The car-sharing club operated by rental group Hertz, called
Connect by Hertz, has opened new operations in Berlin and

The club operates on a pay-as-you-go basis which Hertz described
as “an economical, convenient and socially-conscious alternative to
car ownership”. Hourly rates include insurance, fuel, roadside
assistance, maintenance and cleaning.

Hertz plans to open further Connect by Hertz locations around
the world in 2010.

Senior VP of global sales, Robert Stuart estimated that the
market for car clubs in Europe will grow to 3 million people in the
next ten years. “The car sharing club is an easy-to-use, paperless
service that works across multiple markets and integrates the very
latest technology to meet the dynamic needs of our customers. Based
on the success of Connect by Hertz Europe in Paris and London, I’m
confident that our Berlin and Madrid operations will be very well
received,” he said.

Europcar, too, has launched a car club concept in the UK,
following on from the success of a similar scheme in France,
started in 2008.

EuropcarClub has two tiers: “Easy” and “Premium”, with premium
members offered discounts on all vehicles within Europcar’s fleet,
including those from its prestige selection.

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It is aimed at households which are looking to get rid of a
second car which is only occasionally used, and at businesses which
“don’t want the financial commitment of leasing or buying company
cars,” Europcar said.

However, critics of the clubs claim that they will only ever
provide an alternative to car ownership to people living in
high-density population centres – and not for the country as a

Their business usage, too, is limited at present by availability
of vehicles and club networks – although some car clubs have linked
up with businesses to provide replacements for pool cars during
office hours, with vehicles then available for hire by local club
members outside the hours of 9-5.