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Car club offers convenience without the hassle

A growing number of SE1 residents are turning to an innovative car scheme to avoid the cost and hassles of owning a vehicle in central London.

Car club offers convenience without the hassle
Streetcar founders Brett Akker and Andrew Valentine

Over the past 6 months, Streetcar, the UK's biggest pay-as-you-go car club scheme, has seen a huge influx of new members across South London.

The scheme, which now has more than 150 locations across London and over 7,000 members, enables individuals to hire VW Golfs by the hour for 4.95. The first 30 miles of petrol is free and lifetime membership is free.

There are five Streetcar locations in SE1: Abbey Street in Bermondsey, Sumner Street in Bankside, Lynton Road in South Bermondsey, Tooley Street and Upper Marsh in Waterloo.

"We've been amazed by Streetcar's popularity across South London and the city as a whole," says director Andrew Valentine.

"Members have been joining at twice the rates we anticipated and we're estimating that we'll have 20,000 people using the service by next year. It's clear that people are voting with their feet and are no longer willing to tolerate the high costs and parking hassles associated with having a car in London. With all our members now within six minutes of a Streetcar, we really are creating a situation where a Londoner no longer needs to own a car."

The service is very simple to use; users make their bookings on the web and use a remotely activated smartcard held against the windscreen to unlock the door. The keys are in the glove compartment and the member just drives the car away. At the end of the journey they return the car to the Streetcar parking space and a record of the journey is sent via SMS to Streetcar HQ.

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