Why buy a new car when you can hail and share

An American survey has revealed that more people prefer ride hailing and car sharing to owning a car

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A US study into the rise of ride hailing and car sharing services has found that three-fifths of the urban dwellers polled no longer think owning a vehicle is important for their mobility needs.

The survey, conducted for Autotrader in the USA, polled 1250 consumers on their car ownership and mobility habits, and found that while we still rely on owning cars for mobility, the future is likely to be very different.

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Generation Z (12-22 year olds) was least likely to associate vehicle ownership with mobility, with more than half (55 percent) saying that owning a car is not important for their transportation needs.

By comparison, only 34 percent of Generation X (37-53) and just 28 percent of Baby Boomers (54-72) felt the same way.

These numbers are higher in comparison to a similar 2015 poll, which means the pendulum is swinging inexorably in favour of alternatives to car ownership.

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The survey’s lead analyst, Michelle Krebs, said “the trend line for these programs could drastically alter this industry over the next five to 10 years”.

Almost half of all respondents also believe the cost of owning or leasing a vehicle is too high, and that “more consumers are prioritizing technology solutions that provide easy and more cost-effective mobility over traditional vehicle ownership”.

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Awareness of ride-hailing services like Uber are extremely high, 88 percent said they are aware of this option regardless of where they live. The awareness of car sharing, on the other hand, was only at 54 percent, suggesting that accessibility and market fragmentation is holding this ownership alternative back.

Just 25 percent of respondents were aware of car subscription options, where you lease a vehicle but can swap it for a different type of vehicle on a weekly or monthly basis.

 

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Glenn Butler
Journalist

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