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Oxford’s car sharing scheme that could help you avoid the zero emissions zone fee

A car-sharing program started by an Oxford woman was so successful that she sold her car to borrow one.

Emily Kerr set up the town’s first carsharing loop in Iffley during the first lockdown.

It proved so successful that she was able to sell her car and get by borrowing it from someone else.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone

As well as the obvious environmental benefits, there’s another benefit to joining the successful car-sharing business ahead of the city’s new Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) rollout next month.

Electric vehicles don’t have to pay a fee – between £2 and £10 a day – for driving in Oxford city centre. So if you can rent one instead of driving your petrol car, you might be able to avoid the costly fee – and help the environment in the process.

There are many different loops in the Oxford car sharing system depending on where you live.

To keep the process local, the city was divided into areas. So if you don’t make your car available to everyone, only people who live in your neighborhood can borrow your car.

Ms Kerr explained: “I’m now only borrowing and I’ve saved a lot of money.

“I can rent a car within 30 meters of my house.”

How does it work?

Everything is done through a handy app called Hiyacar.

Emily said, “Hiyacar is a commercial operator and does most of the work for us. It deals with the insurance that “mounts” on top of your existing insurance and means that people are covered when they lend someone else’s car.

“Signing up is free and literally takes five minutes.”

You have to pay to borrow someone’s car, but only if you use it. Hiyacar does not charge any upfront costs.

The car-sharing loops in Oxford

The existing car sharing loops

Emily is in the Iffley loop, the first to be set up at Oxford and which currently involves seven cars.

Since then, she has helped others build loops across the city.

The most recent area to get involved in is Florence Park which just launched on Monday 10th January.

Emily said she believes more people “will sign up as we become more sustainable” and is already hoping to help others expand outside of Oxford, including in towns like Witney.

She is currently conducting a survey on her website to determine demand for new loops

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