Car club gearing up for further success after celebrating big 10

A community car club is gearing up for years of continued success after celebrating its tenth anniversary.

Friday, 7th February 2014, 4:00 pm
Kevin Hogan of Hour Car

Hour Car, which is based at Salem Community Resource Centre - but also has pick-up points in Mytholmroyd and Todmorden, was launched in January 2004 and has since gone from strength to strength.

Manager Kevin Hogan said: “Ten years ago it was a real struggle to get started.

“Ground Floor had come up with their own radical model of how the scheme could run and had to work hard to persuade the funders. They didn’t want the standard city model of car leasing and smart booking as it was too expensive. Margins were tight and we wanted a low hire cost to make the scheme benefit those less well off. We decided on a simple key collection system and made our own online booking programme. A couple of years later we were proved to be right. Of the ten rural car clubs started under the same initiative, the three surviving all used the Hour Car procedures and booking system.

“But the main thing we are proud of is that so many people in the area have used the scheme and found it useful. We have 65 members at the moment but over the years more than 200 have used the scheme. I want to thank every one of those: they have made Hour Car into the success it is and made for a huge reduction in our carbon output. I reckon that we must have saved around 45 tonnes of carbon over the years, a small but significant contribution to slowing down climate change, which, I believe is a huge threat to the world in the 21st century.”

After starting off with two cars based in Hebden Bridge, Hour Car now has five cars - including an electric Chevrolet Volt -with pick-up points in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge.

It has also become independent of its founder Ground Floor, instead becoming a members’ cooperative.

Member Dr Chris Gifford said: “I wanted to give up my car because I had more or less stopped using it for work and the insurance and repairs were getting more and more expensive. However, this only became a real possibility once I discovered Hour Car.”