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Car clubs

A car club is a car sharing network which provides an easy, cheap and environmentally friendly alternative to owning a car.

Last updated: 22 December 2022

Next review: 22 December 2023

What is a car club?

A car club is a car-sharing network that provides an easy, cheap and environmentally friendly alternative to owning a car. A car club vehicle is parked near where you live, ready for hire when you need it. Car clubs help to reduce the number of private vehicles on the road as users often choose to give up a private vehicle or not to purchase a new car. This helps to free up parking spaces and reduce CO2 emissions.

There are two types of car clubs operating in Waltham Forest: round-trip (or fixed bay-based) and one-way (or flexible).

The round-trip car clubs are offered by Enterprise, Zipcar and Hiyacar. Car club cars and vans are parked on-street in their own designated bays. Vehicles need to be returned to their original parking bay when you have finished using them. There are 89 round-trip car club vehicles in the borough.

Zipcar also offers Zipcar Flex, a flexible one-way car-share service. Members can pick up and drop off a vehicle in any of the following boroughs and airport terminals:

  • Ealing
  • Hackney
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Haringey
  • Islington
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Merton
  • Richmond
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Waltham Forest
  • Wandsworth
  • Westminster 
  • Heathrow Terminal 5

Zipcar members can access both round-trip fixed bay vehicles and flexible vehicles using the same free app.

What are the benefits of using a car club?

The expansion of car clubs can help local residents and businesses by:

  • Providing an easier alternative to owning a car as you don't have to organise tax, parking permits and insurance.
  • Helping you save money if you drive two or three times a week (6,000 to 8,000 miles per year) you could save up to £3,500 annually by giving up a car and joining a car club.
  • Helping you move home or carry heavy shopping if you don’t own a car.
  • Making more parking space for everyone. 28% of car club members based in London have reduced the number of vehicles owned by their household since joining a car club. It is estimated that each club car replaces 10.5 vehicles removed from the road in the last 12 months.
  • Reducing NOx and CO2 pollution thanks to new car share cars that are cleaner and more fuel-efficient.
  • Easing local traffic congestion because residents and businesses are less reliant on private vehicles and use them more sparingly
  • Giving people who cannot afford their own car access to vehicles when they need them.

For more information, please visit the Como website.

How does it work?

Enterprise, Zipcar and Hiyacar vehicles are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be booked by the hour, day or as long as you need them. Cars can be booked online, through the relevant app or by phone. Zipcar Flex vehicles can be found in the Zipcar app.

There are three main differences between the flexible service and the dedicated bay scheme. With the Flexible service (Zipcar Flex):

  • You don't need to make reservations
  • There is no return point and no fixed return time, so you can take the vehicle on one-way trips
  • You can park the vehicle in any valid bay.  You don't need to use designated bays.

Valid bays exclude dedicated bays such as disabled, doctors, car club bays, loading bays, and electric vehicle charging bays etc. There are also a few areas of high parking stress where vehicles cannot be left. Full details of valid parking bays are included within the vehicles.

How much does it cost?

Zipcar membership costs a one-off £10 joining fee or £6 a month for a membership, and cars start at £6.00 per hour.

Enterprise Car Club annual membership costs from £7 a month for a membership and cars start at £7.65 per hour.

Hiyacar membership is free and cars start at £4 per hour. Booking and insurance fees are charged separately.

Tax, fuel, insurance, parking in the designated bay, congestion charges, servicing and repairs are included in the cost of all car club schemes.

How do I join?

Request a bay

We are working to expand the dedicated car club network in Waltham Forest. To request a car club bay near you, email carclubs@walthamforest.gov.uk.