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While car
ownership is more about the status symbol, car sharing is about getting access and
value for money. Car ownership symbolizes freedom and independence. However, car
sharing is getting popular as more people are migrating to densely populated
cities and also getting comfortable with the shared economy. Owning a car costs
higher since it incurs insurance rates, parking fees, depreciation, wear and
tear costs etc. Whereas, car sharing comes with a small membership fee and
numerous discount packages suiting the demand and use of the customer. For
people who consider money an important criterion would definitely go for car
sharing as it saves money. People who are rich and can afford to buy cars might
not like this idea of car sharing since authority, independence and status
carry more importance than money to them. For instance, Zipcar which runs in
Los Angeles charges frequent drivers $8.10 per hour from Monday to Thursday and
$9 on Friday and weekends. Zip car does bill customer for tolls but one does not
have to pay for gas and parking which saves a lot of money and adds another
financial incentive. They just have to pay an initial membership fee of $25 to
become a member (Jones, S. 2017). Owning a more expensive car comes with a higher loan,
insurance and fuel costs- ride sharing makes more financial sense. The balance
between convenience and cost is a key consideration for car sharing people and
makes them feel satisfied by saving a lot of pennies. Car owners for whom money
saving is not essential, go with owning expensive cars because that is what
makes them feel proud and satisfied. Shared mobility services can also help in
reducing environmental pollution due to the decreased number of vehicles on the
road. A study on Car2go- the largest car-sharing operator in the world,
estimated a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. For physically disabled people,
car sharing can be a good alternative rather than owning a car. Many cars
sharing companies reward customers with benefits. One gets reward points on
each ride. The reward points can further be redeemed for airline or amusement
tickets which makes the user willing to take more rides. Referral system also
rewards the user with points which can be redeemed. So also for senior citizens
who do not want to depend on others, car sharing can be a good option to
commute rather than dependency on younger ones.

 

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