While car ownership is more about the status symbol, car sharing is about getting access. 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 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 people who are physically disabled, car sharing can be a good alternative rather than owning a car.
Many car sharing companies reward you with benefits. One gets reward points on each ride. The reward points can further be redeemed for airline and amusement tickets which make 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.