Over the past few years, people have been rethinking the way they use their cars, with the dual benefits of reducing their carbon footprint and saving money.
Peer-to-peer car sharing is one of the more recent ways people can look to reduce their dependence on owning their own private vehicle.
How is it different to hiring a car?
Ordinary people can offer their cars for hire for an hour at a time, meaning people can use them for one-off journeys, appointments, day trips etc. It also allows people with cars that are used only occasionally to list them for hire rather than sitting unused for days at a time.
The difference is a reduction in red tape and fees, as the company facilitating the agreement does not own the cars they are hiring out. It also means that ordinary car owners can earn money from their little-used vehicles.
How can this benefit the environment?
It can lead to a reduction of privately-owned vehicles, which leads to a reduction in congestion, parking issues and emissions. This is a particularly attractive benefit in cities, where there are charges for certain areas and a limit on spaces for keeping a vehicle.
It highlights the shift in culture on private motor car ownership around the world, which can be used to precipitate greater change in how society perceives this type of travel. As fuel prices rise and we see how precarious supply can be, this shift may become more pronounced and permanent.
The trend towards car sharing is forcing manufacturers to rethink their sales models, including short-term all-inclusive agreements for hybrid and electric vehicles. This can support the shift in culture needed to reduce numbers of vehicles on the road, as the advertising of cars will change from one of status to one of need and facilitation.
How to find out more
There are several websites and apps that offer services of peer-to-peer car rental. These include:
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