Background to the programme
An employee of the municipal workshops in the town of Villeneuve d'Ascq has realised that a certain number of cars were unused even though these vehicles were still working and could be used for people in need. This assessment has motivated the donation of these cars by the town council. After several series of grants, this initiative was established in 2005 in the form of an association: Auto Solidaire.
Objectives of the programme
- Enable mobility and end isolation
- Support the public towards socio-professional integration
- Benefit from a vehicle in good condition
- Establish a social bond and promote exchanges
Membership for the year costs €20 and enables access to several services:
- Rental of a car at a price of €8 per day (some members, with the help of Pôle Emploi, are exempt from paying the membership and can rent a car for €2 per day)
- Repair of vehicles at a reduced rate (depending on the household allowance) and/or payment in instalments
- Socio-professional coaching and mobility that supports the beneficiary in reading a map, in preparing a trip, buying a vehicle from an individual, in writing a curriculum vita ...
- Coffee breaks that bring together the members and the employees around a table to discuss and bring out new ideas
- The prevention workshops and mechanical workshops
The members themselves are in charge of fuel and must return the vehicle with the same amount as on the first day.
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
- The garage has 50 cars (donations, rentals by individuals who are no longer able to afford the costs ...)
- 400 to 450 members are registered each year.
- Beneficiaries have found work again through the loan of a vehicle needed for administrative procedures, to go to interviews, to remain in employment ...
- Winner of the Cooperative Credit Prize
Auto Solidaire works like a regular garage (as a mechanic repairs the vehicles). However, the association does not limit itself to these traditional services. It offers real support work.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
Insurers, traditional and social driving schools, Lille Foundation, Fondation Renault, traditional garages (equipment donations), micro-credits and job centre
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
- Insurance is the main difficulty: the cars are insured for the minimum because the insurers stigmatise the public being integrated and estimate that there is too much risk.
- Some traffic offenses, theft, delinquency, people forgetting to return a vehicle and burglaries
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
- Payment to be made before the renting of a vehicle
- Setting up of a remote surveillance system
- An inventory before and after each rental of a vehicle to check the fuel levels
- Request for direct debit authorisation for the deposit as the beneficiaries' situation does not allow them to have a cheque book
Suggestions for future improvement :
Create a Worksite Integration Workshop (ACI)
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
- Have good cohesion in the team
- Maintain good relationships with partners
- The association has created a federation that brings together several solidarity garages in order to support the repair organisations and to discuss practices.