Cost-cut­ting oc­ca­sional car

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

He­len Skel­ton doesn’t worry about soar­ing petrol prices.

The in­ner-city res­i­dent hasn’t owned a car for eight years and has no plans to buy one.

But she has signed up to Ci­ty­hop, a car share scheme run­ning in Auck­land city for the past eight months.

“We thought about get­ting a car but there’s the ex­tra cost of park­ing and that sort of thing,” she says.

“But it’s good to be able to grab a car when­ever you want to.”

Ms Skel­ton and her part­ner hire a car two or three times a week, mostly for short trips.

“That’s a cost of about $60 a week, but if we owned a car we’d be pay­ing $50 a week just for park­ing.”

Reg­is­tered mem­bers can book one of Ci­ty­hop’s 20 cars for $12 an hour, in­clud­ing petrol, and pick them up at city park­ing build­ings.

Since launch­ing last year Ci­ty­hop has re­cruited 150 mem­bers and ex­panded its fleet from five to 20.

Founder Vic­to­ria Carter says mem­bers gen­er­ally drive half as much as when they owned a car.

“We know from talk­ing to our mem­bers that once they join Ci­ty­hop they start to think about what is the most ef­fi­cient means of trans­port for their task – walk­ing, bik­ing, pub­lic trans­port, taxi or car share,” she says.

The com­pany is phas­ing in new Mit­subishi i-cars, fea­tur­ing a mo­tor­bike-sized mo­tor which uses only about five litres of petrol per 100km.

A Ci­ty­hop car is based at Auck­land Re­gional Coun­cil’s Pitt St of­fices as part of a trial.

A spokes­woman says they sup­port the con­cept, but there hasn’t been a rush on the car, pos­si­bly be­cause staff are al­ready in the habit of us­ing pub­lic trans­port and walk­ing.

A cy­cle hire com­pany, GoodGear Bikes, is also re­port­ing a strong up­take from city res­i­dents.

The com­pany has been run­ning for three months, of­fer­ing bikes for short-term hire at 11 lo­ca­tions in the cen­tral city.

Founder Ju­lian Hull says he’s been sur­prised at the use by res­i­dents.

“I had orig­i­nally aimed at tourists and while they have been us­ing it, they haven’t been us­ing it at the rate that city dwellers have.

“And those are the peo­ple who will be re­peat cus­tomers.”

For de­tails on Ci­ty­hop see­ty­ For GoodGear Bikes see www.


Easy ride: In­ner-city res­i­dent He­len Skel­ton drives a Ci­ty­hop Mit­subishi i-car.

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