After yesterday’s reflections on car dependency, here’s a useful part of the solution. Most of us don’t need a car all the time, if we’re blessed with decent public transport links or are within walking or cycling distance of amenities. More of us would make the break and get rid of the car if we didn’t need it every now and again for shopping, visiting people or days out. And then since it’s on the driveway, we end up using it for all the little things too.
Renting a car can be expensive, and car clubs don’t operate everywhere. Whipcar may have kickstarted the simplest solution to the freedom of access to a car without actually putting more cars on the road – renting your neighbour’s car.
“We are the world’s first neighbour-to-neighbour car rental company” says co-founder Tom Wright. “we pair car owners who don’t always use their car with sensible drivers in their area who need a car to use. The idea is that rather than use car rental or pay to join a car club – you simply rent a neighbours car.”
Whipcar is free to join, and easy to use. Insurance is covered automatically through Whipcar, and rentals are arranged by text. Car owners get to set their own hourly rates, so it’s a handy way to make money from your car when you’re not using it.