Report4 October 2018Updated 4 years ago

Car sharing unlocked

The number of cars in Europe is set to decline as car sharing triggers a 'peak car' moment. Platforms and technology developments are encouraging more people to see car sharing as a viable option, but there are still substantial barriers to growth

Executive summary

Car sharing is gaining interest across Europe, particularly in major cities, but faces several barriers on the road to success. The user experience needs to improve to make car sharing more straightforward in order to gain demand. On the supply side, platforms and technology development will help generate trust among car owners to share. Only when the owners of cars are prepared to share their cars will car sharing be able to exploit its potential.

Our growth scenario leads to a 7.5 million shared car fleet in Europe in 2035, up from an estimated 370,000 currently. Our analysis suggests that the take-up of car sharing will ultimately lead to a peak car moment, at which point the total number of cars in Europe will fall and new car sales will also decline. Car manufacturers can take a leading role in car sharing by creating their own peer-to-peer platforms and utilise their existing customer network.

In this report, we look at:

  • The state of car sharing in Europe, noting its growing fast but it's still a niche market
  • The high potential that's triggering expansion
  • How car sharing competes with car ownership and other transport services
  • The barriers to car sharing, including costs
  • What policymakers can do to improve cost competitiveness
  • How autonomous cars can help the user experience
  • The high growth potential
  • How platforms and technology are unlocking demand and supply
  • How we could soon see 'peak car'
  • Why car manufacturers need a platform strategy