What is a Car Scheme?
A community car scheme is a not-for-profit organisation, usually run by volunteers, that operates a form of car sharing. Volunteer drivers using their own car and being reimbursed expenses; provide prearranged journeys to members of their community who do not have access to suitable transport. Car schemes will offer travel to essential services such as health appointments, accessing work, shopping or even visiting friends. Some schemes even offer further services such as prescription pick-ups or non-transport-related services such as befriending.
All car schemes have a coordinator who takes journey bookings and matches them to available drivers, who will then provide a door-to-door service for the customer. Any potential passengers must first become a member of the scheme before they can use the service. They will then be charged a fare each time they travel, to cover the cost of the journey (driver’s expenses) plus any additional costs such as parking. Fares can also include a nominal booking fee to help cover the administration of the scheme (e.g. mobile phone or printing costs).
Find out more about Car Schemes in your area by visiting our directory.
Setting up a Car Scheme
If you are interested in running a Car Scheme where you live we have put together a Car Scheme Toolkit to answer your questions and help you set it up. It includes a draft constitution and rules, and a handbook for volunteer drivers. You can download a copy below.
Help and advice
You can find out more and get help and advice by visiting the websites listed below. Also by emailing either Somerset Council or one of the car scheme partnerships listed.
- Roads, Travel and Parking – Our website contains lots of travel information including details of community transport schemes.
- The Community Transport Association (CTA) – The national governing body for all things community transport.
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
- His Majesties Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – For information on driver mileage allowances.
- Association of British Insurers – For information on driver insurance companies.
- Somerset Community Council – For information on Village Agents who can give help and advice with the initial set-up of a car scheme.
- Somerset Community Foundation – A Somerset organisation that helps community groups with support and funding.
- Funding Central – A website for funding opportunities.
- Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – For data protection policy information.