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More work needed to encourage people into car sharing

Attitudes to car ownership in London are slowly but surely changing but much more needs to be done to encourage a switch to car usership to cut pollution and congestion.

Westminster

The report outlines that uptake of car sharing is increasing (Image: Volkswagen/Zipcar)

That’s the finding of a new report published by Zipcar and backed by Professor Frank Kelly, Professor of Environmental Health, King’s College London.

The report, the first of a new series, surveyed more than 2,000 Londoners including a mix of car and non-car owners and found nearly half of 18-34-year-old Londoners (47%) have tried car sharing at least once, versus 24% of 45 to 54-year olds. And uptake of Zipcar, claimed to be London’s largest car sharing network, is increasing, with the firm reporting a 65% increase in the number of new memberships in Jan-Aug 2018, compared with the same period in 2017.

However, while TfL figures indicate the number of privately owned cars in the capital has seen a decrease in recent years, two-thirds (65%) of respondents admit they would find it hard to give up their car. Emotional reasons Londoners feel so attached to their cars include the fact their cars provide them with a sense of luxury and success (21%), storage (21%) and special features like cup holders and leather seats (15%)

Commenting on the research, Professor Frank Kelly, Professor of Environmental Health, King’s College London, said government, city administrators and the private sector needed to work together to change attitudes. He added: “The arrival of car sharing schemes like Zipcar’s provides a real alternative to car ownership for many. However, these services still seem to be invisible to many possible users. We therefore need a clear Car Sharing Strategy that encourages more people into car sharing to accelerate a transformation that will convince current car owners that they don’t really need that mechanical family member parked on the street outside.”

Jonathan Hampson, general manager for Zipcar UK, added: “The Mayor has set out bold plans in his Transport Strategy to reduce car reliance and change attitudes; plans which we find encouraging and fully support, but we are also calling for more radical and immediate action. We want to work with City Hall, the Councils, partners and Londoners to help continue existing momentum and help changes happen now.”

To access the Zipcar report, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.