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Streetcar and similar car clubs

RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
edited July 2009 in Commuting chat
As much as I like my bike, there are times (work aside) that a car is needed

I'd love to ditch the car at some point, and these car clubs look like the way to go - certainly more attractive than ownership.

Has anyone on here used them? What have your experiences been?

Posts

  • CorianderCoriander Posts: 1,326
    I'm a member of Streetcar and so far it's been fab: the whole set up is incredibly efficient

    Just occasionally the person before you is late back with their car, but you then get a compensation payment. You'll probably need to make weekend bookings a good few days in adviance.
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    Oooh, I've never heard of these. I sometimes have need of a car, and something like this would be great. Shame the nearest one (Streetcar) is 170 miles away. :D
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Coriander wrote:
    I'm a member of Streetcar and so far it's been fab: the whole set up is incredibly efficient

    Just occasionally the person before you is late back with their car, but you then get a compensation payment. You'll probably need to make weekend bookings a good few days in adviance.
    Edit: Thanks! :)

    Hmmm...

    I had a quick look at their site. Are most of the locations just single car slots, or are there multiple slots where you have less chance of delay if the previous person is late? Do you have to book or can you just arrive and drive?
  • CorianderCoriander Posts: 1,326
    Roastie wrote:
    Coriander wrote:
    I'm a member of Streetcar and so far it's been fab: the whole set up is incredibly efficient

    Just occasionally the person before you is late back with their car, but you then get a compensation payment. You'll probably need to make weekend bookings a good few days in adviance.
    Hmmm...

    I had a quick look at their site. Are most of the locations just single car slots, or are there multiple slots where you have less chance of delay if the previous person is late? Do you have to book or can you just arrive and drive?

    The slots near me are single ones, though I think a (very) few are multiple. But the delay thing has only happened to me once (it is a pretty hefty fine - £40). No, you do have to book in advance, but as far as I'm aware you can book via the phone or the internet immediately before if the car you want is free.

    I have quite a few cars within a mile of my house, and given how Streetcar are expanding, I assume you probably have.

    It's obviously never going to be as convenient as having your own car parked outside your own house; I've never had my own car and find this a happy compromise.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    I had a streetcar membership for a while, it's a great service. Jacked mine in as the company got an account, they've now closed it so I'll have to rejoin.

    I don't want to own a car, even a cheap reliable one costs more than a really good bike - frankly I;d rather spend the money on cycling. So Streetcar is perfect. As Coris says, the system is easy to use and efficient.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Coriander wrote:
    ...It's obviously never going to be as convenient as having your own car parked outside your own house; I've never had my own car and find this a happy compromise.

    Thanks for all the info, much appreciated and very interesting.

    As for convenience, it still sounds like a great service. Sure, maybe not as easy as a car parked outside your door. But with all the faff of paying for residents' parking, taking it for servicing, dealing with annoying call centres for renewing insurance, etc. - perhaps it isn't so inconvenient after all?
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    I don't want to own a car, even a cheap reliable one costs more than a really good bike - frankly I;d rather spend the money on cycling. So Streetcar is perfect. As Coris says, the system is easy to use and efficient.
    :) I'm sold.
  • patchypatchy Posts: 779
    Do you use it for short trips or for longer trips? I keep considering it, but would primarily use it for weekends away, and the per day charge plus mileage struck me as mildly more expensive than hiring a standard car...
    point your handlebars towards the heavens and sweat like you're in hell
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Roastie wrote:
    I don't want to own a car, even a cheap reliable one costs more than a really good bike - frankly I;d rather spend the money on cycling. So Streetcar is perfect. As Coris says, the system is easy to use and efficient.
    :) I'm sold.

    I must admit though I'm looking at rejoining as we speak and ZipCar look a good option, anyone used these guys?
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    patchy wrote:
    Do you use it for short trips or for longer trips? I keep considering it, but would primarily use it for weekends away, and the per day charge plus mileage struck me as mildly more expensive than hiring a standard car...

    well yes you need to be the target clients, i have reliable car which is very close to valueless, i don't pay for parking, i'm over 30 in a "good" area etc.

    together with good local garage and reasonbly technical so for me as longer distance transport the car is almost always the quicker/cheaper option for middle/long journeys which is what we mostly keep the car for.
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    patchy wrote:
    Do you use it for short trips or for longer trips? I keep considering it, but would primarily use it for weekends away, and the per day charge plus mileage struck me as mildly more expensive than hiring a standard car...

    I keep thnking the same thing (only with Whizzgo, which I think is the only option here in Brum) and always come to the conclusion that it's not that great compared to just hiring a car. To be fair though I suppose that's not really what they have in mind, but even a spur-of-the-moment 3 or 4 hr trip on a summer evening could end up quite expensive.

    I've also never owned a car but I guess it could be that even those trips work out a lot cheaper than actually owning one.
  • d21dgad21dga Posts: 113
    I know a few people in Leeds who use Whizzgo and find it to be reasonably good. Quite a few businesses in Leeds use them due to the limited parking for pool cars in the city centre. Our company did some research a while ago and they reckoned it was cheaper to use Whizzgo for hire periods of 3 hours or less, otherwise standard car hire was cheaper. However that car hire is based upon our corporate discount rate so is less than standard retail price.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Fuel of course is a key factor. Streetcar say:

    You get thirty miles free petrol per calendar day. eg. If you have a booking from 2pm Wednesday to 2pm Thursday you get 30 miles free for Wednesday and 30 miles free for Thursday, so 60 miles free in total. After the free miles have been used, we charge 23 pence per mile.

    So great for city use, not great for long journeys!
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    MrChuck wrote:
    patchy wrote:
    Do you use it for short trips or for longer trips? I keep considering it, but would primarily use it for weekends away, and the per day charge plus mileage struck me as mildly more expensive than hiring a standard car...

    I keep thnking the same thing (only with Whizzgo, which I think is the only option here in Brum) and always come to the conclusion that it's not that great compared to just hiring a car. To be fair though I suppose that's not really what they have in mind, but even a spur-of-the-moment 3 or 4 hr trip on a summer evening could end up quite expensive.

    I've also never owned a car but I guess it could be that even those trips work out a lot cheaper than actually owning one.

    as ever the devil is in the details.
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