3 mai 19

10 reasons for free-floating carsharing

With increasing traffic restrictions, diesel bans, environmental pressure and traffic congestion, free floating carsharing is the new order of the day, according to Daimler, who listed 10 reasons why now is the time to go for it.

1.    Increased utilisation rate

Cars spend most of their time parked at home or at work, a shared car on the other hand has a significantly higher utilisation rate, which results in less parking space occupied and more driven mileage per vehicle. Yet, you need a reliable carsharing platform which balances the availability at all locations, so you can still access a car whenever and wherever you need one. Especially with the free-floating systems, balancing the cars over all locations is crucial.

2.    Decreased costs

Sharing a car obviously means that you bring down the costs of insurance, fuel, parking fees, taxes and even maintenance. Since you only pay for these aspects for the time you really use it – included in your rate per minute/day.

Yet, always verify these conditions before you access the carsharing service, as in what is covered by the insurance of the vehicle, is the tank filled or the battery charged in case of an EV before starting, where do you report parking tickets etc.

3.    More freedom

The advantage of free-floating car sharing is that you can pick up a car and leave it wherever you are. Especially with the free-floating services you don’t have to return to the same spot but can pick up another car at another location. 

Yet, the relevance of balancing the fleet is crucial to provide a smooth car sharing service. If cars tend to be left behind in a certain zone, whereas others are underserved, the carsharing provider needs to relocate its fleet. Of course, once autonomous cars become the new normal, they will be able to do this by themselves. 

4.    More choice

When buying or leasing a car you pick one model for a certain amount of time, when opting for a free-floating car service, you can pick up the car you like according to the needs of a particular ride.

Yet, take into account that most carsharing platforms operate with certain types of cars, so check which carsharing operator operates which vehicles.

5.    More liveability

Free floating carsharing does not only serve you, but the environment and liveability of the cities as well. By sharing a car, you reduce the number of vehicles on the road, and the number of parked vehicles off-road. In addition, if you opt for an electric shared platform, you decrease the CO2-emissions and air pollution as well. 

Yet, if you start using shared car trips where you otherwise would walk, or bike, or even scooter, you negate these benefits.

6.    Less cars at home

It is often said that a shared car replaces a second car per household. Mostly the second car has a very low utilisation rate, but it is necessary for unforeseen circumstances or special occasions which require a car. A shared car could help you out here, while saving on the costs for owning a second car.

7.    Less parking stress

Shared cars definitely reduce parking stress significantly. Not only will the cars be parked for less time, many cities provide dedicated parking spots – often exempt of parking fees – for shared cars. 

Yet, verify these policies in advance. Where can you park for free? When do you have to report the parking ticket to the carsharing company? What are the limits of the drop-off zone of the carsharing service you are using?

8.    Less responsibility

Of course, you are a responsible driver, but after driving the car all other responsibilities of the car are in the hands of the carsharing provider. This includes maintenance, taxation, and so on. 

9.    More individuality

While giving up on car ownership, you can keep the freedom and individuality of driving your own car, compared to other shared mobility modes such as ride hailing, or public mobility modes. 

Yet, opting for a driven mobility mode – from public transit to ride hailing and taxis – has other advantages as well. 

10.    More flexibility

The flexibility of carsharing increases when it is used as one of the many transportation options, out of which you can mix and match according to your mobility needs. For instance, you can drive your car to work, pick up a shared car to get with your colleagues to an after-work party, and take a ridehailer, taxi or bus to get home safely.

And to solve the issue of picking your own car after, you could start the entire journey with a shared car or opt for a ridehailing or taxi company which comes with two drivers, one to drive you, and one to drive your car home.

Authored by: Fien Van den steen