Car sharing: what it is, advantages and costs

Car sharing can be an ideal solution for private individuals. Find out what it is and how much it costs.

Car sharing is one of the most interesting phenomena of the last few years. It is a practice that is spreading rapidly, especially in big cities that are at bursting point when it comes to road traffic. Car sharing is when several people use the same car, but there are various types of car sharing. In this article, we will look at the different forms of car sharing, the costs and the advantages of each.

What is car sharing?

As mentioned, car sharing covers all situations in which a car is used by more than one person. The car can be provided by a company that offers a paid service to users, or by private individuals who may, for example, decide to share a trip to save money or lend their car to someone when they are not using it to recoup some of the costs related to keeping a car.

The phenomenon can also include other modes of transport such as motorbikes and bicycles, and it is gaining popularity as more people use it to get around town more conveniently, reducing all the problems and costs related to using their own private vehicle. Just look at the latest data recorded by the Sharing Mobility Observatory (2018), which counts 363 shared mobility services in Italy, active in 271 cities, and over 5 million people registered, an exponential growth compared to 2017 (+ 1 million users).

This translates to fewer private vehicles on the streets, less traffic and occupied car parks, and less pollution, which is also helped by the increasing use of electric cars.

City car sharing: what is it?

One of the main types of car sharing is city car sharing, which could even be considered a new form of public transport. With city car sharing, the city councils in Italy and some companies in the industry provide a fleet of cars available to registered travellers at various points in the city. Anyone who wants to use the service can freely access one of these vehicles, use it for the amount of time they need it and park in the dedicated sites when they have finished with it.

There are various advantages to city car sharing: users do not have to buy their own car, which saves them money on insurance, maintenance and garages, but they always have a car available to use to get to work or in their free time. The whole community benefits from this because the reduced use of private vehicles frees up the streets and reduces emissions.

What is peer-to-peer car sharing?

While city car sharing involves a public body or private company providing a service, with peer-to-peer car sharing the owner of the car shares it with one or more users. It is basically like lending out the car and there can be various forms of it.

For example, a private individual decides to put their car on a dedicated website, like U Go by Leasys: here you can find requests from people who need a car for a limited period of time and offers from private individuals who want to recoup some of the costs related to keeping a car and make their car available on specific dates and times in exchange for payment from the user.

Another widespread option is car sharing with the driver, where the owner of the car drives others.

Car sanitisation and car sharing

At such a delicate time globally when the COVID-19 emergency has revealed the risks around the presence of the virus, those operating in the car hire and car sharing sectors have personally committed to ensure that all appropriate measures are adopted to provide a safe service from a health and hygiene perspective.

Those who are making their own cars available for car sharing are advised to follow all the necessary procedures to clean and sanitise the interior of the car correctly so that they can share a car that is not only comfortable but also safe: another step towards a better overall level of service.

The cars in the Leasys Rent fleet that have been made available for the U Go car sharing service offer an important guarantee of hygiene and safety.  Leasys sanitises the cars with specific products both before and after each use, eliminating any possible risk of spreading the virus.

How much does car sharing cost?

Car sharing costs can vary depending on the type of service required; there may be a charge to register and a per-minute rate calculated based on the type of vehicle.

With peer-to-peer car sharing, a subscription to the service is not always required and the fee can vary depending on the requirements of the person providing the car.