We want to say a big thank you to those Owners Club members who responded to our survey about car-share schemes and other potential substitutes for car ownership.
The results we got back from you were very clear-cut. While 87% agreed that the cost of car ownership has been going up in recent years, only 12% felt tempted to give up car ownership altogether.
The overwhelming majority of you car-loving enthusiasts wouldn’t dream of giving up your own little world on wheels, with one respondent saying that he would rather sacrifice a meal each day than give up private motoring. And this strength of feeling was pretty widespread, with 76 per cent of respondents saying they would miss their car “hugely” if it were taken away from them.
That said, however, there was a lot of interest in the possibility of supplementing car journeys with public transport, walking, cycling or by joining a car-share scheme; but only (said the vast majority) in addition to owning a car, not instead of it.
Understandably, those living away from urban areas were the most strongly averse to giving up their cars.
Numerous practical reasons were provided by those taking part in the survey to explain why they planned to keep their cars. Many explained that public transport was not adequate in the area they lived, such as one Ford owner who said, “Living in a rural area and with public transport a last resort, the car is essential to give me access to what I want, when I want. With the majority of the working rural population totally reliant on cars, there is no viable public transport solution in place, or even envisaged in the foreseeable future.”
Meanwhile, others said they preferred not to share their journeys with strangers. As one respondent colourfully pleaded, “Please stop trying to get us to pile into buses and subways like cattle. It’s not for everyone, and clearly not everyone takes a bath daily.”
And then there were the emotional reasons. Many of us see our cars as private spaces in which to venture out into the world. That’s important to us.
It seems that while Owners Club members are interested in car-share schemes for practical reasons, we are very strongly bonded to our cars, and we aren’t going to give them up any time soon – whatever the financial advantages might be.