Carsharing is a service of renting cars for a short period of time (from 1 minute). Such not quite ordinary (classic) rentals have become very popular all over the world, especially in Europe. In this article we will look at what makes carsharing so attractive for customers, analyze the problems it solves and how it is developing in Europe.
Benefits of carsharing
Carsharing has many advantages that make it more attractive than traditional car rentals:
- Flexibility: users can rent a car for a few hours or days, without the need for a long-term rental agreement.
- Saving money: carsharing usually costs less than renting a car from a traditional company, includes city parking and fuel in the price of the service.
- Convenience: users can pick up and return the car anytime and anywhere or in convenient areas, making this service very convenient for travelers and city dwellers. There are no surcharges for night time, weekends or holidays.
- Eco-friendly: 1 carshare car replaces up to 10 of your own cars and helps to reduce the number of cars on the road, which reduces pollution.
- Fast: you can borrow a car in a few clicks on the app or with a special membership card.
- An alternative to cabs and your own car: carsharing has not only entered into competition with car rental, but also with cabs and public transportation.
Problems that carsharing solves
One of the reasons why the carsharing market has gained popularity so quickly is its usefulness; it solves a number of problems and is therefore beneficial to society. Carsharing solves many issues, including those associated with traditional (conventional) car rentals:
- Time and place restrictions: classic car rentals require users to pick up and return the car at a specific time and place, which can be inconvenient for travelers and city dwellers. You're limited in time, have to plan clearly, and also, have to go to the rental company's office.
- High prices: in a rental service, the price of cars can be very expensive, especially if the user rents a car for a long period of time. The price is very strongly connected with the season, at the same time in carsharing there is always a strictly defined price.
- The possibility of renting a car for at least a day: in a regular rental will not come to take a car to go to the dentist, it will be more profitable to take a cab. It is the same with several trips: you need a car for 2-3 hours, but it is not profitable, long and inconvenient to rent a car (with usual conditions). Carsharing solves all these problems and makes renting something in between the usual car rental, public transportation and cab.
History of the emergence of carsharing
Between the 1940s and 1970s, the first carsharing services appeared in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. It was in Switzerland that a company called "Sociedad Anonima de Automóviles de Alquiler" (S.A.A.A.) began to provide cars for rent for short periods of time.
In 1980-1990 carsharing began to develop rapidly throughout Europe. In 1987 in Switzerland the company "Mobility Carsharing" for the first time provides carsharing services on a paid basis. A year later, the first carsharing company in Germany (in the city of Berlin) - "StattAuto" - appears.
In the early 2000s, carsharing appeared in North America. There opened the companies "Zipcar" and "Flexcar". Zipcar, which became a major player in the market, is credited as the starting point and impetus in the development of global carsharing.
Since the 2010s, there has been a massive expansion of carsharing in almost all developed and developing countries, due to the development and availability of smartphones and mobile applications for carsharing.
Development of carsharing in Europe
Since the 2000s, carsharing has been actively developing, becoming popular in many countries around the world. In Europe, especially in Germany and France, carsharing is very popular. There are many companies that provide this service, such as ShareNow, Miles, Zipcar, Getmancar and many others. In Germany, for example, there are several large companies in all big cities at once, which offer a wide range of cars and convenient rental conditions.
Nowadays, carsharing is also becoming popular in developing countries such as China and India. In China, carsharing has become one of the most popular ways of transportation in big cities, where parking and transportation problems are quite acute. In India, carsharing is just beginning to develop, but there are already several companies that offer their services in major cities.
In Ukraine, the per-minute rental service also successfully exists and is gradually developing. The Ukrainian company Getmancar has even become an international company thanks to the start of carsharing in Georgia.
Carsharing is becoming increasingly popular among city dwellers who do not want to buy their own car because of the high cost and parking problems. Public use allows you to drive comfortable cars here and now, without paying for loans; in addition, there is no longer such an acute issue with parking lots, especially in large cities, where buildings are very dense, but parking spaces do not cover the demand.
In addition, carsharing promotes the development of environmentally friendly technologies. Many carsharing companies use electric cars, which reduces environmental pollution. It is known that one carshare car can replace up to 10 of its own, which means that emissions are reduced with the use of carsharing.
We can say that carsharing is a great and modern alternative to traditional car rental. The carsharing model is more adapted to modern realities, more mobile and technological. The carsharing market offers flexibility, money-saving and convenience, while also contributing to the reduction of cars on the road and the development of environmentally friendly technologies. Carsharing is developing rapidly in Europe and is becoming increasingly popular in modern countries.
In the following article we will tell how the carsharing service is developing and functioning in different European countries: Germany, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and others.