Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Does car sharing have a place in Australia’s transport mix?

The Wall St Journal had an article last week on the emerging car sharing industry in the US.

Car sharing is designed for people who want access to a car for short trips occasionally without the expense of owning a car. You pay a membership fee and then hourly or daily usage rates that include petrol, insurance, etc. Its target market is urban dwellers who take public transport to work and need a car only occasionally to go shopping or visit friends. They tend to be in densely populated areas where levels of car ownership are lower and so you don’t have to walk far to get a car. Apparently companies are also targeting universities and small to medium businesses where employees need vehicles for meetings or site visits but the company doesn’t have its own fleet.

There are a number of car sharing companies in Australia. I’ve noticed quite a few setting up in my neighbourhood recently.

The personal advantages:

  • Much cheaper than owning a car if you only need a car now and then.
  • You don’t have to worry about parking, insurance, cleaning.
  • Convenient (compared to renting a car) – you book online, and swipe a membership card to unlock the car and drive away. The idea is that there would be a car within a few blocks of where you live.

The environmental advantages:

  • fewer cars, since this allows some people to avoid buying a car;
  • the cars tend to be the most efficient on the market;

There’s also a benefit in densely populated areas that there’s a single car being used by 15 - 20 people in a week and occupying one parking spot, rather than 15 cars occupying 15 spots.

Essentially the savings and efficiency come from the fact that share cars, unlike most others, are not simply sitting idle for 90% plus of the time.

What do you think of the idea? Would you use it? Do you think it will take off?


Grant said...

I think they're a great idea. We'd sell our car and use GoGet (which has a pod just around the corner) if they accepted P-plate drivers.

A friend of mine uses them (he's based in Darlinghurst) and swears by them - he reckons he saves money (which was his primary reason for joining).

Digital Eskimo, my current employer, has a company account so any staff can use the car if they need it. It's also available for employees to use out of hours if needed (P-platers excluded of course).

paulr said...

Yeah Car sharing is a great concept

I use to live down in Washington D.C where car Sharing is huge. I got to Australia a while ago and I been using cars from company call charter drive and Smart drivers, they have an incredible Concept, it’s so Cool, you can select cars that have advertising on and paid something like $3.30 an hour, or take luxury cars (Class A MERC ! LOVE That Car !) without the advertising. Anyway I work in the city really close to the Wynyard station, so is really good for me because they have this drive-home plan where I can take a car home every night of the week, and it turns out to be a lot less than what I use to paid in parking.

Best thing is that now the company I work for, it’s into the idea of using their service for meetings, it’s great because they are requesting the vehicles to have our company logos. What’s better than your own sales forces promoting your business on the road?.

I’m really hoping to open my personal consulting practice in the next year or so and I think this is the way to go.

I definitely recommended

Check out the websites www.smartdrivers.com.au

Used cars said...

I would like to introduce our new site for cardealerships

Movies Gallery 2011 said...

Nice post. Great blog.

bondage sex said...

Very interesting! I have no expert, but I want have to know more and more, on your blog just interesting and useful information.

buy brand levitra online said...

Great website, looks very clean and organized.

website designing company said...

Thanks so very much for taking your time to create this very useful and informative site. I have learned a lot from your site. Thanks!!