Mearns Car Club officially launched by MAP

The Mearns Commonwheels car club is being formally launched this Monday (May 28) at 11am on Min Laurencekirk at the Venue on the High Street.

The Car Club is being operated locally by the Mearns Area Partnership who have taken on the franchise from the national Car Club social enterprise Commonwheels and will run along side its existing community transport project, Mearns Community Transport.

The Car Club offers residents in the Mearns area an alternative approach to car use with 3 cars being available for hire. Two of the cars are based in Laurencekirk and a third will be located in Inverbervie. The car club is ideally suited to those who have cars they only occasionally use yet find the up keep of a car an ever increasing expense they could do without.

The cars comprise of two diesel Ford Fusions, one for each location and a larger Ford Galaxy able to carry 7 persons. The cars are available to hire by the hour and are fitted with the latest smart card technology allowing members of the new Car Club to book a car either on line or by phone with just a minutes notice 24 hours a day.

The car club operates using smart card technology, with each car having a scanner on the window screen which recognises the member’s card when passed in front of it and matches it with a booking made by the member.

The cars can be hired for as little as half an hour to as long as required and provide a unique resource for the rural areas residents who would normally have to travel much further a field to access a car hire.

MAP Development Worker Tony Archer said “If you drive less than 6-8,000 miles per year then a car club could save you up to £3,500 a year. Replacing a second family car with car club membership can bring even more cash savings.

A lot of people don’t notice the true costs of running a car, but when you add up the cost of tax, MOT, fuel, servicing, repairs, depreciation and parking you could be looking at an average of over a hundred pounds a week”

Mr Archer added “There are some important environmental benefits to joining the Mearns Commonwheels Car Club with the average U.K. car owner producing over 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide driving each year. Joining a car club can drastically reduce this as car club cars are more environmentally friendly and are used more efficiently.

On top of this, one car club car replaces over 20 private cars which mean not only fewer emissions but less congestion on the road and more parking spaces.”

The Mearns Commonwheels Car Club has been developed by MAP as part of a local transport initiative which evolved from work undertaken with funding from the Aberdeenshire Council Regeneration Priority Area fund.

Funding by Transport Scotland’s “Developing Car Clubs in Scotland Programme,” which is administered by the national car sharing charity Carplus, helped to purchase the cars and is providing support for the club in its first year.

The launch of the car club will be carried out by Mrs Susie Brown, MAP Chairperson, who will cut a specially commissioned cake made by the local bakery Bakery Bliss.

Anyone interested in joining the car club or seeking further information can contact MAP on 07788949267 or call in at the MAP office 44 High Street Laurencekirk.