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The Rise of Car Sharing in Australia

It’s no surprise that car sharing has grown in popularity over the past few years.

With increasing numbers of people now living in densely populated areas within major CBD’s, and growing preference to take public transport to work over driving, it’s no wonder car-sharing services such as Uber, Getaround, Car Next Door, and GoGet are taking off.

The last census in 2011 stated that there were 18.4 million cars registered within Australia and 0.72 cars per person, making Australia the eighth country in the world for the number of cars per person, behind New Zealand, Italy and Germany.

New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland take the top 3 spots for most cars owned down under, so it’s only fair to note that Sydney is leading the way when it comes to sharing a ride.

However with almost one car owned per person, it’s surprising that only 75% of the population actually drive to work.

A new report suggests that up to 10,000 fewer cars are being driven within the CBD bounds with those cars replaced by less than a thousand car-sharing vehicles.

Good for the planet? We think so.

Sydney leads major transport hubs like Boston and San Francisco in the rollout and effectiveness of car-sharing, according to a new report from AECOM commissioned by the International Carsharing Association and shared with the Committee for Sydney.

The city has embraced sharing in a number of different forms, says the report, including in everything from temporary ride-sharing through services like Uber and Sydney Airport collaborating on short-term pickup zones to the city’s acceptance and encouraging of private operators like GoGet in rolling out car-sharing pods in dense and high-traffic areas of the CBD.

GoGet is Australia’s largest car-sharing service and has 2200 vehicles across the country and 66,000 users, both figures that are apparently growing 40 per cent year on year. In the City of Sydney region alone, 20,000 users — 15 per cent of the population of the area — access over 800 GoGet cars, 162 of which are parked in off-street locations that a single privately-owned car would otherwise occupy.

According to the report “People find that they can do local shopping on the way home, do the supermarket shopping on the internet, and catch a taxi — or Uber — out in the evening so they don’t have to count their drinks.” Every time they travel, they are reminded of how much they really need their car.

Users of car-sharing, too, travel around 2000 vehicle kilometres less each year, which reduces on-road congestion and pollution — at around 1500km of car-sharing journeys on average versus 3525km for private owners.

With the average cost of owning a private car sitting at over $5000 per year (according to a NRMA 2014 operating cost report), car sharing could pay for itself if a user takes fewer than 6 trips per week. Car-sharing has contributed to City of Sydney residents travelling 37 million fewer kilometers per year.

Convinced yet to sell your car?