For people who don't need a car of their own but would like to have access to a ride now and again, car clubs (aka car sharing programs) can be a perfect solution. To join one of these car clubs, you typically pay a membership fee in addition to per use charges. Members reserve cars ahead of time and some clubs even offer up some pretty exotic rides.

These clubs are gaining popularity due to the increasing financial demand of owning a car, part of which is caused by rising gas prices. Over in the UK, for example, car club memberships have skyrocketed in the last year. Currently, the UK Department of Transport reports that 112,928 people are members of some sort of car sharing program, nearly double the amount reported last year. The increase in the UK is partially driven by ridiculous gas prices of over $8 a gallon (U.S.). This has forced many residents to drive less and less, reducing the need to own a car. This means that, for long road trips or times when you need to haul big piles of stuff, you can sign up for a sign club or pick from the usual below-par vehicles on the rental lots. It's up to you.

[Source: Autocar | Image: Nick Piggott - C.C. License 2.0]

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