A free community car share scheme is launching in Manchester to help mobilise those essential workers who don’t have their own car and struggle to get to work safely.

Inspired by wonderful efforts in the Manchester community during COVID-19, the brand new scheme aims to collect a fleet of 10,000 cars on loan from generous members of the local community, to be provided for health workers, care workers, charity workers, food banks and NHS staff free of charge.

The experienced team behind the aptly named initiative, Karshare, are asking local people to kindly donate their unused cars for at least a week and it will be cleaned and sanitised by return.

The donated cars will be inspected for roadworthiness and fully insured by Karshare. They will then be given to Manchester-based frontline workers, NHS staff, charities and food banks who can use the borrowed wheels to keep essential goods and services moving in Manchester. After a week they will be fully cleaned and returned to their owners.

Initially launched in Bristol, Karshare has seen over 450 people loan their cars to date.

Karshare is the latest innovation founded by established peer to peer car sharing company Car & Away who launched at Gatwick Airport in 2017, allowing passengers at the airport to rent out their vehicles whilst on holiday.

A free community car share scheme is launching in Manchester to help mobilise frontline workers I Love Manchester
Karshare founder Andy Hibbert

“We’re already partnered with Gatwick and Bristol Airports where we run a service renting out people’s cars when they go on holiday,” explained Karshare founder Andy Hibbert.

“We started thinking about how we could make a difference in the current situation and the principle is exactly the same.

“The average car already sits unused for 96% of the time, even more so now as most of us are staying at home. These cars could really be helping so many vulnerable people given there are many care workers and charities within the community that need transportation support right now.”

To help this community-driven initiative, Assured Group Ltd is providing cleaning for all the cars, QBE Insurance Group is providing the insurance and the RAC is providing roadside assistance.

Andy Hibbert continues: “If you have a car you’re not going to need for the next week or two, we can put it to good use, doing good in Manchester.”

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