Position Papers
Robert Sheldon and Chris Heywood
Accent Marketing & Research Ltd (UK)
Published in
Submitted by
Peter Midgley, gTKP
Related theme(s)
Urban Mobility
Europe (EU)
United Kingdom

Demand for Car Pooling in the UK

This paper describes the findings of a research study being undertaken by Accent into the potential for car pooling schemes in the UK. The study has been commissioned by the Department of Transport under its Seedcom Research programme.

‘Car pooling’ is the concept whereby vehicles are available within a community or locality for individuals to hire on a ‘club’ basis. Such a concept is known as ‘ear sharing’ on the Continent. It is also referred to in the literature as the City Car Club concept.

In this paper, we refer to ‘car pooling’ and not to ‘car sharing’ (which in the UK typically refers to the sharing of cars for specific trips).

Car pooling was developed in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands in the early 1990s. The schemes there are typically run by private organisations (often car hire companies). Typically, members have access to a local pool of cars which they can reserve by telephone. The car can be delivered or is ready to be picked up from the car pool (sited very near the member’s home address). Members pay a joining fee and then are charged on use only (def’med by mileage and/or time).

Car pooling is designed to reduce overall car use, reduce pressure on residential parking space and increase use of public transport/bike/walk for trips.