The London Borough of Wandsworth is renewing contracts with four ‘back-to-base’ car club providers.
Co-wheels, Enterprise, Ubeeqo (A Europcar subsidiary), and Zipcar currently operate from on-street bays in the borough. Their contracts expire at the end of this month and the new contracts will run to 31 July 2021.
Paul Chadwick, Wandsworth’s director of environment and community services, told councillors Enterprise was reducing its car club fleet by eight “in order to help improve their overall utilisation rates per vehicle”.
Operators have to purchase car club parking permits to use the bays. The current permit price is £1,118 a year. In all there are 140 car club vehicles, generating income for the council of £156,520 a year.
Car club membership in the borough has grown from 11,137 in 2014 to 16,386 today.
Zipcar also operates its Flex free-floating, or point-to-point, car club in Wandsworth under a separate three-year contract running until 31st May 2020. Chadwick said there were typically between 110 and 150 Flex vehicles in the borough on any given day.
Chadwick said legal officers did not consider car club contracts as a procurement issue. “The only transaction in these contracts is the payment to the council for each car club parking permit in order to park in on-street bays, and this aspect of the arrangement does not require a contract, as the council has powers to sell parking permits to residents or businesses for specific uses.”
He added: “The reasons for having contracts are to ensure certain standards are met, that the council receives data to assess how car clubs are contributing to transport objectives, and to provide financial safeguards so that operators pay for changes to on-street bays in the case of withdrawal.”
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