Frequently Asked Questions | Co Cars

Frequently Asked Questions

Joining

How much does it cost to be a member?

If you join as either an individual or household, annual membership costs £25 and is charged each year on the anniversary of when you joined.

There is no annual membership fee if you join as a business. However, there is a £10 annual charge for each employee registered to use Co Cars.

When can I start booking cars?

All new members must wait until they have received their Co Cars membership smartcard before they can book and access a vehicle for their first hire.

How does drivers credit work?

‘Drivers credit’ refers to currency which is added to your Co Cars account, typically via a promotional offer. Any driving credit which has been applied to your account can then be used to pay for the hours you book when using a Co Cars vehicle. It cannot be used for covering costs associated with our joining fee or mileage.

Driving credit can typically be accrued via the use of promotional codes upon application to Co Cars, or by referring a friend to the car club. It is possible to accumulate driving credit over time, provided that you fulfil the requirements to receive further credit.

Is there a minimum/maximum age limit?

We can only accept members aged between 21 and 75. Existing members can continue their membership after their 76th birthday, subject to approval by us and our insurers.

I’m not from the UK. Can I join?

Welcome to the UK! We accept full driving licences that have been valid for 12 months or more from any country within the European Union and European Economic Area. We also accept driving licences from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey (please note you are only eligible to drive for 12 months from date of entry into the UK). You will need to be resident in the UK and have a UK bank account.

What documents do I need to provide with my application?

You will need to provide a copy of your driving licence, both front and back. For UK licence holders we require one proof of address and for non-UK licence holders we require two proofs of address.

Please choose from the following list:

  • Council Tax bill (dated within the current finance year)
  • Tenancy Agreement
  • Broadband/TV package contract **
  • Bank Statement **
  • Mortgage Statement **
  • HMRC correspondence **

** Must be dated within the last 90 days.

We can accept files in any of the following formats: JPG, JPEG, PNG, PDF and TIFF. A good quality scan of the document is preferable, but a clear photo of the document in good light is also acceptable.

Is insurance included?

Co Cars members are covered by our fully comprehensive insurance policy which includes both business and personal use. If any damage is caused during a booking, members over 25 are liable for up to £500, and members under 25 are liable for up to £800. Members over the age of 76 at the time of the incident, are liable for up to £1000.

For £100 per year, we are now offering a Collision Damage Waiver which reduces any damage liability to a maximum of £120 per person (not available for members over the age of 76). Contact us to find out more information.

 

Can I cancel my membership at any time?
Yes. If the club is not working for you, or your circumstances change, you can cancel your membership with immediate effect. Please e-mail your request to cancel to drive@co-cars.co.uk with your full name and membership number. No refund of unused membership will be given.
What is Household membership?

Household membership is an opportunity to add two individuals residing at the same residential address under one membership account. The cost is the same as joining as an individual – you get two for the price of one! Both members will have separate membership cards, are able to make separate bookings and have separate use of the vehicles. The Primary Household member is the principal member under the Co Cars Household membership, although both members are liable for all household invoices generated.

Please see our Household Membership Application page for more information

Can I add someone to my account?

Yes, as long as they share your residential address, they can be added as a secondary driver to your account for a one-off fee providing they meet our insurance requirements.

Please see Household Membership Application page for more information. Business Account holders can add employees for an annual membership fee.

How do I apply with a promotional offer?

You will need to enter your promotional code in the Promotion Code field when completing your application. Please note that only one promotional offer can be used when applying.

What if I need help outside of your normal operating / office hours?

We operate a 24 hour helpline on 01392 961385. Use this to call if you need emergency assistance outside of normal office hours, such as:

  • You have a breakdown
  • You are in an accident
  • You can’t return the car as there is another vehicle in its bay, or the Co Car car is not parked in its bay
  • You are unable to get into a car (this does not include lost smart cards, unless it is mid-booking)
  • You need to extend a booking if late (a charge may be applied)
What are your terms and conditions?

Please see our full Terms & Conditions here

Booking

How far in advance can I make a booking?

Our booking system allows you to book a car immediately or up to 12 months in advance. For immediate bookings, the start time will automatically default to the closest quarter of an hour interval, unless manually adjusted. For example, if you make an immediate booking at 09:20, the booking hire period will begin at 09:15.

Can I change and cancel a booking

Yes, you can cancel or change a booking at any time, by logging into the booking system. All your bookings (past, present and future) are listed here.

Cancellation charges are:

  • Within 30 minutes of entering your booking on the system – No charge
  • More than 5 hours from your scheduled ‘start time’ – No charge
  • Less than 5 hours from your scheduled ‘start time’ – 50% of your booking hire charge*
  • After the scheduled ‘start time’ – 100% of your booking hire fee

*Cancelling ‘within 30 mins of booking’ overrides ‘less than 5 hours’

I can't remember my Password - help!

We would have emailed your Password to the address you gave us following your successful registration. If you cannot find or remember it, please contact us via email drive@co-cars.co.uk or call 01392 961385 if it’s urgent.

When can I start booking cars?

All new members must wait until they have received their Co Cars membership smartcard before they can book and access a vehicle for their first hire.

Can I pick up a car in one location and drop it off at another one?

You must return your Co Car to its original bay at the end of your booking. If you are returning an electric vehicle, please make sure you plug it in to the charge point and ensure it is charging. Failing to do so may result in the receipt of a penalty charge notice.

How is the total cost of a booking calculated?

Car hire is charged for the time period of the entire booking (not just driving time), plus mileage. Our system automatically works out the cheapest rate for you – either per hour, day rate, or a combination.

How do I book a car?

You use our online booking system to make, change or cancel a booking at any time.

Can someone else drive during my booking?
Any Co Cars member can drive during your booking. Please enter their name in in ‘booking remark’ when making your booking. You remain liable for anything that happens on that booking, even if you are not driving at the time, though this doesn’t stop us also claiming against the other Co Cars member.
If I finish my reservation early, will I still be charged for the full time I have booked?

If you book a vehicle, but only need it for a portion of the time originally booked, you are still charged for the whole reservation; but the unused part of the reservation will be charged at 50% of the hourly rate (a “cancel or part cancel charge”). 

For example: If you book a Band 2 car for 4 hours, but return the car after 3 hours, you will be charged:

  • 3 hours at £4.25 (100%), booking hire rate = £12.75
  • 1 hour at £2.13 (50%), cancel or part cancel charge = £2.13
How long can I book a car for?

You can book a car for a minimum of 30 minutes. There is no maximum booking time, although you will need to contact us for any booking lasting longer than 7 days. If you do need a car for longer than 7 days, we do a special hire rate on our Band 1 and Band 2 cars.

Bookings can be allocated to within 15 minute increments. We encourage members to only book the vehicle for the time they require to use it.

Can I book a Co Car overnight?

Between 7pm and 7am from Mondays and Thursdays, we offer a special overnight rate of £11 (plus mileage) across all of our cars, but not including vans.

Driving

Can I pick up a car in one location and drop it off at another one?

You must return your Co Car to its original bay at the end of your booking. If you are returning an electric vehicle, please make sure you plug it in to the charge point and ensure it is charging. Failing to do so may result in the receipt of a penalty charge notice.

Do I need to pay for fuel?

Fuel is included in the final cost of the booking. If you do need to refuel, use the fuel cards provided. Co Cars will cover the refuelling costs. We ask all members to leave the car with at least a quarter of a tank of fuel at the end of their booking. Full instructions on fuel card use are provided in the booking system.

Can I drive a car anywhere in the UK?

Yes! Just be sure to return the Co Car to its dedicated parking bay at the end of your booking. If you are using one of our electric vehicles, you are responsible for any recharging costs at non Co Cars EV charging points. See our Electric Vehicles page for more information regarding charging.

Can I take a car abroad?

No. You are not permitted to take a Co Car outside of the mainland UK.

Where are the keys?

The keys or keyfobs are found in the car glove box. Always leave the keys in the car during your booking and use your smartcard to lock and unlock the car.

If you have booked an electric car, you do not need to use a keyfob. Full instructions of how to start your EV are in the booking system or can be found in the quick start guide inside the car.

If I finish my reservation early, will I still be charged for the full time I have booked?

If you book a vehicle, but only need it for a portion of the time originally booked, you are still charged for the whole reservation; but the unused part of the reservation will be charged at 50% of the hourly rate (a “cancel or part cancel charge”).

For example: If you book a Band 2 car for 4 hours, but return the car after 3 hours, you will be charged:

  • 3 hours at £4.25 (100%), booking hire rate = £12.75
  • 1 hour at £2.13 (50%), cancel or part cancel charge = £2.13
How do I refuel the car?

If you need to refuel, use the fuel cards provided and we’ll cover the costs. The fuel cards can be found in the glove compartment. We ask all members to leave the car with a quarter of a tank of fuel at the end of their booking. Please note that the fuel cards can be used at most major cashier-operated garages and some supermarkets. Do not use at pay-at pump stations.

When you go to pay, the cashier will ask for the registration of the vehicle and the current mileage. The vehicle registration is noted on the fuel card. You do not need to give the mileage. You do not need to take a receipt.

If, for whatever reason, you are unable to use the fuel card (whether it be damaged or missing) and you require fuel please purchase it with your own credit or debit card, keep the receipt and contact us to be reimbursed.  Should you discover the fuel card missing or damaged, contact us immediately.

The outside of car is dirty, should I get it cleaned?

Yes please! Although we check and clean the vehicles regularly, it really helps us out and keeps the cars looking their best for the next member. Especially if you’ve been unfortunate enough to be driving in miserable conditions and the car has gotten filthy.

The fuel card in the glove compartment will permit you free car washes at most major cashier-operated garages. 

The inside of the car is dirty, what should I do?

We check and clean the vehicles regularly but are not able to do so after every single booking. Therefore, we rely on our members to keep us informed about the cars and to help us look after them as if they were their own.

If, at the start of your booking, you discover the inside of the car is in poor condition (e.g. rubbish left behind, stained upholstery, dirt in boot or footwells) please email a photo to drive@co-cars.co.uk as soon as possible, preferably before you start your journey.  We will follow up with the bookings that immediately preceded yours and potentially charge the cost of a professional clean to the member responsible.

At the end of your booking, please ensure you leave the car in the condition you would wish to find it. You’ll find a dustpan and brush in the boot and, in the door side pockets, a cloth for the windows.

A part of the inside/outside of the car is damaged, what should I do?

Please report any damage, or markings – however minor or insignificant you feel it might be – to us as soon as possible, preferably before you begin your journey. The ideal method would be to email a photo to drive@co-cars.co.uk or you can give us a call. We will have our Fleet Support Team investigate and rectify. Please do not carry out any repairs yourself.

Can someone else drive during my booking?

Any Co Cars member can drive during your booking. Please enter their name in in ‘booking remark’ when making your booking. You remain liable for anything that happens on that booking, even if you are not driving at the time, though this doesn’t stop us also claiming against the other Co Cars member.

Can I take pets in the car?

Pets are not allowed in our cars as this could cause problems for other members (e.g. those with allergies). However, we understand that, on certain occasions, pets may need to be transported. If this is the case, please contact the office before making a booking.

Do I have to pay to re-charge electric cars?

Our dedicated Co Cars electric car parking bays have a charging post which is free for our members to use. However, you will be responsible for costs associated with non Co Cars charging points. For more information please see our Electric Cars page. When returning an electric vehicle to its bay once parked, please ensure that it is plugged in and charging. Failure to do so may result in the receipt of a penalty charge notice.

I have the car booked for 24 hours, do I always have to park it at the designated bay? Or can I park at home?

During your booking, you are wholly responsible for the car and you are free to park wherever you want. However you must abide by the Highway Code, make sure the car is safe and you’ll be liable for any parking tickets.

At the end of the booking, the car must be returned to its designated bay. 

What if I receive a Penalty Charge Notice?

You, the user, are responsible for paying for any penalty charges, parking permits, tolls or other charges levied as a result of using the vehicle. Co Cars is required by law to pass on the details of offending drivers to the relevant authorities. Any offences committed by one of our drivers are solely the responsibility of the driver, and not that of Co Cars.

What happens if the car breaks down while I'm on the road?

Our roadside assistance cover protects all our members. All the necessary details required are kept in the user guide, located in the glove compartment. Once you are safe and the necessary calls to emergency services / roadside assistance have been made – please contact us to let us know what’s happened.

What happens if I have an accident?

Your own safety is paramount. Make yourself safe then contact the emergency services / roadside assistance as you see fit. All the necessary details required are kept in the user guide, located in the glove compartment.Once you are safe and the necessary calls to emergency services / roadside assistance have been made – please contact us to let us know what’s happened.

What if there is another vehicle in the parking bay when I return the car?

Our bays are clearly marked ‘car club’ and are reserved solely for our use. If you do find another car in the bay, please park legally as nearby as possible and call us to let us know.

Billing

How does drivers credit work?

‘Drivers credit’ refers to currency which is added to your Co Cars account, typically via a promotional offer. Any driving credit which has been applied to your account can then be used to pay for the hours you book when using a Co Cars vehicle. It will not be used for covering costs associated with our joining fee or mileage. Driving credit can typically be accrued via the use of promotional codes upon application to Co Cars, or by referring a friend to the car club. It is possible to accumulate driving credit over time, provided that you fulfil the requirements to receive further credit.

How do I pay?

For Residential Members our monthly billing is paid through the secure online payment system, GoCardless. As part of the membership application process you will be required to set up a Direct Debit with GoCardless by completing a mandate for Co Cars Ltd.

Business Members will be required to select their method of payment options when completing the Organisation application form.

When will my Direct Debit be charged?

We generate your bill in the first week of the month for bookings made during the previous month. You will be given time to check the invoice and raise any queries, if you have any. We will then submit a request to GoCardless to collect payment for the invoiced amount via your Direct Debit. GoCardless will notify you, via email, before the payment is collected.

How is mileage calculated?
Mileage is calculated automatically by an in-car odometer fitted into our cars.
What if I receive a Penalty Charge Notice?

You, the user, are responsible for paying for any permits to park the vehicle during the hire period, as well as any tolls or charges levied as a result of using the vehicle.

Co Cars is required by law to pass on the details of offending drivers to the relevant authorities. Any offences committed by one of our drivers are solely the responsibility of the driver, and not that of Co Cars.