Members save up to 50% on great days out
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Lee Davey continues his money-saving quest by taking advantage of the Club’s latest short-term car hire deal
In the January 2022 issue of the Club Magazine (pages 60-62), I talked about the various ways that Club membership could save you money, using our typical caravanning year as an example. One of the latest Club partnerships has the potential to save you money and make travel more convenient.
Car ‘clubs’ have been in the UK for a number of years, offering access to locally sited cars on a short-term hire basis. They could benefit many motorhome owners, especially those who prefer to pitch just once and then use other forms of travel from site (such as a nearby bus or train service). Or they could represent a handy way to enter clean air zones without penalty (potentially helping you do your bit for the environment too).
The Caravan and Motorhome Club has partnered with Enterprise Car Club, which has multiple pick-up locations nationwide. The typical annual membership is £60, although if you join with the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s discount code, you will receive a £40 discount on your first year, plus £20 free driving credit.
To examine this offer in greater detail and combine it with other money-saving offers, I booked a pitch at Crossways Club Campsite near Dorchester, aiming to explore local attractions using an Enterprise Car Club car. It’s worth noting that you’ll need to join comfortably in advance of your trip – once the online application form has been submitted, along with the required driving licence photos, it can take 48 hours to receive a verification phone call from Enterprise Car Club.
With my membership activated, I downloaded the app, entered my details, and then scrolled to the ‘Create Reservation’ section. From here, I selected my location, date and time before scrolling through a list of vehicles at nearby pick-up sites. Once the booking has been made, and confirmed via e-mail, you need to arrive at the car at the designated time, unlock it via the app, enter your unique pin into the keypad inside the glove box, retrieve the key and begin your journey.
Enterprise Car Club cars can’t be delivered, so you may need to drop someone at the Enterprise bay on your way to the site – or catch a bus or train to collect your vehicle. Talking of trains, collection points can include train stations as well as supermarket car parks, something I wasn’t aware of until the lovely staff at Enterprise Dorchester mentioned it.
The hire fee is per hour or per day. It includes fuel – but you pay for mileage covered. Should you need to fill up, a fuel card can be found in the glove box. Enterprise Car Club provides electric vehicles at some of its locations (not Dorchester) in which case you will be provided with a charge card. Be sure to check for damage before setting off (make sure you don’t overlook things such as wheels and windscreen) – you can report anything you spot via the app. I didn’t want the possible burden of a £1,000 damage excess charge, so as this was a trial run, I decided to pay an extra £2 per hour to reduce this to just £100. If I find this service particularly useful during future trips, I can pay an annual fee to reduce the excess to £100 on all bookings, without paying the additional £2 per hour. Once you have finished with the car you are expected to return it to the original pick-up location.
After collecting the car, we visited nearby attractions in Dorchester and Weymouth. Continuing the money-saving theme, I’d already visited camc.com/greatsavingsguide and discovered a list of attractions near Crossways offering member discounts. These included two-for-one entry at the Tutankhamun Exhibition, The Dinosaur Museum, The Teddy Bear Museum and The Terracotta Warriors Museum in Dorchester, as well as a 20% discount at Abbotsbury Swannery and Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens.
Although it’s not included in the Great Savings Guide, The Tank Museum at Bovington is worthy of mention and is a favourite of ours when staying at Crossways, as your ticket grants free entry on subsequent visits within the next 12 months. The beach at Weymouth is another favourite, thanks to its fine sands and an array of food and drink outlets within a few yards of the seafront. If cooking in the caravan seems too much of a chore, we often opt for fish and chips here. There’s plenty of parking nearby, so it’s the perfect spot to visit by car.
Looking at savings made over the weekend, if I include the £40 saved on my Car Club membership and the £12 saved at The Dinosaur Museum, this adds £52 to my annual savings tally. Not bad!
It’s worth noting that nationwide Car Club bookings can be made irrespective of the location
Don’t forget that some of our sites – including Crossways – offer non-electric pitches, which are perfect for those who are happy to rely on their leisure battery/solar panels etc. For comparison, the price for three nights on a hardstanding pitch at Crossways for two adults and a child from 21 April 2023 was £99 – the equivalent economy pitch was £82.80 ( a potential saving of £16.20). To find out more visit camc.com/economypitches.
Teddy Bear Museum
The Dinosaur Museum at Dorchester
The campsite’s bug hotel
Car Club keypad lives in the glovebox
Car Club app