Car-sharing/rental services: Affordable and reliable alternative to owning a car?

Car-sharing/rental services: Affordable and reliable alternative to owning a car?

Americans spend a lot of money on cars. To meet the growing need for flexibility, convenience and affordability in driving, short-term car-sharing/rental services are quickly becoming a reliable driving option. In fact, 15 percent of U.S. adults have used a service like ZipCar, Car2Go or Scoot in the past or plan to in the future. More than one-third (35 percent) of those who don’t have a short-term rental service in their city or town wish they did. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin from February 27th – March 1st, 2013 among 2,111 adults ages 18 and older.

For those U.S. adults who would consider using a short-term car-sharing/rental service, the top reason for doing so cited by nearly one-third (32 percent) is the opportunity to save money on gas. When asked for what other reasons they would consider using a short-term car-sharing/rental service, U.S. adults said the following:

*  Overall, it’s inexpensive – 31 percent
*  It’s convenient – 29 percent
*  For when family/guests visit – 24 percent
*  To avoid public transportation – 24 percent
*  So I wouldn’t have to own a car – 19 percent
*  For making purchases in which I need a car to transport the item (s) – 17 percent
*  Some other reason – 25 percent

Even though the vast majority (91 percent) of U.S. adults currently have a car in their household, 11 percent don’t own one personally. In addition, 9 percent don’t have personally own a car or have one in their household, which means they must turn to alternative ways to getting from point A to point B.

Taxis and public transportation are an option for some people, but short-term car-sharing/rental services can be more appealing. In fact, 74 percent of U.S. adults agree that short-term car-sharing/rental services are less expensive than taking taxis, and 70 percent agree they are a practical way to get around.


“Regardless of their car situation, many people are realising the wide variety of benefits to short-term car-sharing/rental services,” said Jackie Warrick, senior savings advisor at “Not only do these services offer an inexpensive option for anyone to get around, they can make life easier and have a positive environmental effect.”

With 86 percent of U.S. adults spending at least some time in a car each day, and nearly one-third (32 percent) spending more than hour driving or as a passenger, it can mean a wide carbon footprint. Nearly seven-in-ten (69 percent) agree that short-term car-sharing/rental services can reduce the overall number of cars on the road, leading to less traffic congestion and overall pollution.