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A community car scheme is a not for profit organisation, usually run by volunteers, that operates a form of car sharing.

What is a Car Scheme?Help and advice

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.

Car-Scheme-Toolkit-All-You-Need-to-Know-2019 (1)






Appendix-6-Driver-Insurance-Proforma-2019 Appendix-7-Coordinator-Journey-Booking-Sheet

Help and advice

You can find out more and get help and advice by visiting the websites below and by emailing either the County Council or one of the car scheme partnerships listed.

Useful Websites


Somerset Council –
Mid Somerset Car Scheme Partnership –
West Somerset Car Scheme Partnership –

Last reviewed: May 30, 2023 by Jenny

Next review due: November 30, 2023

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