All services need resources to function. If income from your passengers isn't enough to cover your ongoing costs, you will need to look into other sources of funding.

Applying for a grant

When applying for a grant you will need to show that you have done your homework.

  • Prepare a budget that covers one-off start-up costs plus the ongoing costs of running the service
  • Some funders will be more willing to fund one-off start-up costs than ongoing running costs
  • Compare your budget with similar schemes – you don't want to have to ask for more money because you underestimated costs

Ideally, income from passengers will cover most of your on-going costs. Fares need to be set at realistic levels. Too low and you will struggle to make ends meet, too high and you may discourage people from using the service.

Where can I apply for funding?

Hampshire County Council

Hampshire County Council makes grants available for voluntary and community organisations. You can also find help and advice for your grant application.

Councils of Voluntary Service (CVS)

Councils of Voluntary Service offer 'search for funding' services. They will help you identify bodies offering grants for schemes like yours.

The Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund provides grants to local community improvement services.

  • The 'Awards for All' programme aims to improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. It is a small grants scheme making awards of between £300 and £10,000
  • The 'Reaching Communities: England' programme aims to reduce rural isolation. Rural community transport projects can apply for grants of up to £500,000

Good Neighbours Network

The Good Neighbours Network offers set-up grants for Voluntary Car Schemes.

District or Borough Council

Contact your local District or Borough Council to find out if funding for transport schemes is available. This may be through a Transport Contributions Policy List or the Community Forum Process.


Some funding providers require an organisation to match funding for any grant they provide. If you need to raise money, fundraising schemes can be found on the IdeasFundraising website.