London, UK - Drivy, Europe’s leading car sharing service, commissioned a recent survey to over 4,000 European residents. The outcome shows that across Europe, London* is leading the way in reducing private car ownership and tackling congestion - beaten only by Paris.
Significantly, 84% of Londoners would consider using their car less and 43% would consider getting rid of their car completely, which shows more willingness than other European cities, compared to only 28% in Madrid and 27% in Berlin who would say goodbye to their personal vehicle.
Londoners acknowledge the need for car sharing and convenient transport links before they’d be willing to ditch their car, with 41% requesting improved public transport in their city, followed by 26% wanting access to car sharing services in their area.
Car sharing is increasingly becoming the efficient alternative to owning a car. Drivy - recently acquired by Getaround - allows drivers to find a nearby car, open it with their smartphone and drive away. This technology makes the car sharing platform an attractive and convenient option for residents transitioning away from running their own vehicle.
Across Europe, cars were deemed least necessary by people in Paris (46%), followed by London (55%) and Berlin (59%). Driving a car is not the most frequent means of transport but remains necessary for occasional reasons, with the top reasons for London residents being UK weekend trips (60%), the weekly food shop (57%) followed by leisure activities, including sport and cultural days out (51%).
Three quarters of Londoners have a positive opinion of car sharing and think that car sharing could help improve travel. Clearly, the opportunity to lose the responsibility and cost of owning a car appeals to inner city Londoners seeking a day or weekend trip out of London.
84% of those surveyed in London said that their quality of life would improve with fewer cars on the road. With the space this would create, almost all Londoners (90%) wanted to see more green spaces and parks. This was closely followed by more pedestrianised areas (84%) and space for community activities for sports and youth clubs (84%).
Katy Medlock, Head of UK, commented: “The attitude towards car sharing in London is setting a strong example to the rest of Europe, with motorists voicing they would like change and are open to altering their car ownership habits, if car sharing is accessible to them.
“This attitude is a step in the right direction, however, there is still an awareness piece to do in order to adopt a sensible and efficient approach to car ownership. Although the majority of people in London would associate car sharing with an improvement to quality of life and 76% of residents would like more car sharing, 46% of Londoners say they still use their car several times a week, with half of those (23%) driving every day. Cars may be necessary for some journeys, but having one all the time isn’t worth it, not for our cities, environment nor our health.”
Whilst London authorities are one of the most recognised for their policies to reduce car congestion, residents are still calling for more to be done. The majority of those surveyed (77%) stated they wanted more support from their local councillors to develop car sharing services in their local neighbourhoods as an alternative to car ownership.
- *The Harris Study was carried out online from 21st to 30th August 2019 with a total of 4000 inner city residents (500 in each city) of Paris, Lyon, Berlin, Hamburg, Brussels, Madrid, Barcelona and London.
**Boroughs surveyed in London included Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Greenwich, Westminster, Lewisham, Lambeth, City of London, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Wandsworth and Camden.