Highland Council staff save £400,000 with car-sharing switch

Council staff use car-sharing club vehicles for work trips rather than their own. Picture: Enterprise Car Club
Council staff use car-sharing club vehicles for work trips rather than their own. Picture: Enterprise Car Club
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Highland Council staff have switched to a car-sharing club rather than using their own vehicles for work - saving more than £400,000 in a year.

The local authority has followed organisations like Police Scotland in making the move, which has also cut such mileage by 22 per cent.

The cars are used for staff to travel between offices, schools and depots. Picture: Enterprise Car Club

The cars are used for staff to travel between offices, schools and depots. Picture: Enterprise Car Club

Five other Scottish councils and three health boards are also using car clubs.

Highland has a fleet of 65 Enterprise Car Club vehicles, sited at 21 council offices.

This is planned to be increased to 80 by the end of the year.

Most are hybrids, with five electric cars based in Inverness, Golspie and Fort William, where average trips are shorter.

Staff use them instead of their own car and then claiming back the mileage.

BACKGROUND: Police start using car-sharing club vehicles to cut costs

Enterprise said the change had cut the council’s mileage by 825,000 miles and travel costs by 15 per cent.

The council has also reduced travel with improved video conference equipment and by encouraging staff to share vehicles or go by public transport instead of driving on their own.

Allan Henderson, chair of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee, said: “Enterprise has completely transformed our approach to business travel and given us control over all the previously unmanaged elements.

Mileage 'drastically reduced'

“We’ll always have to deliver some services face-to-face, but this programme ensures our business mileage is drastically reduced, saving a lot of taxpayer money.”

READ MORE: Highlands Council cuts costs and carbon with car club

Enterprise Scotland and Northern Ireland general manager Diane Mulholland said: “The council has developed a sophisticated programme that encourages employees to avoid journeys if they can, and use the most cost-effective and sustainable option if the trip is unavoidable.

“It’s also monitored and adjusted on a day-to-day basis to keep it as efficient as possible.

“The impact on air quality and congestion could be significant if all organisations reduced their road travel emissions by 19 per cent and their business mileage by 13 per cent, as Highland Council has managed to achieve.”