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04-03-2018 / Infographic

What is car sharing?

Łukasz Rosa

Photo by Burst

Today is past. Tomorrow is now.

Basically, those two statements can describe the rate of changes in the world of mobility. Last few years brought technology-led innovations that are in line with the global mega-trends. Along with the new approach to vehicle ownership (socialization of property). All of those are creating future mobility. To understand it better it’s worth to answer simple question:

What is the car sharing?

There are many different terms used all over the world that describes car sharing. In the UK you will find “car clubs” that in the US will stand for “carsharing”, “car sharing”, “car-sharing”. Popular in UK “carpooling” or “ride sharing” in the US will describe people traveling together in one car to save costs. In India, you will find “self-drive” and in Africa “lift scheme”.

It is not that easy to describe all of those. But the most general definition explains car sharing as a car rental model, where people can rent cars for short time periods. Minutes, hours or days rentals are the playground of car sharing companies. In fact, those are not only companies. In this model, you will find B2B, B2C, C2C rentals. So many different combinations.

For sure the most popular nowadays are B2C types but this approach is changing extremely fast by popularity increase of sharing economy. Talking about popularity it’s worth to mention just a few numbers. In 2017 car2go (the largest car sharing company in the world) had 2 500 000 registered members with car fleet of 14 000 cars. Second biggest was Zipcar with more than 700 000 members and 11 000 cars.

If someone would like to quantify how big is car sharing market it’s worth to check Navigant Consulting that predicts car sharing services growth up to 6,2 billion US dollars by 2020 with more than 12 million members worldwide. Car sharing services are global phenomenon with double digits growth where Europe represents over 50% of global market with over 5 800 000 users and more than 68 000 cars. In Europe Germany is the leader in car sharing services with expected growth to 3 100 000 users by 2020.

What problems does car sharing solve?

Definitely one of the most burning problems that car sharing helps to reduce is congestion that city dwellers faced all over the world. According to The Economist, one rental car can replace 15 owned vehicles. Moreover, the mindset of new generations Is changing. We had opportunity to check Airbnb, we know how safe it becomes, so new generations are not afraid of sharing world. Ownership is no longer a necessity.

What are the types of car sharing?

There are many classifications by which car sharing can be categorized. You can categorize it by accessibility, convenient location, price points, availability for selected groups, usage areas.

You will find stationery and free-floating B2C and B2B car sharing companies. Stationary B2C and B2B are more traditional way while free-floating is much more flexible and addressable to individual needs. Therefore it can compete with new mobility providers such us Uber or Mytaxi. There is also a niche model but very prominent P2P (peer-to-peer car sharing). Where individuals via dedicated platform provide their own car for rental to other individuals. P2P car sharing, carpooling by its definition does not have the limitations that traditional methods have ex. Car fleet. In P2P model the more trustful users that are willing to rent their cars the better service and broader portfolio.

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