January 2, 2018

Car Sharing Goes Up a Gear in London With Expansion of Zipcar Flex

As private car ownership continues to drop in London, car sharing is taking off

LONDON, Jan. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zipcar, the world's leading car sharing network, announced that Zipcar Flex, the Company's ‘floating' car sharing service is now available to nearly 3.5m Londoners*.

Zipcar Flex allows members to spontaneously jump into a car and drive one-way across London, with the ability to drop the car off in one of thousands of spaces within the ‘Zipzone', which now covers an area of over 235 km2 across North and South London. 

Members who utilise Zipcar Flex pay just 29p per minute and only for the exact time their trip lasts.  Thanks to extras like the Congestion Charge, petrol and insurance being included in the rates, it's now one of the cheapest and most convenient ways to get around London.

London borough councils seem to agree, with Zipcar Flex now available to residents in Wandsworth, Islington, Hackney, Lewisham, Lambeth, Waltham Forest, Southwark and Merton. There are more boroughs in the pipeline as the service gains momentum and is planned to become more widely available, with the aim to get more Londoners to ditch their privately owned cars in favour of shared vehicles.

Zipcar Flex in numbers:

  • 235 km2 — the size of the Flex operating area (‘Zipzone') in London i.e. the size of Berlin
  • 3.4m - the number of Londoners the scheme is currently available to
  • 50% - Percentage difference between the cost of a typical Flex trip versus a trip with leading E-hailing companies
  • 700 — the number of brand new VW Polos in the Flex fleet
  • 8 — the number of boroughs in the current ‘Zipzone'

Jonathan Hampson, General Manager for Zipcar UK, said: "Car clubs traditionally operate from dedicated fixed bays, but what Zipcar Flex enables is for more Londoners to make smarter transport decisions and experience how much more convenient and cost-effective car sharing is compared to ownership. Zipcar Flex can unlock the potential of car sharing to significantly improve key issues like air quality and congestion for London."

What's more, compared to black cabs and ride-hailing companies, Zipcar Flex can be considered more efficient because journeys avoid so-called ‘empty miles.' Cars are only driven when used by members and go point to point, unlike taxis that need to drive to find and pick up passengers before a trip starts. Fewer miles driven results in lower emissions per trip, making the service much more efficient and environmentally friendly.

How Zipcar Flex compares on price for a 20 minute trip in London**:
Ride-hailing company£12.50
Zipcar Flex£5.80

**Driven at 16.8 mph (average Greater London speed according to TfL Report http://content.tfl.gov.uk/tlrn-performance-report-q1-2017-18.pdf)

Jonathan Hampson continued: "Zipcar Flex gives Londoners even greater flexibility to get around their city how they want to. It works hand-in-hand with public transport, cycling and walking to give Londoners the broadest choice to choose the right mode of transport when it comes to their specific journey needs.

"It's about convenience, ease and saving money for members, but looking at the bigger picture, it's also about taking more cars off London's roads and helping to address the worsening issues of air quality and congestion, which we know are important to Londoners.

"Our research*** has shown that over half of Londoners have considered leaving London to live elsewhere in the past 12 months, with traffic, congestion, poor air quality and pollution levels cited as key issues. But attitudes need to change, people need to stop assuming that car ownership is a given and consider options available to them."

Regular Zipcar Flex user, James Lamb from Wandsworth, said: "We used to own two cars, but now we only own one — and I'm considering ditching that too. We use a mix of Zipcar Roundtrip and Zipcar Flex, for shorter errands, all the time, it just makes much more sense living in a big city. And we've saved a lot of money since selling off the second car."

For more information please visit http://www.zipcar.co.uk/flex

*Based on 2011 UK Census population figures: Merton 203,200, Wandsworth 306,995, Islington 215,667, Hackney 246,300, Lewisham 275,885, Lambeth 327,900, Waltham Forest 265,800

***Independent research carried out in May 2017 by Vitreous World amongst 2,000 Londoners on behalf of Zipcar

About Zipcar
Zipcar is the world's leading car sharing network, driven by a mission to enable simple and responsible urban living. With its wide variety of self-service vehicles available by the hour or day, Zipcar operates in urban areas and university campuses in over 500 cities and towns across Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Iceland, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Zipcar offers the most comprehensive, most convenient and most flexible car sharing options available. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:CAR), a leading global provider of mobility solutions. More information is available at www.zipcar.com.

For more information:
Zipcar UK Enquiries
Email: zipcaruk@theprnetwork.co.uk

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