Car ownership alternatives


Want to use a car occasionally but don't fancy owning one? Here are four clever alternatives:

Streetcar is a car club that lets you book a range of vehicles by the hour, day, week or month. You pick a slot online or by phone, then pick the car or van up. Members are given a smartcard that you swipe to get on your way. The scheme won't suit everyone though as it currently only operates in London, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton, Southampton, Guildford and Maidstone. However, the firm claims members typically save £2,000 a year by using Streetcar rather than owning their own vehicle. Members are expected to cover the cost of fuel.Cost: £59.50 (annual fee), daily rate £39.50 Typical car: VW Polo Bluemotion Streetcar website

Another car club, but this time it's only good for Londoners as it currently operates exclusively in the capital. Members get 60 miles free fuel with every booking – more than enough if you're staying in town – and the club even takes care of the congestion charge.
A fuel card is left in the cars, which are parked at locations across the capital, so you can fill up without any worry. Members are charged 23 pence per mile after the initial free allocation. When you sign up you're sent a 'Zipcard' that unlocks the doors when swiped on the windscreen, but you do need to book vehicles online or on the phone first.Cost: £50 (annual fee), daily rate £29 Typical car: Toyota Prius Zipcar website