Toyota Yuko Logo
Toyota has launched a new car sharing pilot scheme in two European cities, with its hybrid cars right at the heart of the programme.
Called Yuko, the scheme is underway in Forli, Italy and, a little closer to home, a second pilot programme is currently taking place in Dublin, Ireland.
Every model in the car-sharing club is a hybrid, and presently those who take part in the sharing scheme have access to three different models – Yaris, Auris, and Prius hybrids. Only 22 (15 in Dublin and seven in Forli) cars currently make up the Yuko squad but Toyota will expand the line-up with a fourth choice in the form of the C-HR Hybrid crossover soon.
The company says it’s starting small to verify its business model, but has ambitions to expand into more European cities with more vehicles in the near future.
Making the scheme affordable is a key part of Toyota’s model, and Yuko is aimed squarely at those who own no cars at all. To join the Dublin car club, you’ll need to pay a start-up fee of €50 and a standard monthly subscription of €6.
Accessing one of the cars incurs a fee at an hourly rate. The very cheapest option – the Yaris hybrid – is from €8 an hour in Dublin, while a 15-minute extension can be activated for an extra €2. Having the car for an entire day costs €60, and the prices increase incrementally as you go up Toyota’s hybrid range. 50km of fuel is bundled in to the deal.
While Yuko is the first hybrid-only car-sharing club in Europe to be backed by a manufacturer, car sharing as an idea is nothing new. BMW’s DriveNow scheme is one of the most established in Europe, alongside clubs like Zipcar – a car rental alternative from Avis.