From January 2006 we have a fleet of four vehicles.* Two of these are smaller vehicles in the ‘supermini’ category: a Vauxhall Corsa and a Skoda Fabia, both are 5-door hatchbacks for greater flexibility. Our two larger vehicles are a Vauxhall Astra Estate and a Citroen Berlingo. The Astra is a small family car but the extra room the Estate provides enables fairly large loads to be carried. The Berlingo is altogether bigger with plenty of room for 5 adults and masses of storage room when the back seats are tilted forward.
* A ratio of one vehicle for every ten active members will be maintained at all times. This is a higher ratio than the majority of car share schemes in the UK who currently maintain a one vehicle for every 12 members (which results in their members getting the booking they wanted 92% of the time)..
Each vehicle will be covered by comprehensive insurance and a nation-wide breakdown and recovery service (including windscreen replacement).
They will all be fitted with: an alarm system, radio, a mobile phone for emergency use, a reversing sensor, essential tools, an 'in case of accident' and first aid pack and removable car seats, booster seats and roof racks / boxes will be provided free of charge for young children (a returnable deposit may be required).
We shall be purchasing used vehicles of approximately 1 - 4 years of age in good condition. All scheme vehicles will be maintained in good condition and replaced if they become unreliable or are showing signs of age.
Regular servicing and safety checks is carried out on all vehicles. We have a service contract with a local garage.
In subsequent years we will add to, and replace vehicles dependent on the requirements of the membership and taking into account the environmental impact of replacement vehicles in terms of manufacture, recyclability and emissions, and subject to availability and resources.
After looking at the environmental impact of different fuel options, we intend to purchase diesel vehicles to enable us to take full advantage of the developing market and interest in bio-fuels. Initially an accredited bio-fuel will be purchased in from suppliers such as Rix bio-diesel. Initially the cost will be comparable with ordinary diesel due to the transport costs, however we are also looking long term at forming a partnership with a local initiative to produce local accredited bio-diesel and to use this in our vehicles, which will cut down on fuel transportation costs, both financially and environmentally. As new fuel technologies (hybrid, electric, fuel cell, etc) become more available and affordable we shall review our vehicle energy policy.