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Is Car-Sharing the Future for Young Drivers?


I have been thinking lately about the value of owning a car vs car-sharing. With the cost of car payments and car insurance added to the costs of owning a home and paying for childcare, it really stacks up - even if you have a decent household income.

A  recent study by Modo, Vancouver's carsharing co-operative, and Insight West, found that growing exposure to carsharing is changing the perceptions of Metro Vancouver drivers, who may consider selling their personal vehicles in favour of carsharing. According to their news release:

In the online survey, 13 per cent of Metro Vancouverites say they have relied on carsharing to get around the region over the past year—a proportion that reaches 22 per cent among Millennials (residents aged 18-to-34). 

Carsharing is expected to rise with Millennials feeling the financial squeeze in an increasingly expensive region, and with 70 per cent agreeing that carsharing is "an attractive option for people in my age group."


Even Metro Vancouverites who have not tried carsharing believe it offers significant benefits, with two thirds (65%) perceiving it as "less hassle than owning a car" and a majority citing the importance of savings from fuel costs and vehicle maintenance. 

The survey found that seven-in-ten Metro Vancouverites say they would rather spend their money on things other than car maintenance. 

"With the average cost of car ownership hovering around $9,000 per year, it's easy to see why so many people are making the switch to carsharing and why we've experienced steady growth in our membership." said Modo Marketing Director, Selena McLachlan. 

According to the survey, the majority of Metro Vancouver car owners (57%) said that the benefits of carsharing would make them contemplate selling their car, including 85% of Millennials and 55% of Generation Xers. 

Savings from vehicle maintenance and fuel costs are the most attractive features of carsharing among car owners. 

"Carsharing is definitely growing across Metro Vancouver and as people are becoming more familiar with its benefits, their attitudes towards personal vehicle ownership are changing," says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. "Most Metro Vancouverites younger than 55 are pondering whether it is a good time to vacate the garage and start carsharing."