Community Transport Options

As a historic rural community Marshfield has a raft of issues concerning sustainable transport. Adoption of eV vehicles has many issues including access to safe charging points and capacity of the energy network. There is also an ongoing issue with viability of public transport that match the community need. A group citizens aligned to Sustainable Marshfield is exploring options in provision of community transport. Marshfield CLT is supporting promotion of discussion into needs and options for community transport and does not necessarily support any of the options presented in the following sections.

Download as PDF

Commercial Car Clubs

If there was sufficient interest, Marshfield could ask a Car Club operator to operate a scheme. Cars can be booked for an hour, or a day, using a Car Club vehicle is the perfect short trip solution, helping you to deal with the bulky shopping at the weekend, visit family, or take a trip.  People would sign up to become a member of the scheme and could use other vehicles in other cities where the company operates.

Cars are owned by the company and would be parked in designated bays in Marshfield and other areas where they operate and can be booked online or via phone and are accessed using a ‘swipe card’ or similar security system. You pay by the hour and there are no extra costs for insurance, petrol and maintenance costs.  As of July 2023 typical hire charges are £9/hour or £67/day.

Car clubs offer an alternative model to private car ownership for individuals and businesses. They reduce the need for private parking and can help more people give up their cars while allowing for occasional car travel.  However, there would have to be significant interest from a village the size of Marshfield to make it worthwhile for the company to operate, and this may present a hurdle to setting up a scheme.

For more information see

Community-run car clubs

A community car club is a local, member-based initiative that provides access to self-service, pay as you drive, usually low-carbon vehicles. Often community car clubs are run by local groups to support their communities. It’s a convenient and affordable way of using a car, without the expense and hassle of owning one.

Pay per trip car clubs allow individuals and organisations to have access to a car without being tied to ownership in the same way that a commercial club might operate. The different is that the car would be owned and operated by the community itself, rather than a commercial company.  This has the advantage that they can operate where there is insufficient demand to attract a commercial operator.  The disadvantages are that:

  1. The community has to organise itself to set up a scheme
  2. It will probably have to raise funds to purchase a car and cover depreciation
  3. It needs volunteers to operate the vehicles, allowing access, clean and maintain the vehicle.

There are a number of communities of a similar size to Marshfield who have set up successful community-run car share schemes.

Electric Bike sharing

Bike share is growing very rapidly in the UK and brings multiple co-benefits with it.

These include getting lapsed cyclists back into the saddle, boosting physical and mental health and inter-relating with public transport.

Given that Marshfield sits at the top of a hill only the fittest and most active people would be attracted to using a conventional bike to replace routine car journeys.  It is therefore envisaged that Marshfield could operate a share scheme for e-bikes, to allow people to try them out and see whether they can be effective in replacing car journeys.  Most people find it unattractive to buy electric bikes outright to test their practicalities as their prices range from £1000 to £3500 depending on the type.  A Marshfield bike hire scheme would allow them to use a bike for a period of time to evaluate, before perhaps purchasing one outright or renting one occasionally for intermittent use.

There are a number of community cycle hire schemes in operation, often in rural areas.  This would be far cheaper to set up than a car hire scheme but would need support within the community to purchase the bikes, maintain them, and to operate the scheme.

Peer-to-Peer Car-sharing

Peer-to-peer car sharing is a different model to car sharing to car clubs. Car clubs have dedicated vehicles which belong to the car club and are shared with its members, whereas peer-to-peer car sharing allows private car owners to share their cars with their neighbours. In the UK there are around 38.4 million cars, and the average car is parked at home for around 80% of the time

Pay per trip car clubs allow individuals and organisations to have access to a car without being tied to ownership. Through years of ongoing research we have found that this cuts costs and mileage while boosting use of public transport and active travel.

Sharing cars that are already in your local community, could not only provide greater mobility choices, but also free up space for more green areas and improved public realms, as well as encouraging active travel and public transport use, leading to a healthier and greener community. Peer-to-peer car-sharing is like AirBnB – car owners can put their cars on a platform which allows other drivers to hire it by the hour (or day). There are many benefits to this, including:

  1. Improved accessibility for people who don’t currently have access to a car (particularly important in areas with poor public transport).
  2. For people who use their cars infrequently, they may be able to give up their own private cars and borrow their neighbours.
  3. Not owning a car encourages active travel and public transport use, but still gives access to a car when it is needed.
  4. By sharing cars, less space is needed for car parking so areas can be designed for people, not cars.
  5. It provides convenient access to a car without the hassle of owning one.
  6. The car owner can earn extra income. For a list of all peer-to-peer platforms operating in the UK, visit our website.

How to share your car

1. Sign up to your chosen car-sharing platform and list your car. There are a number of platforms in the UK, and all have different criteria (e.g. maximum age of car, maximum mileage, you have personal insurance for the car, etc) that you need to meet before listing your car. Many also offer technology that enables keyless entry and mileage tracking, which makes your car more appealing for renters as there isn’t the hassle of meeting the owner in person, and it means you can rent your car while you are away.

2. Your car joins the network of cars available for renters to book. You can select when your car is available for bookings, set the price etc.

3. Your car is booked by a fully vetted renter. Renters must meet certain criteria such as age, maximum number of points on their licence etc. and a full driving licence check will be carried out by the platform.

4. The renter collects the car, uses it for the journey and returns it to your home. Most platforms allow for keyless entry to your car using an app, or you can store the key in a key safe or even arrange to hand the key over to the driver. When the hire period starts, the peer-to peer sharing insurance (via the platform) replaces your personal insurance, so the car is fully insured to be shared. The operator also provides breakdown cover.

5. Earn extra income The peer-to-peer platform will take a small percentage, typically around 20 – 30%, but the rest of the hire cost goes to the owner.

How to use a peer-to-peer car

1. Sign up to your chosen peer-to-peer platform. Renters need to meet certain criteria before signing up to the platform. This will include, for example, minimum age, drivers licence check and maximum points on the licence.

2. Search for a car in your local area & book. By having lots of different vehicle types, you can choose a vehicle that best suits your needs.

3. Use the car. At the time of your booking, collect the car by accessing it either via the app or collect the keys from the owner. Then use the car for the duration of your booking and at the end, return it to its home. You can use the app to request an extension to your booking, but this must be done before your booking ends and will depend on the availability of the car.

4. The payment for the hire will be deducted from your account. The booking charge is generally split into three parts: the hourly (or daily) rate, a booking fee, and the insurance cost. The hourly fee will include a maximum mileage, if you go over this there will be an additional mileage cost. You will also need to refuel the car before returning it, or you will incur a further cost.

Further information

For more information about peer-to-peer car-sharing, contact como on or check out the website

Car clubs started with informal car clubs. 1999 saw the first formal commercial car clubs charging by the hour and by distance. The sector has grown considerably since and continues to grow, with member numbers at an all-time high.