Cardiff council has announced plans to introduce short term hire vehicles to the city’s streets in a bid to reduce congestion. City Car Club has been given the contract to run the scheme which will see 10 low-carbon emission vehicles occupying parking spaces throughout Cardiff from this October.

The scheme is to be funded through the Sustainable Travel City initiative and will cost £120,000 for the first two years. The authorities hope that after the scheme has become established it will pay for itself. City Car Club already operates in Edinburgh, Bristol, Bath and London.

The aim of the scheme is to encourage residents of Cardiff to reduce their reliance of private car ownership. According to Coun Delme Bowen, the city’s transport chief, the provision of one car club vehicle is enough to replace the need for 20 private vehicles. He added that statistics show that people who use car clubs are also much more likely to use public transport as well.

To use the car club vehicles, all residents have to do is sign up to the scheme on the City Car Club website. Members are then issued with a smart card which can be used to unlock the rental vehicle. The keys are kept in a box which can be unlocked using a pin code. There is also a card which can be used by members for filling up the vehicle’s tank with petrol.

After being used, the car is returned to the parking spot it was collected from and the driver simply walks away.