Like most Kiwis, you probably love your car. But do you know how much it costs you?
According to AA, we shell out around $7,000 to $14,000 a year on average to own and run our cars, depending on the size and type.
Yet, this doesn't tend to put us off. Latest figures from the New Zealand Transport Agency show we own three cars for every four people, which puts up right up there with the USA and Australia.
It’s no secret that having so many cars on the road means more pollution, noise, congestion, and more accidents. A better way could lie in the old primary school adage: sharing is caring. In this case, advocates say car sharing is caring for your wallet, the environment, and your city’s roads and carparks.
Car sharing is taking off overseas. In Sydney, 26,000 residents and businesses have joined a car share scheme, giving them access to 700 cars parked all over the city. While the Netherlands have declared an ambition to have 16 million people sharing 10,000 cars in the next three years.
According to Victoria Carter, founder of Kiwi car-share club cityhop, car sharing is a smart alternative for New Zealand too.
“Car sharing helps kick the car owning habit without going cold turkey,” says Carter, a former Auckland City councillor.
She says every car-share car takes 15-25 privately owned cars off the road. And without a car in the driveway, members increase their use of public transport, cycling and walking by around 50%, which has a positive effect on their health.
Cityhop cars can be booked by the hour, day or week, and picked up from locations across Auckland and Wellington. Costs like petrol and insurance are covered in the $15/hour fee.
And it’s easy to use. Members reserve a car online or over the phone, their membership card unlocks the car, and the key can be found inside. Once they’re done, they return it to the same spot for the next user.
Carter says car sharing works for people who live in the inner city and only use a car occasionally. Many businesses are ditching their fleet cars and encouraging employees to use car share to visit clients. Charities also use car share to save them money that can be better spent elsewhere.
Cityhop has over 2000 drivers, and cars at over 30 locations in Auckland and Wellington. They're always looking for more inner-city parks to make it easier for people to give up one of their cars.
That’s where Z came in. After spying empty space on a forecourt a few years ago, Carter contacted Z about working together.
“We could see they thought differently and were looking for sustainable ideas. I got a sense that they recognised that the future has many alternatives and their job isn’t just about selling petrol,” says Carter.
“Z offered up three parks in central locations in Auckland and Wellington, and they’re encouraging us to do more. That’s where Z’s been so fantastic. They recognise that the more locations we have, the more people can see the alternative. And that’s when we can really begin to make a difference.”
Check out more on Z's sustainability journey, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.