Skoda says it is trialling Europe's first car-sharing service for Czech university students and is eyeing a sizeable opportunity in the UK.

It says it has developed 'Uniqway', a car-sharing platform for students who don't want to commit to outright car ownership during their studies.

The VW Group-owned brand says that with 2.3m students enrolled in higher education each year in the UK alone, Uniqway's pioneering car-sharing platform could see 'great demand in the future'. Uniqway enables both students and faculty members to only pay for what they use. The mobility service is available from GBP1.03 per hour plus 17p per kilometre driven; the fee goes down when using the car for greater distances or day trips.

Students simply sign up for the service for free using their student IDs and they then can connect instantly via the app to locate a car to borrow. The length and distance of their rental period is tracked and students pay for the service directly through the app. Pick up and drop off points for the car are available in assigned areas near university buildings, halls of residence and free parking areas around the city.

Uniqway is the first mobility service of its kind in Europe and has been developed by the car manufacturer in collaboration with university students. Skoda's innovation centre, DigiLab, oversaw the project and helped students to develop the app as well as the design and marketing for the service.

The project is now in operation across three university campuses in Prague. Uniqway utilises a fleet of Skoda Fabias that were chosen to support the scheme due to their 'advanced connectivity features, excellent fuel economy and compact size for city driving'.

The development of digital mobility solutions is one of the key pillars of Skoda's 2025 strategy to drive innovation. Uniqway has been spearheaded by Skoda Auto DigiLab, the Czech car manufacturer's central workshop for developing new mobility services and technology. DigiLab is working with progressive global start-ups, innovative enterprises, universities and innovation centres from all over the world.

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