Growing Awareness of Peer-to-Peer Carsharing Will Boost Carsharing Rentals in Less Populated Areas in Europe, Says Frost & Sullivan

Three new segments emerging in the market, due to continued urbanisation and changing social preferences

London - 22 August 2012 - By 2020 more than 200 traditional carsharing organisations (CSOs) and another 24 Peer-to-Peer (P2P) CSOs are expected to take the European market for carsharing to new heights. More than 14 million new members are expected to use carsharing services in Europe by the same year, while three new sub-segments will emerge in the market: electric vehicle carsharing, corporate carsharing and one-way carsharing. While the new segments arise in particular due to continued urbanisation and changing social preferences, growing awareness about P2P carsharing is expected to boost carsharing rentals in less populated areas in Europe.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan ( revealed that the European market for traditional carsharing services counted 0.7 million subscribers by the end of 2011 and is expected to reach nearly 15 million subscribers by 2020. The number of vehicles reached approximately 21,000 by 2011 and is expected to increase to almost 240,000 by 2020. To capitalise on this growth trend, companies are inorganically expanding, as seen by Zipcar having recently acquired Austrian Denzeldrive carsharing.

"Mega trends like growing urbanisation and changing mobility trends have triggered interest in both existing car owners and new buyers," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Vishwas Shankar. "As the place of business becomes concentrated around inner city centres, private car owners feel the pinch of escalating fuel prices, rising parking charges and negative subsidies in form of tolls and congestion charges. And even if they are ready to pay this all, they will still face the challenge of finding a parking space at all."

The emerging European peer-to-peer (P2P) carsharing market, which had 13 operators in 2010, witnessed an almost 85-90 per cent growth in one year to increase to 24 operators in 2011. As a result, the number of members is expected to grow at least fivefold, while the number of vehicles should grow at least tenfold over 2011 to reach more than 0.74 million and 0.31 million, respectively, by 2020."

Towards the end of the last decade, participants in the traditional European carsharing business were largely conventional operators (CSOs). By the end of 2011 however, vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), leasing companies, transport operators and parking management companies also entered the carsharing business.

These new participants are gaining more and more prominence in the market. In 2011, Car2Go, DriveNow and Quicar held nearly 10 per cent of the total carsharing members in Europe or about 30 per cent in Germany. In addition to more new dedicated CSOs, an increasing number of OEMs, transport operators, as well as leasing companies is therefore expected to have entered the traditional carsharing market in Europe by 2020. In particular, the share of OEMs is expected to increase considerably in the future; a trend clearly indicated by OEMs such as Renault or Citroen.

"Growth in the European carsharing market has been driven by organic expansions such as the launch of one-way carsharing services in new cities by Daimler Car2Go and BMW Drive Now," Mr. Shankar continues. "Governmental schemes, such as the Paris Autolib initially introduced as support to promote electric vehicle carsharing, are also expected to become popular throughout Europe."

While the carsharing market in France has been characterised by traditional transport and fleet operators such as Veolia, Avis and Hertz, the German market is highly fragmented with more than 130 traditional CSOs, of which about 84 are small sized. Member-sharing, which is unique to Germany, gives flexibility to members to use cars from different CSOs who had started their business based on a partnership level and act as cooperatives. Public-private partnerships and availability of parking subsidies have also contributed to the market being highly fragmented.

In the United Kingdom, 83 per cent of carsharing - or so–called carclubs members, are concentrated in London. This share however, is forecast to decrease, with carsharing services set to grow in Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford and Edinburgh among others.

Consolidation in the European traditional carsharing market can currently be witnessed in the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Austria with major acquisitions and partnerships taking place. Markets such as France witness change in its dynamics due to inorganic growth, with Okigo having become Avis on demand carsharing service, after Avis acquired stakes of Vinci Park. "The most prominent game changer at the moment is Zipcar however," concludes Mr. Shankar. "Zipcar entered Europe in 2010 by way of a 100 per cent acquisition of UK's Streetcar, part stakes of Avancar in Spain, and more recently, acquired Austrian Denzeldrive CSO."

For the car owner, either private or corporate, the challenge of the future will be to find the best among available and evolving solutions that will fit their purses and help them to put their vehicles to the best possible return on investment.

If you are interested in more information on Frost & Sullivan’s latest study Business Models and Opportunities in the European Traditional and Peer-to-Peer Carsharing Market, please send an e-mail with your contact details to Katja Feick, Corporate Communications, at

Business Models and Opportunities in the European Traditional and Peer-to-Peer Carsharing Market (M813) is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Strategic Analysis and Benchmarking of global OEMs Micro Mobility Solutions, Strategic Analysis of the European Microcars Market and Strategic Overview of the North American Microelectric Vehicles Market. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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Katja Feick
Corporate Communications – Europe
P: +49 (0) 69 7703343



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