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'Pay as You Drive' eco-friendly car hire in the Lakes

22nd August 2013 Print
Renault Twizy

A newly extended fleet of electric and low emission hire cars have taken to the roads of the Lake District, giving visitors a quirky green travel alternative - with all of the comfort, style and convenience of conventional car travel.

With the majority of the region’s 16 million annual visitors making short trips while they are here, the expanded fleet of eco-friendly ‘pay as you drive’ vehicles are ideal for getting around and are now available to rent by the hour from six key locations across the South and Central Lakes.

The introduction of these new vehicles follows the successful launch of three electric and low-carbon cars at Langdale and Windermere last year. It’s all part of the £6.9million GoLakes Travel programme, which is aiming to cut carbon emissions and give people new ways to experience and explore the area at the same time.

GoLakes Travel has teamed up with Co-Wheels to provide the latest eco-friendly additions, which include:

Ambleside, University of Cumbria car park (VW Up!)
Coniston Boating Centre (VW Up!)  and Coniston village (Renault Twizy)
Hawkshead, central car park (VW Up!)
Langdale Hotel & Spa (Renault Twizys)
Staveley (Renault Kangoo eVan and Peugeot 307)
Windermere Railway Station (Mini Clubman)

The low-emission VW Ups! are great cars for families, while another four- seater, the Mini Clubman, is handy for train passengers arriving at Windermere Railway Station. There is even a spacious electric van for bulkier loads. 

Meanwhile, the deliciously quirky, two-seater Renault Twizys are ideal for exploring the nooks and crannies of the central Lake District – and as they’re free from noisy engines, passengers can get closer to nature by enjoying the sounds of birdsong and simply savouring the sound of silence.

Alistair Kirkbride, Sustainable Transport Adviser for the GoLakes Travel Programme, says, “Both the electric cars and our very low emission vehicles are really handy for anyone who wants to explore the parts of the central Lake District beyond the reach of buses and boats. It also means that visitors can now seriously consider leaving their car at home, and residents can save money by getting rid of rarely used second cars. It’s easy to sign up, and it really is then turn up and go, and pay only for what you use.”

To hire a Twizy, drivers should contact the Coniston Boating Centre or Langdale Hotel and Spa to book, then arrive on the day with a UK driving licence. There are currently free electric car charging points in Grasmere, Ambleside and Langdale. Twizy drivers can also revel in heading over to Eskdale or Glenridding where there are more charge points. 12 further ‘pay as you go’ charge points are being installed in the coming weeks.

People can hire the other low emission vehicles by signing up with Co-Wheels online a few days before their visit. They’ll then receive their own smart card which gives them access to their chosen cars.

For more information, visit: or

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Renault Twizy