09 June 2005

09.06.05. Car-share company in Stock Exchange drive

Editor's note: A clear indication that carsharing is starting to enter the mainstream.
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Source: The Huddersfield Daily Examine, 8 June 2005


Car-share company in Stock Exchange drive


A CAR-SHARING scheme based in Huddersfield plans to float on the stock market.

CityCarClub aims to raise at least £1m by issuing shares on Ofex, the market for small and medium-sized firms.

The company - which also has operations in London, Brighton, Bristol and Edinburgh - will use the money to pay for expansion in the UK.

CityCarClub set up its UK headquarters at the Media Centre, Northumberland Street, in 2003, under managing director Chas Ball.

Members pay a monthly fee and can then choose to drive a car by the hour by booking online or phoning.

Monthly fees start at £5 while the use of the cars costs from £3.95 an hour.

Car clubs are relatively new to the UK, but are well established in North America and Europe.

In the Netherlands, Greenwheels - another car-sharing business - has more than 550 vehicles in 37 towns and cities.

US company Flexcar has 24,000 members in six major cities. It also has 400 businesses as customers.

Subscribers to the CityCarClub share offer will get a stake in the business and membership fee reductions.

The company is yet to announce its timetable for flotation.

Chief executive Dirk van Dijl said: "The proposed listing on Ofex will offer the company opportunities to expand and secure a position as market leader in the UK.

"This is a very exciting time for the company and we are looking forward to the continued success of our existing car clubs and the emergence of new ones following our increased profile and flotation," added Mr van Dijl.

CityCarClub is the UK's biggest car club operator.

It operates more than 100 cars across the country and has over 1,100 members.

A company spokesman said club members were attracted by the scheme because it reduced their motoring costs and removed the burden of car ownership.

Factors such as increased parking charges, congestion charges, road tolls and rising insurance costs all made car ownership less attractive, the spokesman added.

As a result, more people were choosing to use car clubs which took away the hassle of car ownership.

"CityCarClub has identified the opportunity and has begun to exploit it," he said.

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