An urban car-sharing trial will be launched in Wellington today as part of a plan to relieve congestion and give city residents more transport choices.
The new scheme in the capital follows a call from Auckland's transport bosses for a private sector partner to run a major electric car-sharing scheme.
Car-share schemes had "taken off internationally" and it was increasingly expensive for the capital's inner-city residents to own cars, Wellington's deputy mayor Justin Lester told NZME.
Mr Lester said if the city wanted to attract more young people, it had to give those people better transport options.
He said in Wellington's CBD, new apartments weren't required to come with carparks, and typically a city resident could expect to fork out more than $60 a week for a carpark.
"So that's three grand a year, and that's before your running costs, or the costs of the car."
Mr Lester said car-sharing schemes were up and running in Sydney, Melbourne and several European and North American cities.
The car-share trial supporters said the scheme should help relieve traffic congestion and environmental problems.
As part of the initiative, several city carparks would be made available to approved car-share operators at no charge.
"For many people and businesses who only need access to a vehicle periodically, this could prove very attractive, and significantly reduce the cost of owning, operating and parking private vehicles that they only use infrequently," said Wellington councillor Andy Foster.
Three car-share organisations -- Cityhop, Roam, and YourDrive -- were involved in the Wellington trial, which was expected to run until the middle of next year.
Roam was founded in Wellington and had by today raised $264,300 on a crowdfunding website.
"People who have cars rent them out when they're not using them. People without a car can rent the right one for their needs close to where they live," the company said on the Crowdcube site.
In May, Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Auckland Transport (AT) chairman Lester Levy issued a worldwide call for investors in an electric car-share scheme.
AT was interested in an initial fleet of 200 to 300 vehicles, with support from about 350 charging stations across the city.
Wellington City Council said the capital's car-share scheme had three trial locations:
• The corner of Victoria and Willeston Sts
• Wakefield St in front of Felix Cafe
• Inglewood Place opposite the entrance to Four Kings bar