News#CoronaVirus
Read time: 01'46''
8 May 2020

Karshare offers NHS workers vehicles to reduce the risk of infection

With the prospect of holidays and getaways being disappearing, Andy Hibbert needed to respond quickly to reinvent his car-sharing business Car & Away, a service that was operational at Gatwick and Bristol airport allowing motorists to rent their cars out while they went on holiday. And so Karshare.com was born amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Before the pandemic, Andy Hibbert – now the founder and CEO of Karshare – was focused on running his car-sharing business Car & Away which allowed motorists to rent their cars out while they went on holiday, which was up and running at Gatwick and Bristol airport.

He quickly pivoted and launched Karshare, a free community car share scheme, in cities across England where members of the local community loan their cars to be used by charity workers, food bank and NHS volunteers, health and care workers, absolutely free of charge.

After just four weeks, Karshare has had 10,000 days of car hire – equating to 28 years’ worth – pledged from local car owners who are willing to loan their vehicles during this time. Karshare has already surpassed their original goal of 500 cars pledged (currently at 550) and has seen 50% growth week-on-week in car owners signing up.

Andy has persuaded QBE Insurance to provide the insurance, the RAC to cover roadside assistance and The Assured Group to provide cleaning of all cars. It’s launched in Bristol, Brighton, London and Manchester with more cities on the horizon. With many NHS workers having to rely on public transport to get to and from shifts, Andy wanted to offer them vehicles so they could travel safely and reduce the risk of infection.

Cars have been matched with workers including at the Nightingale field hospital in London, the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Southmead Hospital, Stepping Hill Hospital Manchester as well as charities including ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ in Battersea and Brighton Community Centre which both provide essential food and care packages to those in need in the local community.

“We started thinking about how we could make a difference in the current situation and the principle is exactly the same. The average car lies unused for 96% of the time, even more so when offices and schools are shut. It seems like a waste when there are many charities and locals within the community that need transportation support right now.” – Andy Hibbert, Founder & CEO of Karshare