FAQs

General questions

What is a car club?

Car clubs are a method of car sharing, allowing members to experience the benefits of car ownership without the hassle and expense. Our car club cars are brand new Volkswagen BlueMotions so, in addition to saving money, you get to drive around in smart new cars...

What are the benefits of joining a car club?

Save time

Find a clean, green car on your doorstep and get the benefits of car use without the stresses of ownership. You won’t have the hassle of maintaining and cleaning your car, and you won’t even have to find a parking space when you return the car club car to its dedicated bay.

Save money

No worries about paying for MOTs, repair bills or car tax. Even the price of fuel and insurance is included. Car club members save a significant amount of money. For example, replacing a family car less than 5 years old, in which you were driving 6,000 miles per year, would save you at least £1,500 a year.

Save the world

Car club members have smaller carbon footprints as they travel fewer miles, in more efficient cars. Each new car club car introduced will be used by around 20 drivers, which is a much more efficient use of vehicles.

Feel better

Members are also more likely to travel ‘actively’ by walking and cycling for short journeys which makes them healthier and happier.

Joining

Am I eligible to join Norfolk Car Club and the Co-wheels car club network?

To join the car club you must be aged at least 18 and have held a valid driving licence for at least 12 months. Our insurers also place certain restrictions on membership based on driving history (accidents, endorsements and driving convictions). If you have any concerns about your eligibility then do not hesitate to call us on 0191 375 1050.

How simple is the sign up process?

Very! As soon we receive the registration form from you, we will send you a confirmation e mail with details of how we check your driving licence with the DVLA. After the DVLA check has been completed we will send you your smartcard and membership handbook in the post and an email with your membership details. Once you have these you are able to book and use any Norfolk Car Club or Co-wheels network car.

Do I need car insurance?

No, full insurance is supplied on joining Norfolk Car Club and the Co-wheels network of car clubs.

Booking

How do I make a booking?

Over the internet, using www.norfolkcarclub.com, or by phone on 0191 375 1050.

How long before my trip can I book?

A booking takes about 15 seconds to reach the car and can start either on the hour, half-hour, or quarter hour.

You can make a booking at any time, right up until the time you want it, but we would recommend booking in advance when possible, especially busy times such as weekends, evenings and holidays.

What if the first choice of car I want is booked?

The booking system shows which vehicles are available when, so you can choose a different car nearby or a different time for your booking. It is rare for no cars to be available.

We monitor bookings carefully. If a particular car is in frequent demand, we'll add another in the same area as soon as the need becomes clear.

How and when do I cancel a booking?

You can cancel or change a booking at any time by ‘phone or online. The following cancellation charges apply:

Cancellation charges:

  • More than 2 hours before your booking starts = free
  • Less than 2 hours before your booking starts = full cost of the booking

If I return the car early, do I pay the full amount?

You cannot shorten a booking once it has started. To avoid late return fees we encourage all members to book for a few minutes longer than you expect to need the car, just in case.

What if I’m going to be late, can I extend the length of the booking during use?

If you are going to be late back please do phone us or use the on-board computer to check whether it is possible to extend the booking. Another member may have the car booked and we will need to let them know and rearrange their booking.

Smartcards

Can anyone else use my Smartcard?

No, The card is in your name and should only be used by you. Anyone who is not a Norfolk Car Club / Co-wheels member is not insured, and as a result may be open to prosecution by the police for driving without insurance.

If your partner, spouse, or other family member is also a Norfolk Car Club / Co-wheels member, with their own smartcard, they may also drive the car club cars. Reduced price membership is available to family members and others living at the same residential address as a member.

What do I do if I lose my Smartcard?

Contact us immediately on 0191 375 1050 so we can cancel your old card and issue you with a new card. You will be charged £15 for this, to cover the cost of the new card and administration.

Billing

How will I be charged?

New members supply credit or debit card details on joining the car club. The cost of each vehicle booking will be deducted from your credit or debit card two hours before the start of the booking.  Mileage charges will be deducted after the end of the hire period.

Using the Cars

Can anyone drive the cars?

Only members of Norfolk Car Club or Co-wheels can drive the cars as only they have been through our checks and have insurance cover.

What if the cars get dirty or damaged?

Dirty – As a courtesy to other members, please leave the car clean. If you find the car interior dirty, please call 0191 375 1050 so that we can remind the previous user to leave the car clean in the future.

Please note:

* No smoking is allowed in the cars

* No dogs are allowed in the cars

Damaged – If you find any damage to the car, please record it in the damage log book (in the glove box) and call us on 0191 375 1050 to let us know about the damage.

Isn’t it the same as car rental?

No. The three major differences are that: cars can be borrowed for a short time rather than an entire day, they are parked near to your home or office so you don’t have to travel to an out of town depot to collect a car, and reservation is done online with no need to queue or fill in forms.

What if I get a fine?

Each member is responsible for the following:

  • Parking tickets – please settle these with the relevant authority. If we receive notification of fines we will forward them to the driver.
  • Speeding fines – if a member is caught speeding we will be sent notification by the authority which we will forward to the driver who had the car booked at that time.
  • Congestion Charge – there is currently no exemption for car club vehicles so if you are planning on driving in London please make sure you pay, when applicable, the charge increases if you pay it after visiting. See www.tfl.gov.uk for more detail.

Penalties will apply for late returns, damage to vehicles or cars left unfit for the next member to use. Any costs incurred by the next driver will have to be paid, as well as an administration fee.

To avoid late return fees we encourage all members to book for a few minutes longer than you expect to need the car, just in case.

Any other questions?

Call us on 0191 375 1050