AM Online

The 'Community Car' - the future of British motoring?

Steve Beedle, of eDefined, says:

"We believe the 'community car' concept could not only reduce the cost of buying and running a car, but could eventually help to alleviate road congestion and air pollution as well.

Operating in much the same way as a flexibe time-share scheme, the community car allows a group of individuals to part-buy a single vehicle.

Individual usage time would then be allocated according to each individual's financial input and the group's specific requirements.

This means that a group of friends, colleagues, neighbours or family members could part-own a car, without ever having to incur the unnecessary cost of an additional car they rarely use.

For example, five family members could share the cost of a car, each having it as required for weekends, commuting or evenings etc. Co-workers could share the cost of travelling into work or a group of friends could pool resources and buy the sports car of their dreams without paying through the nose.

I believe the community car is a workable concept.

Public transport is always pushed as the way to tackle the problems of traffic congestion and pollution in and around major cities, but punctuality, reliability and more recently safety issues, have raised doubts in British minds - and ultimately the British public has grown accustomed to its car.

In certain parts of America, there are already schemes in operation that offer a 'fast track' lane to cars with two or more people in them to encourage less single passenger car journeys.

As with everything it is only a matter of time before the trend crosses the Atlantic and the Highways Agency in the UK has already implemented a pilot bus lane on the M4 to help ease congestion on motorways.

Essentially what eDefined is proposing is a different interpretation of the same solution.

An eDefined community car will not only reduce the initial cost of buying, but it will mean insurance, repair and maintenance are all shared costs - and with more people sharing transport, eventually the the by-products of excessive car use like traffic jams and smog could be reduced as well.

We have developed an extensive on-line database of quality used cars with known provenance and is on hand to oversee transfer times, time allocation, repair, maintenance, insurance and warranty options.

What's your view on the eDefined idea?

Email your comments to AM online editor Jeremy Bennett at AMonline@automotive.emap.co.uk

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