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Citroen unveils London transport solution

Citroen’s WhizzGo car club scheme has opened its first London operation, using C3s.

The new car club offers Camden customers a car without the associated responsibilities and costs of ownership.

WhizzGo will be buying up to 120 Citroën C3 1.4i Desire cars a year as it rolls out its car club partnership to large urban authorities throughout the UK.

The company was the first commercial car club in the UK to be fully integrated into a city-wide transport network, when it started in Leeds late last year.

The initial 10 Citroën cars for use in the London Borough of Camden all have Nicholson McLaren LPG conversions and are exempt from London’s daily £5.00 congestion charge. The number of vehicles will shortly be increased to 20 C3s.

The C3 Desires are operated on three year/30,000 mile HSBC Vehicle Leasing contract hire agreements.

Like the other Citroen C3s already being operated by WhizzGo in Leeds, the London-based cars are fitted with INVERS onboard smart card recognition equipment. This restricts access/usage of the car to the member that has booked it and also records time and distance for each hire.

Charlotte Morton, WhizzGo’s managing director, says, "We can now provide a unique transport proposition for people living in the London Borough of Camden. Without the major cost of owning a car in London they can hire a Citroen C3 for those trips which cannot be easily carried out on foot, bike, bus, tube or train."

The London Borough of Camden will be providing at least 20 special on-street WhizzGo free car parking bays throughout the borough where members can collect and leave the C3s. Charges for the cars start from £3.95 per hour.

Once members have been issued with an ismart card they gain access to the car club’s Citroen C3s by phoning 0870 446 6000 or booking on the internet (www.WhizzGo.co.uk).

The club member is then allocated the nearest available C3 car, which should be in walking distance.

The booking information is relayed to the car’s INVERS on-board computer. The club member gains access to the vehicle using the smart card and, after entering a pin number, drives away.

At the end of the hire period the vehicle is returned to the WhizzGo parking bay it was originally collected from.

WhizzGo expects to announce further car club operations in London shortly, as well as being in negotiations with many other UK urban authorities.

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