The Gumtree Blog

Guest blog post – Streets Alive on car sharing

Friday 12 November 2010, by

Living in the city, many people don’t drive enough to justify the expense of owning a car and yet they have occasions, be it weekly shopping trips to city weekend escapes, when having access to a car suits their needs.  And on the other hand, several privately owned cars are being used infrequently in the week and often for short journeys, only to then sit ideal during the day and often at weekends.

The rise of shared transport has been made mainstream through car clubs like Street Car but a movement of car sharing agreements between neighbours and local friends, a  concept started and popular in the States, is now building momentum on this side of the pond.

With many privately owned cars being used infrequently in the week and for short journeys, only to sit ideal during the day and often at weekends, neighbours are forming networks to maximise car ownership, capitalising on the convenience and costs.

The relationship works for people in so many circumstances and with different arrangements – and the best surprise of all is that it is not as complicated as people may first think regarding insurance and upkeep, works to the benefit of all parties purse strings and doesn’t compromise on the convenience of having a car readily and locally available.

I have a local friend as a named driver on my insurance policy who uses my car three times a week for work and on days when I have no need for it.  He pays me £35 a month to cover associated costs which I pool against maintenance and upkeep of the car, and petrol is paid for by both of us as we go.  I am aware of plenty of other set ups of car sharing,  including lodgers and house mates who share, and neighbours who live a few streets apart from each other who rotate ownership on a weekly basis which also factors in specific requests for use.

For more information on how to arrange a successful car share, check out our Car Share Guide and head to Gumtree’s community listings section to find or recruit your perfect car share partner. Who knows, you may even meet a great neighbour you didn’t know, and make some new friends in the process!

Chris Gittins, Streets Alive

Streets Alive builds community spirit at the street level through communities meeting in traffic-free streets, especially in street parties.  As a not-for-profit group since 2001 we have developed ways of engaging communities in social issues such as social cohesion, community safety, neighbourhood management, greener travel, children’s play and housing.

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