. I’ve already found that I’ve been able to book the car I want in the location I want every time of asking, so although I don’t expect a 100% record forever, I know that it’s likely that I’ll be able to book it when I need it. If having the car on my street acts as an incentive for more members, they’ll look at putting new cars in the area to cope with demand.

So I’m driving a smaller car, reducing my own emissions. I’m also driving less, as having a direct hypothecated cost for stepping into a car stops unnecessary journeys, and I’ll hopefully also help to reduce the parking chaos in the streets around me as more people nearby get rid of their own car to take advantage of the new Car Club vehicle on their doorstep.

So this is a win-win-win: for my pocket, for my neighbours, and for our environment.

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