Do the savings really stack up?
According to the latest RACV survey of vehicle running costs, the cost of owning and running a small passenger car exceeds $900 a month averaged over five years, while owning a mid-sized SUV averages costs of more than $1200 a month.
“You could literally save thousands of dollars by losing that second car or not having a car at all and using a car only when you need it through car sharing,” says RACV’s senior manager transport, planning and infrastructure, Peter Kartsidimas. And it’s likely that car-share car will be newer, and therefore safer, than the typical second family car. “Having newer, safer, more fuel-efficient cars on the road is a good thing as well,” says Peter.
There are benefits, too, for the broader community. One Australian study found that for every share car placed in a suburb, around 10 cars were removed from area, which means less traffic and less pollution. While Peter says car sharing is not a silver bullet for solving Melbourne’s traffic woes, it does encourage people to think twice about the need to drive to their destination.
“If you have a car sitting there idle, you’re more likely to use it rather than considering all your options, whether that be car sharing, an Uber, public transport or a bike,” says Peter. “If you’re using car share, you’ll probably drive only when you really need to.”