About Co-cars

Co-cars is very much an organisation with community roots providing a professional services to its members. We still benefit from a number of volunteers, including some of our board of Directors, and our priority is to achieve our social, sustainability goals.

The reason why Co-cars does what it does is the positive benefits the work brings about.  Sustainable development is when something balances environmental, social and economic pressures.  We see car clubs as being part of this balance.  We want to make sure future generations have the same or better quality of life than we do.

As co-operative we make sure our members have a say in how the organisation is run and that they share in any profits.  All our members have an equal vote, even if they’ve invested more money.  Co-operatives are a great way to do business and we hope to encourage more to use this fantastic business model.

Our Vision and Mission

Our vision is to be a truly sustainable enterprise providing services that change the way people move.

Our mission is to develop and deliver transport solutions to decrease carbon emissions and increase positive sustainability effects.

Co-cars values being a truly sustainable organisation directed by our members. We are of a collaborative nature and strive to work with local organisations whenever possible.

Innovative Sustainable Solutions

Transport equates to over 30% of CO2 emissions. Car clubs go some way to reduce overall journey distance and enable the use of more sustainable, low carbon, forms of transport. On average one car club car results in 10-20 private cars being taken off the road. When a car is purchased trips by public transport reduce by around 80% for the driver and 50% for non drivers.  A Co-cars member’s independent survey showed a 42% increase in usage of other forms of transport, including buses, with 75% of members driving less often and no one reporting an increase.

Why does it work?  Research by the University of Aberdeen has found that car use goes down because:

  • Car clubs encourage ‘resourceful mobility’
  • Transparent price signals – people become more judicious and selective when choosing travel modes
  • Tariff’s encourage ‘trip chaining’ which is more efficient

For each member, the average reduction in transport CO2 emissions is between 10-33% (Carplus Survey, 2009) due to less trips and miles travelled as behaviour changes. Detailed research shows car club usage reduces household CO2 by 8% pa. (GHG Impacts of Carclubs in US, 2010).

Co-cars can support lower income groups to have access to a car by making it more cost-effective, eliminating the hurdle of raising capital or being locked into higher purchase agreements.

Research by the New Economics Foundation shows increased local spend by car club members due to the increased use of local shops rather than supermarkets on normal shopping trips. Basing cars near shops encourages usage of those shops rather than people getting in their car at home and driving direct to supermarkets.

Professor Jillan Anable from the University of Aberdeen concluded that car clubs:

  • Encourage longevity of behaviour change
  • Enable other smarter choices to be adopted
  • Attractive to a number of traveller segments: i.e. the car-dependent and the travel poor
  • Target some of the harder to reach journey purposes
  • Break the link between car ownership and use
  • Offer a different model of car ownership which encourages the use of alternative options whilst signalling that car use can still be an appropriate and acceptable choice
  • Can ensure that voluntary shifts in behaviour can be maintained long term thus becoming the ‘glue’ to bind other soft and hard policies together
  • One of the most cost-effective carbon abatement measures in Scotland
  • Reduce CO2 through behaviour & technological change


DCC Logo Co-Operative South West DEBI Category Winner 2008 Carplus logo