More and more Flemings are car-sharing

A growing number of Flemings are giving up their private cars and instead making use of car-share services such as Cambio. The number of people using car-share services has doubled during the past year. Jeffrey Matthijs of the car-share site autodelen.net told VRT News that “Millennials (those born between the early 1980’s and mid 1990’s) especially no longer need their own car.

In January last year there were 14,000 car-sharers. This had risen to 28,000 by the beginning of this year. The number of vehicles available for sharing has also risen from 1,200 in January 2016 to 3,000 in January of this year.

Mr Matthijs explains that many millennials don’t see the need to own their own car. They have grown up with traffic jams and climate change. They want to be able to use a car but not necessarily own one”.

The fact that the government and various car builders have jumped on the bandwagon also in part explains the success of car-sharing.

In addition to the big boys such as Cambio there are a number of smaller local initiatives that have been launched.

"For example in Temse (East Flanders) there is a garage that not only sells cars but also has its own car-share system. In Ghent there is even a separate scheme for electric cars”, Mr Matthijs said.
However, Mr Matthijs is keen to stress that the figures need to be put into perspective.

In addition to the initiatives mentioned above there are also so-called peer-to-peer car share initiatives. Here private individuals share their cars via a website.

"It is a little bike a car-sharing version of Airbnb. It is easily accessible and a lot of people are registered on the website. However, in practice they don’t car-share and this skews the figure a little”.

Without taking the peer-to-peer figures into account the year-on-year increase in car-sharing is 35%.

Peer-to-peer car-sharing is currently predominantly an urban phenomenon. However, it can also provide transport solutions for those living in more rural municipalities.