A PILOT car hire club scheme has been launched in Chester and could be expanded across West Cheshire if successful.
Eight Toyota Aygos can be hired from three city locations at any time, for between half an hour to a week.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) is working in partnership with City Car Club – which runs similar schemes in 15 other cities – on the pilot.
Cllr Herbert Manley, executive member for growth and innovation, said: “This innovative scheme is good for everyone and is particularly good for businesses.
“Once you have joined it is easy to book a car for a journey and trips can be planned up to a year in advance.
“The pilot has been very successful in many different cities. I am sure there will be many residents and businesses interested in this project.”
Annual membership costs £60. People will be charged between £4.95 and £8.95 per hour, with discounts for longer bookings.
City Car Club takes care of insurance, tax, servicing, fuel and even cleaning. Any driver who has held a full licence for over a year can join the club.
One car is based in Station Road, six at the castle and one at the park and ride site on Wrexham Road. Cars must be returned to each location once the booking has ended.
No key is needed to access the cars as members are given smart-enabled membership cards which are placed over the card reader on the windscreen.
At the end of each month, the in-car computer calculates exactly how many miles have been driven and members are sent a bill.
If successful, the pilot could be extended to other parts of the borough.
Cllr Lynn Riley, executive member for localities, said: “This really is the green alternative for people who need a vehicle for a short journey for either personal or business use.
“We hope that this scheme will service a growing need in the city for people who have a driving licence but do not have access to a car.”
James Finlayson, managing director of City Car Club, said: “We are delighted to start to operate the new car club in Chester. We look forward to providing people and businesses in Chester with a low emission hourly car rental service.
“People in Chester will join our 30,000 members elsewhere able to access City Car Club’s 700 plus vehicles across the UK in 15 cities.”