4 February 2019

Car sharing – Business models & Trends


Car sharing has continuously seen double-digit growth over the last few years, especially in bigger cities where more and more people are passing on the cost of car ownership.

While smaller cities and regional areas are being catered for by more regional providers, there is still considerable room for growth in this market.


Different business models have been identified in the previous years:

Free-floating car sharing:

A renter can see which cars are available on a mobile app and choose the one closest to them. Once the renter is finished using the car, they can drop off the car at any location, not just a public station or the owner’s driveway.

Essentially, users can pick up and drop off any car anywhere in the city, saving time and avoiding unnecessary trips.


Stationary car sharing:

The renter really only has a choice between a round trip (picking the car up at Station A and returning it to Station A), or a tightly-monitored one-way trip (picking the car up at Station A and returning it to Station B).

The benefit of using a stationary model is that this is still one of the most reliable ways to track vehicles in your fleet without the use of complex tracking systems.


Peer-to-peer car sharing:

In this model the fleet usually consists of private car owners who are willing to rent out their vehicles when they’re not in use.

Once the car is connected to the network, a user can see which cars are currently available on a mobile app. They can pick the car up from the private owner’s driveway and submit their payment via the app. After the payment is accepted, the renter can use the car for a set period of time, and then return it to the owner’s driveway or other specified location.

In this model, the car’s owners take a portion of the profits.


These models and the global evolution of the car sharing will be influenced by technology. While traditional car sharing is mainly present in urban areas autonomous shared vehicles could spread the offerings also to densely populated suburbs and extend the potential customer base.

This offers a unique opportunity for manufacturers to test this new technology under market conditions and to penetrate the market.


Electric vehicles and car sharing are considered a very suitable symbiosis.

They enable manufacturers not only to test and promote their own vehicles, but also to give their customers an understanding of the particularities of electric vehicles.

Car sharing provides manufacturers with additional touch points with customers. Consumers are open to new mobility concepts and will strongly influence developments in the mobility and car sharing sectors.


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