The car-sharing first appeared in the 1950s and has experienced a big boom over the last decade, offering an alternative to the private ownership of a car. Rather than owning a private car that remains stationed for most of the time, the car-sharing user can use a vehicle to his own convenience depending on his needs. Thus, the use of a car is maximised since it is used the rest of the time by other members of this service.
What is Car-sharing ?
The car-sharing is a service of management of the fleet of vehicles allowing their use by many people successively. Rather than possessing a private vehicle which remains parked for most of the time (96% of the time), the user has access to a car that he only pays for the length of his use. For the rest of the time, the car is used by other members of this service.
There are three main ways of using car-sharing :
- car-sharing for internal fleet for local authorities and companies.
- public urban car-sharing, by delegating to the public services.
- the short-term rental (1 day) or very short-term rental (less than 1 day).
- the long-term rental (from 1 to 5 years according to a pre-established mileage).
- peer to peer car sharing : between private individuals.
All of the advantages of a personal car, without the inconveniences
While the average annual cost of a personal vehicle would represent 5 800€, according to the Automobile Club, the share of fixed costs borne by the owner (the purchase, the loss of value, the insurance policy, the parking) is much more important than the variable costs (petrol, toils…).
From the user’s point of view, car-sharing allows him to :
- Have access to a nearby car thanks to a network of stations.
- Have access to it in self-service 24/24 and 7/7.
- Use the car for short journeys.
- Share the costs (the purchase, insurance policy, repairs, petrol).
- Avoid seeking a parking space.
- Have the choice between many types of vehicles adapted to the needs (urban, sedan, estate car).
- Complete the alternative modes to the individual car : walking, bikes, public transportation, classic rental).
- Pay only what is used (billing by the hour and the mile).
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A true bargain for companies
One vehicle used in car-sharing represents 12 to 15 vehicles off of the traffic. Mobility being the second cost item of a company after the pay roll, the car-sharing seems to be the ideal solution to face the issues in business mobility since it allows a decrease of at least 30% of the costs of travels.
A future solution at a local level
By reducing the number of cars and by maximising their use, this new mobility brings solutions to the issues encountered by the big metropolis :
- Economic solution : reduction of the costs borne by the local authorities (space consumption, pollution, investments).
- Decongestion solution : significant positive impact on the traffic, the parking, the accidents).
- Ecologic solution : reduction of the pollution, of the noise, and development of the multiple-choices mobility and of the soft traveling methods(walking, bikes, public transport, carpool)