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4_Car Sharing

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Presentation of the measure


Car Sharing is a mobility service where people pay to use a car by hour / day etc, and the car is owned by an individual company that runs the scheme on a commercial basis. Normally the cars are not located in one central depot, but spread across the city or even several cities. Car-sharing can also be organised within an organisation by a formal booking system (in the UK it is called Car Club). For Car Sharing the users normally need to register as a club member first. In contrast to car rental it is normally possible to use the car for a very short time and normally there is no personnel needed to provide the car keys. Many car-sharing organisations provide instead special key boxes/stations or use key cards (accessible to members only) to open the car at one of the locations.

Car Sharing is attractive to customers who only occasionally use a vehicle (less than 10000 kilometres per year). Depending on whether you’re a public authority, a company or a transport operator you can provide the car-sharing service, support the initiative of car-sharing, offer incentives to use car-sharing or integrate car-sharing facilities in your town planning scheme.

Car Sharing is a mobility service with positive ecological effects (especially regarding CO2). The service provides an alternative to individual car ownership by offering the hire of cars or vehicles at convenient locations within an area. By requiring pre-registration and often membership of some kind of club, these sharing arrangements then make the actual booking and hire process a very speedy one that is normally done on the internet, and the car accessed by means of remote communications.

Impacts


Car Sharing lets drivers pay as they go, with minimal fixed costs but much higher variable costs. Users reduce their private vehicle use and save costs. Some households can save on residential parking costs as well as vehicle expenses.

Drivers for success

Car Sharing requires a sufficient number of users within convenient walking and cycling distance of where vehicles are parked, and is most effective in areas with good travel alternatives and higher urban density.

Integrate car-sharing with other mobility services makes it more convenient and effective: e.g. car-sharing could be bundled with public transport passes, taxis service and rideshare matching, giving users an integrated package of mobility options additional locations close to existing PT stops and stations facilitate multi-modal travel behaviour.

Possible barriers


Some car share providers have reported difficulties in obtaining loans and insurance. Overhead costs for vehicle management, reservations and billing can be significant, so innovations that reduce theses costs would help make car-sharing more feasible.

Another major barrier is the need to establish and maintain a critical mass of users (typically 30 members or more). Car-sharing cannot develop until enough potential users in each area are familiar with the concept, understand how it can benefit them, and develop trust in the organisations. This will require education and marketing. Car-share providers may require seed money to become established.

Costs of the measure


Find details on costs of this measure in the UK by clicking on the following link (see section 8.7 about Staffing and budgets for car clubs):

www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/smarterchoices/ctwwt/chapter8carclubs.pdf