Car drivers, can you game your car use?

A classic car drives along a rural road

Your car can be so much more than a vehicle to get from A to B. Many drivers don’t realise they could be getting so much more out of car ownership, so fasten your seatbelt for some top tips to get the most out of your car use.

1) Your car could play a starring role in your community
It’s likely that you’ve given someone a lift in your car at some point. You could consider making this a more regular habit, by proactively looking for people to share lifts with in your village or workplace. Your workplace noticeboard, Whatsapp or Facebook groups are a great way of doing this. 
You could join a lift-sharing app such as Kinto Join. Drivers post their specific journeys in the app, and others can request to join your trip. Drivers can decline requests to join their trips and users can message each other directly if plans change. This is a great way of sharing the cost of a regular trip such as your commute to work.
2) The cost of running your car could be shared
Private vehicle ownership can sometimes feel like a necessity in rural areas like Hope Valley, where public transport may not be adequate for your needs. But did you know that according to the RAC Foundation, the average car spends just 4% of its time being driven? For a whopping 96% of the time, the average car is parked on a drive or elsewhere. So how can you get the most from your car ownership with this in mind?
Car sharing may be the answer. You could do this informally with a friend or neighbour; click here for some top tips and a case study from Hope Valley. Informal car sharing is normally with one person as part of a goodwill arrangement.
Alternatively you could consider a more structured arrangement, which allows you to hire out your car to others when you’re not using it, just like the well-known AirBnB model for hiring out rooms or properties. Apps such as Hiyacar handle bookings, payments and insurance to share your car with people you haven’t met before. This gives you peace of mind that common questions about car sharing have been thought through by a tried-and-trusted provider.
3) Your electric vehicle charger might be lonely!
If you have an EV, you probably have an EV charger at home. According to charger-sharing app Co Charger, there are about 400,000 home chargers across the UK – far more than the 30,000 public chargers that are currently available. You could make a small profit by hiring out your EV charger while you’re not using it, to someone in need of somewhere to charge their car. Why not download the app and give it a try?
4) Is it time to re-think car ownership without giving up the benefits?
A community car club may suit those who are looking to use a car fairly regularly, but without the cost of owning a vehicle all the time. Car clubs allow short-term vehicle rental, normally by the hour, to members of the club, meaning that you still have access to a vehicle when you need one, but without the hassle and cost of owning one full-time. In some cases there are discounts for local residents, for example at Buxton Car Club members can join for just £10 per year. Find out more here.
Take your car use into a different gear
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