My car, your car, our car

The Netherlands has approximately 90,000 car sharers and 14,000 shared cars. Approximately 1% of Dutch people aged 18 and older have used one or more types of carsharing, which amounts to approximately 0.02 percent of the total number of car trips made in the Netherlands. The car ownership rates of car sharers has on average declined by 30 percent compared to the situation before they began using shared cars.

Car sharers drive approximately 20% fewer car kilometres than they did prior to starting to car share. Because carsharing results in less car use and lower car ownership rates, the associated CO2 emissions in the Netherlands decrease by an average of 8 to 13 percent. Moreover, carsharing means less space is needed for parking areas, which, roughly estimated, amounts to 120,000 m2 of space saved. The social cost-effectiveness of car sharing is approximately zero.

Nearly 20 percent of Dutch people stated that they were open to one or another type of carsharing; however, only a portion of these Dutch people will ultimately switch to carsharing.

The intention of having 100,000 shared cars available by 2018 (as stated in ‘Green Deal Car Sharing’ in 2015) may therefore be deemed overly optimistic. If half of the 20 percent of Dutch people who are open to carsharing  (10 percent) to some extent make use of shared cars, this will be the equivalent of a maximum of around 800,000 car share users in a given future year. If, for example, that figure is reached in 2020, this would then account for a 0.5 to 1 percent reduction in the total number of car kilometres.

These are some of the conclusions reached in the report, ‘My car, your car, our car. Carsharing in the Netherlands: extent, purpose and effects’, by the KiM Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis. KiM examined the development of carsharing in the Netherlands, the current extent of carsharing in the Netherlands, and what type of people use shared cars, as well as what their objectives and underlying motives are for doing so, and for what purposes. Further, the report explored the effects that carsharing has on car ownership rates, mobility and sustainability. KiM moreover estimated the potential of car sharing in future.