OWNERS CLUB SURVEY: Is Car Ownership Old News?
We’d like to know what YOU think about the future of car ownership and car-share schemes. Could car-sharing be the future face of urban transport? Will this new ‘mobility solution’ start to replace car ownership altogether?
The cost of motoring is persuading some people to give up their beloved cars and look for an alternative. That alternative might be walking, cycling, public transport, taxis, car hire – or, these days, car sharing.
The idea is that cars are parked in various locations in urban areas, ready for you to use. You can check availability online and book online, whether you want a car for an hour or a day – and all you need to do is return the car to a specially allocated parking place. All in all, it’s a whole lot more flexible than taking a taxi.
Meanwhile, costs are straightforward. After a relatively small annual ‘joining’ fee, you simply pay by the hour, with other costs – such as insurance, fuel and any Congestion Charge – included in the price. Incidentally, an interesting upside to the car-sharing phenomenon is that because of the wide variety of vehicles available on a fleet, users can often try out a cross-section of vehicles. You might even use it to ‘test drive’ your next car purchase. One American user wrote, “You might want to be a baller and drive a BMW all day, or save the planet and drive a Prius, or be quintessentially British and buzz around in a Mini Cooper, or obnoxious and get out in a big white van.”
Whether it’s used as an addition to car ownership or a replacement, there’s little doubt that car-sharing is growing hugely in popularity: it was recently announced that Avis has bought Zipcar, the world’s biggest car-sharing company, for $500 million.
In light of this trend, the Owners Club is keen to find out what our members think of car-sharing – and we’d be really grateful if you have time to answer the following questions: