Car Sharing Services Mean Fewer Car Sales

zipcarA new report by AlixPartners suggests that for every one car ZipCar adds to its fleet, 32 other new or used vehicle sales are lost. It won’t take long for those numbers to start adding up.

A decade ago, car sharing didn’t even exist, but these days car sharing services like ZipCar are a hot ticket, helping take a substantial bite out of the car sales market. These days though, many people opting for car sharing services like ZipCar are young Millennials living in urban areas, where the cost of car ownership is exacerbated by parking fees and higher insurance rates. Once you factor in gas, taxes, car payments, and maintenance, car ownership becomes one of the highest draws on your wallet. ZipCar members only have to pay for gas and membership fees however, saving many people literally hundreds of dollars every month. This means fewer buyers for cars, both new and used.

The report says that the average car sharing service has about 66 members for every 1 car in its fleet, but by 2020 that number could jump to 81 people per car. Furthermore, 48% of car sharing service members end up forgoing the purchase of a replacement vehicle altogether. Since 2006, this has meant approximately 500,000 fewer new car sales. By 2020, that number could rise to 1.2 million as services like ZipCar continue to expand, further contributing to a decline in actual car ownership.

The slow-and-steady growth of car sharing could explode with the introduction of autonomous cars. The technology is likely to be prohibitively expensive at first, but car sharing services could literally pull up to your front door, warmed up and ready to take you wherever you want to go. In that sense car sharing becomes more like a taxi system, and this “vehicle on demand” system could replace the car ownership model as we know it.

Source: Automotive News

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.