Examining the impact of car-sharing on private vehicle ownership

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 2020, 138, pp. 322-341
Issue Date:
Filename Description Size
1-s2.0-S0965856420306121-main.pdfPublished version1.85 MB
Adobe PDF
Full metadata record
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Car-sharing has experienced a significant boom in recent years, with estimates suggesting that car-sharing programs are now operating in over 30 countries worldwide, serving around five million users. The potential to reduce individual vehicle ownership rates is frequently cited as a motive for promoting car-sharing. While some previous studies have argued that customers are indeed willing to reduce the total number of vehicles owned after becoming car-sharing members, the reliability of these findings is tenuous given that many are based on self-selected samples of car-sharing users, resulting in biased estimates. In theory, the availability of car-sharing programs could have limited effect on the general public's car ownership decisions–or at least have no effect on a large portion of travelers. Whether or not traveler decision processes are significantly influenced by specific attributes of different car-sharing options (e.g., access time, vehicle size, fuel type, etc.) remains an unanswered question, as there are limited quantitative studies on this issue. To contribute to filling this research gap, this paper discusses the findings of a study of 1,500 private households across major Australian cities. A nested logit model is used to investigate the impacts of car-sharing on respondents’ household vehicle ownership decisions. In contrast to the results of some previous studies, we find that the stated availability of car-sharing appears to have minimal impact on respondents’ decision to own a vehicle or not, leading to important policy implications. We agree with prior investigations that car-sharing could potentially reduce private car ownership. However, because this study finds limited impact of the availability of car-sharing on vehicle ownership, and because the majority of respondents did not self-identify as car-sharing users, education and awareness campaigns could be important factors in improving the general public's preferences towards car-sharing and fully realizing car-sharing's benefits to society.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: