Car rental 2.002 Jul 2012

A 'Boris bike' scheme... only for cars

The success of the Boris bike scheme in London could pave the way across the UK for one-way car clubs based on the same idea.

Research for the RAC Foundation shows there are already 100,000 people in London signed up to ‘traditional’ car clubs (such as Zipcar and City Car Club) which allow drivers to rent vehicles by the hour picking them up from scores of on-street locations before returning them to the same location later.

But a new report – Car Rental 2.0 – by Scott Le Vine of Imperial College suggests a rental scheme based more closely on the Boris bike scheme could have a potential market of 1.6 million people in the capital alone. This type of model would allow people to pick up a car in one place and drop it off elsewhere.

One such scheme started in Paris just before Christmas. Autolib’ offers more than 1,700 cars at 250 locations across the city.

car2go will try to replicate the idea in Birmingham this autumn in the first scheme of its type in this country.