Lucrative corporate members tempt City Car Club to buy rival WhizzGo

Pay-as-you-go City Car Club has bought rival WhizzGo for a six-figure sum to become the UK's biggest with a network in 15 cities, 16,000 members and 500 cars.

City's chief executive, James Finlayson, said it was a strategic acquisition which will allow "our current and future members to have access to our cars in most major UK cities. Buying WhizzGo was a key move and one we have been looking to make for some time."

The turnover of the new business will be about £5m after huge growth in the past year as motorists opted to rent cars by the hour rather than buy them. Mr Finlayson started trading in 2001 with 4 cars in Huddersfield but by 2008 membership had soared by 80 per cent, and has gone up another 55 per cent in the first half of this year.

The deal also allows City to expand its corporate membership base. "WhizzGo has been successful in achieving a richer mix of corporate members," Mr Finlayson said.