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Consumer Lifestyle
Published: 20 Jul 2016

The Uber Effect: US Car-Sharing Membership in Decline

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Some 18% of US consumers used a ride-sharing service in the past year

US car-sharing membership has dropped for the first time in five years, according to a new report from market research group Mintel.

The study, published last month, found US consumers prefer ride sharing – which provides users with a ride on demand, as delivered by the likes of Uber – over car sharing, where users rent vehicles for short periods of time, typically by the hour.

According to the research, twice as many consumers have used a ride-sharing service (18%) compared to a car-sharing service (9%) in the past year. Among young millennials (aged 18-24), 29% use ride-sharing services compared to just 7% who use car-sharing services – the largest discrepancy of any age group.

“One of the main features that has drawn consumers to car-sharing services over the years is that they offer a convenient mobility option at a reasonable price,” said Buddy Lo, automotive analyst at Mintel. “However, the emergence of alternative options, lower gas prices and increased vehicle sales have been detrimental to the car-sharing market."

“We see a direct correlation in the decline in car sharing and the rise in ride sharing, and not by coincidence, as consumers are opting for better experience,” he added. 

Explore next-gen transport innovations drawing on consumer interest in ultra-personalised, on-demand services in our Radical Transport report. Alternatively, take a deep dive into the ways in which automakers are appealing to the Uber generation in our upcoming report Innovations in Automotive Marketing, publishing later this month.

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