Photo Credit: Pixabay
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Technology has adjusted the way in which we do many things, from consuming news, through to how we communicate with each other. Advancements in technology have also changed the way we think about the future of car ownership.

Is owning a car soon to be a thing of the past thanks to new attitudes towards ownership in general? In the world of subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, entertainment isn't even being consumed traditionally anymore.

Here we take a look at the alternatives to car ownership, why this is a growing trend and whether it's likely to make owning a car a thing of the past.

So what are the alternatives?

The emerging alternatives to car ownership range from car clubs to subscription models. We've listed these potential alternatives below:

  • Car clubs - some of these are run by commercial companies and others are community co-operatives
  • Peer-to-peer services - a form of Airbnb for your car, car owners can list their vehicles for short term rental
  • Innovative vehicle financing options
  • On-demand car sharing services - Zipcar is probably the most famous version of an on-demand car sharing service and has thousands of vehicles available to reserve across the world
  • Subscription models - for a monthly fee these models include everything except fuel.

Why are people seeking alternatives?

There are many reasons consumers have been seeking alternatives to car ownership. The Director of the Independent Transport Commission, says: "Some young people view their cars and transport choices in a completely different way to their parents." So why are people seeking alternatives to car ownership?

Cost

The cost of running a car on an annual basis is especially high for the younger age group. If the 17-24 age category doesn't need daily access to a vehicle they're opting to look for alternatives.

Technology

Smartphone apps make things much simpler to be connected, book and ultimately use, car sharing services. Users can reserve a vehicle within seconds after a few clicks.

Environment

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact their habits have on the environment. More people are switching to alternatives, or even looking into electric vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint.

Government

Linked with environmental reasons, policymakers are applying pressure for emissions and congestion to be reduced in built up areas.

Culture

We live in a world of subscription services, meaning younger generations are accustomed to this way of life and are more inclined to feel positively about seeking alternatives to car ownership.

Convenience

Technology has increased on-demand shopping and communications and made these things increasingly convenient.

Will people own cars in 2030?

The landscape of the automotive industry is transforming, and tech blogger and marketing strategist Niv Calderon commented:

“By 2030, people will have been born into the ride-sharing/car-sharing economy, just like people who are today 15 and grew up not knowing a world without smart phones.

“I think 'usership' and 'subscription' models will eventually overtake traditional car ownership in some parts of the world.”

While Niv predicts this shift in the market, it's unlikely to affect everyone. Populations living in city centres may be more inclined to opt for subscription models or other alternatives, but for those living in remote, rural areas - and rely on their vehicle to get from A to B every day - this won't be a practical option.

However, it's certainly looking likely in urban areas that car ownership will significantly reduce as consumers look to alternatives to better fit their lifestyle.


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