11 Car Sharing Benefits
Car sharing is a service in select cities allowing members to use specific vehicles when they need them. It's an alternative to owning a vehicle for those who still need to use vehicles. Car sharing takes on many forms depending on which company is in your city. However, most vehicle sharing services share the same benefits. You can check out our list of car sharing apps the see which works best for you. These are the benefits of car sharing:
1. Save Money With Car Sharing
Owning a vehicle comes with costs. Unlike a house, cars lose value over time. However, that doesn’t stop them from needing costly repairs and routine maintenance. It may be time to rethink whether owning a car makes sense when car sharing is available.
Here are just some of the costs you will save on if you switch to car sharing:
- Car payments: Paying your monthly car payment can be expensive! Zipcar, for a car sharing example, costs $7 a month and you only pay for the trips you need.
- Insurance: You can’t win with car insurance. Either you pay less and have no coverage for your car, or you pay a lot more to cover your car. With car sharing, your driving is typically covered by their insurance. Insurance coverage can add up in a variety of ways when you own or rent a vehicle. Car sharing drives down those ownership and rental costs.
- Routine maintenance: Car sharing services get their own oil changes, car washes, etc. You don’t have to worry about maintaining your vehicle. Owning your car, however, comes with routine costs that can add up over time.
- Gas: Most car sharing services have an option for electric cars. Most have fuel-efficient options. Some even pay for your gas as part of your membership. When it’s your privately-owned car, you’re on your own for frequent driving costs and trips to the gas station.
Your average monthly cost for owning a car is $954 per month. The average Zipcar member, for example, pays around $300 per month. That’s $600 per month or $7,200 per year of savings! Consider car sharing for the high cost of vehicle ownership or car rental.
2. Enjoy All The Benefits Of All Types Of Cars
When you have car sharing, it’s like owning every type of car. When you own a car, you are confined to what that one car can do. Say, for example, that you bought a couch. If you own a two-door car, you won’t be able to pick it up. With car sharing, you can pick out a nice electric van to haul your new couch. Your family SUV may not be the best option for your solo commute. Car sharing members can drive a small electric car that makes sense for a one-person journey. Then later in the day when you pick up the kids in a fuel-efficient SUV. Car sharing companies give you flexibility for your daily needs that car ownership can't match.
3. Car Sharing Decreases Greenhouse Gas Emissions
As you continue to read the list, you’ll notice nearly all car sharing benefits touch on the environment. That’s because car sharing attacks the vehicle greenhouse gas emission problem from several different angles.
Car sharing results in these environmental benefits:
- Fewer cars in traffic
- More fuel-efficient and electric cars on the road
- More production efficient small vehicles
- Fewer automobile miles driven
- Less air pollution
- Opportunity for more urban green spaces
All those factors help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Car sharing itself is typically more socially focused than profit focused. Car sharing reduces air pollution and greenhouse gasses. Helping with the environment is an achievable goal in the car sharing system.
4. Car Sharing Reduces Needed Space For Parking Infrastructure
If fewer people owned cars, there would be less of a need for parking. Residential street parking and parking infrastructure in urban environments takes up a lot of space. Car sharing has resulted in around 28,000 cars taken off the road. In cities where car sharing catches on, there will be more options for urban green spaces. Having space for more nature in urban areas can help with air quality and temperatures.
5. Fewer Cars In Traffic
Car sharing companies can help eliminate cars from the road. In fact, a *Berkeley study said one car sharing vehicle can replace seven to 11 privately owned vehicles. That means car sharing can make a huge impact on traffic. That’s not all! Because 1/5 of emissions released in a car’s lifetime come from its production, the need for fewer cars can make a big environmental impact.
6. Drive When You Want To
Car sharing also has advantages over renting! Renting usually comes with rigid needs for scheduling. Then, you have to wait in line and use the car they have available. With car sharing, you can drive when you want to. You just book the car, unlock it and go!
7. Fewer Restrictions Than Rentals
Rentals are often a steep challenge. Car rentals come with restrictions on who is eligible. Renting a car can cost more depending on the driver. They also come with additional hidden costs. Most people with a clean driving record qualify for car sharing.
8. More Use Of Small Or New Cars
Most car rides in America have only one person in the vehicle. Despite this fact, over half of privately owned vehicles are mid-sized or larger. Car sharing typically results in the driver riding an appropriately sized vehicle. If it’s a solo commute, they probably ride a smaller car. Car sharing fleets on average feature newer, more fuel-efficient cars than the average U.S. car. Car sharing leads to more available space on the road and fewer emissions!
9. Increased Usage Of Electric Vehicles
Car sharing services typically include electric car options. This is a popular option because you don’t need to pay for fuel. Plus, electric cars are typically less affordable up front than their counterparts. With car sharing, you don’t need to worry about that cost. 80 percent of emissions from gas cars come from their tailpipes. Electric cars have zero emissions from their tail pipes. They also cause less green house gas emissions in production as they are typically smaller. Increased electric car usage on the road helps the environment.
10. Car Sharers Travel Fewer Miles
*A study in San Francisco showed car sharing members used alternative transportation more. As a result, their vehicle miles traveled decreased by nearly half. That reduced 13,000 daily miles traveled for just the hundreds of study participants. In the process, 720 gallons of gasoline and 20,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions were eliminated as well. A society pairing car alternatives like car sharing a public transportation can greatly decrease our environmental impact.
11. Convenient Locations Near You
People living in cities will well-established car sharing programs can enjoy the convenience of close locations. You don’t need to worry about parking. You don’t need to pay for a car on days you don’t use it. You can just go to a location and use a car when you need one.
Donate Your Car When You Start Car Sharing
Car sharing can help you become a one car family or totally eliminate your need for a car. So, what do you do with your unwanted car when you switch to car sharing? The best option is to donate it to Wheels For Wishes.
Wheels For Wishes charity car donation comes with the following benefits:
- A great tax deduction for your donation—it pays to donate!
- We come to you with FREE towing
- Best of all, your donation benefits Make-A-Wish kids. Local children facing critical illness get to experience a life-changing wish with the help of your donation.
Donating is very easy. Here’s the three step process:
- Call us at 1-855-278-9474 or fill out an online donation form.
- We will get back to you within 24 hours of the next business day to schedule your free towing.
- Shortly after we accept your donation, we send your tax-deductible receipt in the mail. Use it on your taxes to claim your deduction!
Car sharing and donating your car are two environmentally friendly ways to help your community.