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What is Hour Car?

Hour Car is a not-for-profit community Car Share scheme, currently one of only two rural-based carshare schemes to be established in the North of England and the first in the country to run its vehicles on environmentally friendlier bio-diesel. The vehicles belong to its members and can be hired as required. The scheme will also support rideshare where members can also share rides to common destinations and share the costs.

There are cars available in Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Todmorden.

Background

Many privately owned cars sit in parking spaces for most of their lives, available to drive but largely unused. An expensive privilege hundreds, maybe thousands of pounds are spent before driving: the cost of buying the car itself, interest on car loans, insurance, road tax etc. not to mention the problems of garaging and parking.

Hiring a car can be similarly expensive as well as being a laborious process. Hire charges range from 30 to 60 just for a day, you need to produce your licence, sign insurance declarations and pay a deposit every time you book. Rental arrangements are also inflexible you may only need a car for an hour, but chances are a minimum daily rental will apply.

A Car Share scheme solves many of those problems, offering a midway approach to car use. It costs less and promotes a responsible attitude to the environment fewer cars means less traffic and parking congestion and less local and global pollution.

How does it work?

Car Share schemes own or lease the vehicles, sharing the cost between its members. This means that vehicles are available to members at a much lower cost that either owning or hiring.

Members pay an annual membership fee (less than the cost of road tax for an average car), which will include the cost of comprehensive vehicle insurance, breakdown service, etc. then they only pay a small hourly hire charge and fuel at cost per booking.

Booking is via a 24-hour online reservation service, or during the day by telephone. Licence details are recorded when you first join so you don't need to produce them again unless there are changes.

What makes the Hour Car scheme particularly innovative is the fact that the vehicles will be run on bio-diesel, a fuel made from vegetable oil, which is extremely environmentally friendly. For those travelling a distance however, the vehicles can also be filled up with ordinary diesel without any problems. The vehicles will be filled up each day and users will be billed according to their mileage use every month.

This is a simple, friendly alternative to either car ownership or to having a second car. You can book a car at anytime for as long or as short a time as you need, you don't have to worry about servicing, repairs, maintenance, tax or insurance as all that is handled for you. You simply join and drive - when you want for as long (or as short) a time as you want. The end result is people able to use a car (and pay for it) only when they need a car rather than paying for a car to sit idle outside your house.

Why not find out more?