Cambio car sharing scheme sets new record
Spurred by the energy crisis and the long waiting times for new vehicles, Belgium’s car sharing scheme Cambio has now reached a record 63,494 members, the company has announced.
The scheme that was set up in 2000, attracted more than 9,000 new users last year, reports RTBF. Reservations increased by 16% in 2022, said Cambio Brussels’ director Frédéric Van Malleghem.
“The good news is that for the first time in 20 years, the number of users has gone up more in Wallonia than in its Flemish and Brussels’ counterparts. It’s really a fantastic trend, as Wallonia has seen growth of more than 20%.”
The greater visibility of Cambio and larger choice of cars – with some 2,100 vehicles now available – has contributed to the increased use of the service.
Car sharing is no longer a new habit. It integrates well with public transport and offers clear financial benefits for people who do not need cars every day: “It is the future for mobility in town,” according to Lorraine, one regular Cambio user.
“With Cambio, 2,100 cars are available in more than 80 cities. A cosy little car? A comfortable car for four or more luxury for seven? Our cars are waiting for you 24/7,” says its website.
The company promises an “all-inclusive” experience, “good for the environment and your wallet”. Fuel and maintenance costs are included with the fully insured cars, along with free parking, and “no more cleaning”.
Cambio members pay a fixed cost per kilometre and per hour, depending on the size and class of car. Subscriptions are online with the Cambio card received at home. After downloading the app, users’ first trip can be booked via this app or on the internet or by phone. Cars are picked up at the designated stations and must be returned in time. Invoices are paid monthly per kilometre and per hour.
And now the scheme is not just for cars. Cambio’s new offering is electric cargo bikes – a useful option for people who no longer want to drive, do not possess a licence or have difficulty finding parking spots.
Cambio’s cargo bikes are popular for young families; car sharing can have its limits as some vehicles are not fitted with special child seats.
Photo: © Belga/John Thys