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Car sharing and insurance

The insurance industry is committed to supporting new mobility concepts, including car sharing and other shared transport. Car sharing allows individuals and businesses to have access to a car without having to own one, can help create a more sustainable transport system and help to meet the Government’s decarbonisation target of net zero emissions by 2050. Car sharing vehicles are located on-street at convenient locations that are easily assessable by car sharing scheme members and can be hired by the hour or day.

There are a number of different car sharing models:

  • National car clubs – These operate nationally all over the UK and operators include Zipcar, Enterprise, Co-wheels and Ubeeqo. Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK), the charity for the public benefit of shared transport including car sharing schemes, accredits car clubs and more details on accreditation can be found here
  • Community-led car clubs – These tend to operate in in more rural, low density areas where the larger national car clubs are unlikely to operate. Community groups can own their own vehicle(s) and run their own local car club taking care of all the operations such as driver checks, booking, billing and maintenance, etc. Examples of community-led car clubs can be found here on the CoMoUK website.
  • Peer-to-peer car sharing – There are a number of platforms in UK that allow individuals or organisations with underused vehicles to hire them out to local members by the hour, including GetAround, HiyaCar, Karshare and Turo. These vehicles are insured by their owner under a private motor insurance policy, but when hired out through the peer-to-peer platform, the peer-to-peer operator’s commercial insurance policy takes over to cover the journey when the vehicle is being shared. Car owners are advised to inform their insurance provider that the car is listed on a sharing platform. The CoMoUK website has further details here.

Ride sharing, where a car owner shares their journey with someone else going the same way, is different from car sharing, where individuals share a vehicle. There are a number of ride sharing platforms, such as Liftshare, BlaBlaCar, GoCarShare, Jambuster, and Skoot, that operate in the UK. The driver can only share the cost of the journey, they are not allowed to make a profit.

The ABI is supportive of car and ride sharing platforms. ABI motor insurers have agreed that your insurance cover will not be affected if your passengers contribute towards your journey costs (including fuel, vehicle depreciation and associated vehicle running costs), as long as lifts are given in a vehicle seating eight passengers or less. This does not apply if you make a profit from payments received or if carrying passengers is your business.

We recommend that if you are part of a car or ride sharing scheme, you check the terms and conditions carefully and speak to your insurer to check you have the right level of cover.

If you are struggling to find appropriate insurance cover for car sharing, you may want to consider using a broker. BIBA runs a ‘Find Insurance’ service, which can be contacted at https://www.biba.org.uk/find-insurance/ or 0370 950 1790. Searching for Share: Car Sharing will provide brokers who specialise in arranging insurance for car sharing.

More information on car sharing can be found at CoMoUK.