Zipcar Is Leading The Shift From Car Ownership To Car Borrowing

More and more people these days are opting out of owning or leasing car in favor of simply borrowing one when their needs call for four-wheel transportation.

Millennials are leading a small shift away from traditional car ownership, especially in urban areas where Zipcar has become a booming alternative to owning a car. It makes a lot of sense, too. While owning a car can set one back thousands of dollars, not to mention insurance payments, upkeep, and possibly dealing with parking — urbanites in New York can have access to a ZipCar for a near fraction of the cost. After paying a one-time joining fee of $75, drivers can find themselves behind the wheel for an entire day with their gas included for $76 or simply use the car at an hourly rate of $9.25. It’s these sort of incredibly affordable and practical prices that have automakers a little worried about Generation-Y’s future in car ownership.

For one, millennials simply don’t place owning a car as a top priority — at least compared to having internet access. Forbes reports that 46 percent of people 18-24 said they would choose having internet over having a car. Another reason is that surveys showed that the younger generation are generally less interested in the notion of driving compared to older generations.

Fifty-five percent of Millennials surveyed by Zipcar have “actively made an effort to drive less,” up 10 percentage points from 45 percent in 2010. Respondents mostly cited reasons such as environmental concerns, high cost of vehicle ownership — and more use of social media.

It’s not just a decreasing interest that has many people, both young and old shifting away from car ownership in favor of Zipcar, but a downturn in the economy as well. Many people who are out of a job or on a tighter budget just don’t need to drive everyday and using a car only when they needed is a better alternative than paying for one that’s simply sitting in a parking space. “Millennials still value the mobility factor and convenience of driving but increasingly seek and use alternatives to personally owning a car,” Zipcar said.

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