Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Roddy Graham's blog: 26 March 2010 - Clubbing together
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Roddy Graham's blog: 26 March 2010 - Clubbing together

Date: 26 March 2010

Car clubs and car share schemes are back in the news and all positive stuff too. As regular readers of my blog will know, they are subjects close to my heart.

At Budget Rent a Car, I introduced both and, in the case of car clubs, the Edinburgh City Car Club was the first commercial car club launched in the UK. It won a major environmental award ten years ago, a year after launch.

In 2008, there were over 64,000 car club members by year end, double the amount over the previous year. Now the Carplus annual survey reveals that growth continues to climb with membership last year breaking the 100,000 barrier.

There are now 46 car clubs spread up and down the country and Carplus, the national charity promoting car clubs, is keen to get more businesses on board. It claims quite rightly that by joining a car club, businesses can not only save money but can replace paying mileage allowances as well as tackling the grey fleet issue.

As a viable alternative to pool cars for organisations based in towns and cities, car clubs make eminent sense.

Recently, the Energy Saving Trust was highly critical of organisations, identifying a 'green gap' between green declarations and actions.

Becoming a member of a local car club can not only prove more cost-effective than running a car pool fleet but can also immediately boost an organisation's green credentials and enhance its corporate social responsibility position.

Car clubs represent a perfect alternative to car ownership for city dwellers but also a green solution to city-based organisations.

Carplus is promoting car clubs as a cost effective route to a low carbon Britain. They are not the whole solution but they are certainly part of the solution.

Meanwhile, various technology providers are leaping on the car share bandwagon by providing web-based systems to manage car share schemes. Again, back in my Budget days, we worked with car share solution provider, Vipre on just such a basis. That was over ten years ago. Not much has really changed in the meantime. What really needs to change is the mind-set of employees.

At a time when everyone is trying to save money, now is the ideal time to encourage more employees duplicating regular car journeys to car share with fellow employees. It's not rocket science, can lead to greater bonding between employees improving overall staff morale in the process.

You can bet that if there is little impetus from the current economic environment then the introduction of workplace parking levies may prove the catalyst for change. With the Association of British Insurers advising that vehicle insurance policies will not be invalidated as long as money only changes hands to cover costs, there really is no excuse for more employers to encourage their staff to car share.

Again, another opportunity to bolster CSR credentials.