Co Cars Membership Terms

Driving by the rules makes things easier and fairer for everyone.

1. Start Your Engines!

1.1. This is your contract covering your membership of the Co Cars car club and your use of Co Cars vehicles.

1.2. It’s an important legal document, so we’ve tried to make it easy to understand. See how many bad, driving-related puns you can spot.

1.3. Where these terms say “you” or “your”, they’re referring to the person or organisation accepting these terms. Where they say “we”, “us”, “our” or similar things, they’re referring to Co Cars Limited, the community benefit society which runs Co Cars.

1.4. Any words following “including”, “includes”, “for example”, “in particular” or any similar expression are illustrative only and do not change the sense of the wider wording they are used in.

2. First Gear

2.1. To drive any Co Cars vehicle, you must meet the requirements set out below.

2.2. If you don’t, you normally can’t validly accept these terms (but there may be some for maneuver – see Note 2 below). In addition, most of these requirements are driven by insurance rules – so if you drive a Co Cars vehicle without meeting these requirements, you probably won’t be validly insured, which would mean you could be committing a criminal offence.

2.3. If at any point in future things change and you no longer meet all these requirements:

  • you must tell us; and
  • unless we’ve expressly agreed differently with you, your agreement with us (and your right to drive Co Cars vehicles) will automatically end (whether or not you tell us).

2.4. The requirements are that you must:

  • be aged between 21 and 75 years (though users over 75 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis – see Note 1 below);
  • have held a full driving licence for a minimum of 12 months;
  • if a UK licence holder, have an up-to-date driving licence which displays your current place of residence;
  • hold a full valid driving licence from one of the following countries:
    • UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa;
    • or any country within the European Union (EU); or
    • any other country within the European Economic Area, for example, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway;
  • not have been convicted of any major motoring offence, or have a prosecution pending for any major motoring offence (see Note 3 below for an explanation of major motoring offences);
  • not have more than 6 points on your licence in the last 5 years;
  • not have your driving licence suspended or endorsed in a way which would prevent you validly driving any Co Cars vehicle;
  • not have have had a motor insurance policy cancelled or a proposal declined or a renewal refused by an insurer;
  • have not, whilst driving, been involved in more than one accident during the past 5 years;
  • not be someone whose occupation is (or connected with) the following occupations which are restricted by our insurer:
    • Hawking or general dealers (e.g. market traders, merchants, second hand clothes dealers and the like).
    • Scrap merchants, vehicle dismantlers, or breakers.
    • Professional Gambling (other than as a clerical worker).
    • Professional Sport.
    • Entertainment Professions (including part-time).
    • Long term unemployed persons (not including retired people, those taking a career break, people in between jobs, people of independent means).

Note 1: Applicants aged 76 and over will be considered, subject to approval by us and our insurers.

Note 2: In certain circumstances, an applicant may be accepted on special terms (for example, a higher insurance excess and/or an additional insurance premium). The applicant will be notified of any special terms in writing and given the choice of whether or not to go ahead. Where special terms have been agreed, we reserve the right to change them, or withdraw them (and cancel your membership) if reasonably necessary to reflect our insurers’ requirements – we will give you as much advance notice as reasonably possible if this happens.

Note 3: Major motoring offences are, in general, those which are dealt with by a Magistrates’ Court rather than by a Fixed Penalty Notice. The detailed definition is set by our insurer (and runs to several pages), so if you are in any doubt please speak to us before applying for membership.

3. Use Restrictions

3.1. In addition to the above requirements, you can’t use, or allow the use of, any Co Cars vehicle for any of the following things (so if that was your plan, you need to put the brakes on your application or booking):

  • to carry out multi-drop deliveries (this does not include businesses who have to deliver their own products or paperwork, which is allowed)
  • to carry passengers or cargo for payment or reward (but you can share the cost of hire with passengers, so long as you don’t profit from that);
  • to propel or tow any vehicle, trailer or other object;
  • to take part in any competition, trial, performance test, race, rally, or trial of speed, including off-road events;
  • for driving outside mainland UK;
  • to convey pets or any other animals without written permission from us; or
  • for illegal or anti-social activity.

4. Join the Club

4.1. Co Cars is a car club. That means every user has to:

  • join the club; and
  • agree to the same terms.

4.2. By accepting these terms you are agreeing that they apply if your membership application is accepted by us. If we decline your application (which we’re allowed to do at our discretion), then these terms will not apply to you (or us).

4.3. If this agreement with you ends, so does your membership of Co Cars (and your right to use Co Cars vehicles).

4.4. If you breach these terms, we can also temporarily suspend your right to use Co Cars vehicles (which might include us taking back possession of any Co Cars vehicle you are using or preventing you from using it further). If we do that, your membership doesn’t end (though suspending you like this doesn’t stop you or us from ending this agreement where these terms allow it to be ended).

4.5. Although this is not something we are likely to do, we may cancel your membership at any time by providing you with at least one month’s notice. If we do this then we will pay to you, within 14 days of the cancellation date, a refund of your annual membership charge for the cancelled portion of the year in question (so if, for example, we cancel 3 months into your year’s membership, we will refund you 75% of the annual charge).

5. What We Do

5.1. Once you have been accepted as a member, you are allowed to book and use any available Co Cars vehicle in any location where we operate.

5.2. Once you have booked a Co Cars vehicle, we will make it available to you (in accordance with these terms) for the duration of your booking.

5.3. We will ensure that, as far as is reasonably possible, all Co Cars vehicles made available for booking are in a roadworthy condition and are regularly serviced.

5.4. We have contracted with a designated breakdown service provider to attend to any broken-down Co Cars vehicle. You must tell us about any breakdown.

5.5. To help ensure fairness, we will diligently apply these terms for all other Co Cars members.

5.6. If any event or circumstances beyond our reasonable control makes it impossible or impractical for us to fulfil our obligations to you, we are relieved from those obligations. If this affects any bookings (including bookings which have already started), your affected booking will automatically be cancelled, you will not be charged, and we will have no further obligation or liability to you in respect of that booking.

5.7. If you are not satisfied with our service, you can complain by e-mailing drive@co-cars.co.uk.

6. Rules of the Road

6.1. In addition to any more detailed obligations in these terms, you must:

  • use any Co Cars vehicle sensibly and safely (please see section 7 for more detail about what that looks like);
  • not allow anyone else to drive a Co Cars vehicle which you booked, unless they are also a Co Cars member named as a secondary driver in your booking (in which case 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);
  • tell us if something goes wrong (please see section 8 for more detail about that);
  • pay all due amounts in full and on time (please see sections 12 to 15 for further detail);
  • look after any Co Cars vehicle in your care (please see section 9 for more about that);
  • collect and return vehicles as described in more detail at sections 10 and 11.

6.2. If your application is accepted, we’ll send you a Smartcard. The following rules apply to your Smartcard:

  • You must not allow it to be used by anyone else, including other Co Cars members.
  • You must tell us immediately if it’s lost or stolen.
  • You must keep its associated PIN secure and secret.

6.3. By using any Co Cars vehicle, you are confirming that you have read and understood the User Guide and will comply with it.

7. Safe and Sensible

7.1. You must drive any Co Cars vehicle (or ensure it is driven) in a careful and skilful way at all times.

7.2. You must not, and must not allow anyone else to:

  • drive any Co Cars vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance impairing consciousness or ability to react;
  • smoke in any Co Cars vehicle;
  • drive any Co Cars vehicle in a way which breaches any traffic or parking regulations or restrictions; or
  • damage any Co Cars vehicle by driving in a way which is not appropriate to the vehicle type (for example, driving a manual car in a way which damages the gearbox or clutch due to non-careful driving).

8. If Something Goes Wrong

8.1. The financial consequences of certain things going wrong are set out in sections 13 and 14.

8.2. There is more information about insurance requirements and procedures at section 16.

8.3. In addition, you must tell us straight away if any of the following things happen while you have a Co Cars vehicle booked out:

  • you suffer a breakdown or other Co Cars vehicle malfunction (including a puncture);
  • you have to change any equipment on the vehicle (for example, light bulbs or wiper blades); or
  • a warning light comes on.

8.4. For any breakdown or other Co Cars vehicle malfunction (including a puncture), you must contact us and not try to fix it yourself or using anyone else.

8.5. If, while using a Co Cars vehicle, you have an accident involving any personal injury, loss or damage, or if it is stolen, you must:

  • report it to the police immediately; and
  • tell us as soon as reasonably possible (giving us the police reference number at the same time).

8.6. In addition, if you have an accident, you must not:

  • admit liability or guilt;
  • promise to pay anyone; or
  • attempt any repair.

9. Taking Care

9.1. For any Co Cars vehicle in your care, you must:

  • look after it;
  • make sure it is locked and secure when not in use;
  • use the correct fuel; and
  • use any security device fitted or made available by us.

9.2. You must monitor the oil warning light and temperature gauge during any trip and let us know if any warnings are triggered.

9.3. You must visually inspect the tyres (including their tread depth) on each booking and check that they appear correctly inflated.

9.4. You must not remove or damage the Co Cars livery.

10. Collection

10.1. To access a Co Cars vehicle, you book it according to the guidance set out on our website or app. If your requirements cannot be met, we will try to offer an alternative but cannot guarantee to meet all your requirements.

10.2. Once booked, a Co Cars vehicle can be collected by you from its designated parking bay from the booked start time.

10.3. Before you use the vehicle, you must:

  • inspect it for damage, both inside and outside;
  • if there is any damage, check the Damage Record Sheet (located in the glove compartment);
  • if the damage is not noted there, report it to us straight away and update the Damage Record Sheet.

10.4. If you fail to do this, you will be held responsible for the damage.

10.5. You are responsible for any Co Cars vehicle booked by you from the time of its collection to the time of its return to a designated parking bay.

11. Return

11.1. When your booking of a Co Cars vehicle ends, you must:

  • return the vehicle by the agreed time and date to the designated parking bay (and if that bay is blocked by another vehicle, please follow the instructions in the User Guide);
  • return the vehicle with all documents and accessories present and in the same condition as at the time of collection;
  • for manual or hybrid cars, return the vehicle with at least a quarter of a tank of the correct fuel (each car has its own fuel card, in the glove compartment, for the purchase of fuel);
  • for electric vehicles, ensure they are left charging;
  • lock the vehicle and return the vehicle’s key (or key fob) and fuel card to the glove compartment;
  • remove all personal possessions; and
  • ensure the car is left clean and tidy (there is a dustpan and brush in the boot and, for manual or hybrid cars, the fuel card can be used to pay for a car wash).

11.2. If you fail to do any of the above, we may charge you for our reasonable resulting costs, including:

  • for late returns, mileage and hourly charges at the agreed rate, plus a late return fee, until the vehicle is either returned or recovered;
  • the cost of professional cleaning; and
  • the cost of servicing the vehicle (including the cost of spare parts).

 

Charges

12. Core Charges

12.1. Details of our core charges are set out at https://www.co-cars.co.uk/residential-pricing/ (https://www.co-cars.co.uk/business-pricing/ for business members). We may update the content of those pages or their URLs (their web addresses) at any time (but changes we make part-way through a booking won’t affect that booking). Those pages are referred to in these terms as “the Pricing Page”.

12.2. You will pay a non-refundable annual fee, in the amount listed on the Pricing Page, which will be collected by direct debit when you become a member and on each anniversary of you becoming a member, until you cancel your membership by emailing drive@co-cars.co.uk.

12.3. When you book a Co Cars vehicle, you will also pay time-based and mileage-based charges as described on the Pricing Page for the type of vehicle in question, based on the duration of your use of the vehicle and how far you drive it.

13. Additional Charges – General

13.1. As a car club, we try to avoid additional charges where possible, but to keep things fair we may pass on or impose the following additional charges arising from your use of any Co Cars vehicle, at our discretion:

  • charges for going over your booked time, or failing to do what’s required when you return the vehicle (see section 11.2 above);
  • parking charges and penalties (including release fees), plus related administration charges and court or legal costs;
  • other charges and penalties (for example, congestion charges or speeding fines), plus related administration charges and court or legal costs;
  • tolls or other similar charges;
  • costs falling within the relevant insurance excess (see section 14 below) or any insurance deductibles, plus all costs of fixing any uninsured loss or damage or any damage which you failed to tell us about;
    costs of repairing or replacing vehicle keys;
  • a reasonable fee for replacing your Smartcard, if lost or damaged by you; and
  • costs incurred by us in recovering any vehicle from you.

13.2. Nothing in (or omitted from) the above list stops us from claiming from you any amount which we are entitled to claim under the general law.

14. Additional Charges – Insurance and Damage

14.1. For drivers aged 25 to 75, Co Cars offers a Collision Damage Waiver, which is an opportunity to pay an additional sum to reduce the amount you’re liable for if a Co Cars vehicle is damaged while under your care. You can see further details at https://www.co-cars.co.uk/collision-damage-waiver-info/ (or any other source we indicate from time to time).

14.2. Even if our insurance pays out in respect of any damage (however that damage is caused) or we don’t claim under our insurance, you will still, in all cases, be responsible for the following costs:

  • an administration fee of £35 where third party liability cannot be established;
  • costs up to the following excess limits:
    • if you’re under 25 at the time of the incident, £800;
    • if you’re between 25 and 75 at the time of the incident, and you haven’t accepted the Collision Damage Waiver (or the damage isn’t covered by the Collision Damage Waiver), £500;
    • if you’re 76 or over at the time of the incident, £1,000; or
    • if you accepted the Collision Damage Waiver and the damage is covered by it, £120.

15. Payment Terms

15.1. You must sign up to Go-Cardless (or any replacement service which we tell you about from time to time) so that invoices due are billed directly to your bank account by direct debit. (Business users may opt to pay by BACS.)

15.2. Your acceptance of these terms is authority for us to compute and debit all monies due from you against your nominated bank account (or any other bank account or other payment method for which you provide us details) at any time.

15.3. If you want to query or challenge any invoice, you must do that within 7 days of the date of the invoice.

15.4. If your payment of any invoice is declined or late:

  • we will charge you an administration fee of £10;
  • we can suspend your membership until you have paid all sums you owe us;
  • we can still charge you for bookings under a suspended account, unless you cancel them; and
  • if any sum remains unpaid for more than 1 month, we may cancel your membership.

15.5. If you are allocated any driving credit (for example, as part of the joining process or a promotion), it is only valid for 60 days unless we tell you otherwise.

15.6. All members are automatically given an initial credit limit of £100 which will remain in place for 3 months. After this period, the credit limit will be reviewed based on usage and payment history. Once your credit limit has been exceeded, we may contact you to request a payment on account, to bring your account back under your credit limit. If this payment is not received on time then we may temporarily suspend your account until payment is received. We reserve the right to reduce your credit limit at any time.

16. Insurance Requirements

16.1. We carry comprehensive motor insurance cover for people using Co Cars vehicles with our permission. This policy meets all applicable statutory requirements and protects the owner and/or authorised driver of the vehicle against any legal claims from third parties for personal injury or material damage caused by the use of the vehicle.

16.2. You (and others using a Co Cars vehicle) are not covered by our insurance for the theft of possessions or valuables from the vehicles.

16.3. To help us meet our insurance obligations and administer the policy properly:

  • you must notify us immediately (or at least 48 hours before the next booking, in any event) if any of the following things happen:
    • your address changes;
    • you are involved in an accident involving a vehicle that you are driving (whether or not a Co Cars vehicle);
    • your driving licence is endorsed; or
    • your occupation changes in a way which means you no longer meet the requirements set out in section 2.4 above, or you fail to meet any other requirements set out there;
  • you waive all rights to, and agree that we, or persons acting on our behalf, will conduct negotiations and agree any settlement with the insurers or anyone else;
  • you agree to co-operate with Co Cars and its insurers in any investigation or subsequent legal proceedings
  • you also agree that any monies or liabilities (including excess charges) in respect of vehicle loss or damage will be paid to or by us or such persons as we may direct;
  • you accept that we may suspend your membership during an accident investigation, if we have reasonable cause to believe that you may have responsibility for the accident)
  • if you do not have a UK driving licence, you must comply with the UK legal requirements for driving in the UK on a foreign licence (and you acknowledge that if you fail to do this, you may not be covered by our insurance);
  • you must notify us of any changes to your driving licence status, including any points or endorsements (and you acknowledge that if you fail to do this, you may not be covered by our insurance).

17. Business Users

17.1. “Business user” refers to an organisation that has one or more staff members registered to use Co Cars.

17.2. The clauses in this “Business Users” section only apply to business users. To the extent that these clauses conflict with other clauses in this agreement, these clauses will apply in place of those other, conflicting clauses.

17.3. Business users are responsible for all acts or omissions of the people using Co Cars vehicles under their organisation’s account. You will ensure that all people using Co Cars vehicles under your account comply with the requirements and obligations set out in this agreement.

17.4. If we expressly agree bespoke pricing or payment arrangements with you as a business user, those will apply in place of the arrangements set out in this agreement.

17.5. As a business user, you are responsible for all fees, costs and charges incurred by people using Co Cars vehicles under your account.

17.6. To register someone to use your account, you must provide (or ensure that they provide) us with a completed membership application and all supporting documentation we require, and they must have a business email address.

17.7. For business users with an annual membership (not pay-as-you-go), all people added under that business user’s account will also be entitled to a non-business user membership (referred to on our website as a “residential” membership) in their own name, which is free for the first year. They still have to meet the eligibility requirements for individual users and to go through our application process.

17.8. You must keep the list of people authorised to use Co Cars vehicles under your account fully up-to-date. You must tell us immediately if someone who is authorised under your account leaves your organisation or stops being authorised to use your account.

18. Data and Privacy

18.1. By applying to join Co Cars, you are giving your consent for us to run a credit check on you and to verify your identity. If you make several applications for credit within a short period of time, this may temporarily affect your ability to obtain credit.

18.2. We may process your personal data as set out in our member privacy notice.

18.3. In particular, we may use location data in accordance with our member privacy notice, to help monitor your use of Co Cars vehicles and to assist with crime prevention and law enforcement (all Co Cars vehicles are fitted with tracking devices and can be tracked at any time, though we don’t routinely monitor your location).

18.4. It is your responsibility to ensure that your personal details registered with us are kept up to date.

19. Legal Stuff

19.1. If any claim is made against us in connection with your use of a Co Cars vehicle, or any breach by you of these terms or the law, you will fully cover all damages, penalties, costs (including all reasonable legal costs) and losses which we incur as a result.

19.2. We are not liable to you or any passenger for loss or damage to property left in any Co Cars vehicle either during the booking or after it ends. If you or any of your passengers leaves any property behind after your booking, we will usually try to tell you and give you a chance to recover it, but cannot guarantee this. If you fail to recover any property left in a Co Cars vehicle after your booking within a reasonable period after we’ve told you about it, we may dispose of it without any liability to you or anyone else. We may recover from you:

  • our reasonable costs of disposal, where relevant; and
  • all damages, penalties, costs (including all reasonable legal costs) and losses which we incur as a result of someone making a claim against us in respect of our disposal of their property.

19.3. This agreement does not exclude any liability which, by law, cannot be excluded or limited. We are not liable to you or to any of your passengers for any special, indirect or consequential loss, including loss of profit, loss of opportunity or loss of goodwill). Otherwise, the total liability which you or we may owe to each other under or in respect of this contract, for any reason and on any basis, is limited to £50,000. If any of your passengers attempts to claim against us for a loss which is excluded above, you will cover all our costs of defending and meeting that claim.

19.4. We may change these terms by providing you with one month’s notice. You may cancel your membership within that period by emailing drive@co-cars.co.uk. If you cancel because we have changed the terms, information about how to claim any refunds due to you (in respect of the cancelled portion of your membership) will be given to you at the time. If you fail to cancel within that period, that means you have accepted the changes.

19.5. Your membership is personal to you – you may not assign or transfer in any other way to anyone else any of your rights or obligations under this agreement.

19.6. English law applies to this contract, its subject matter and formation, and the English Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over any disputes arising about those things.