ZipCar for Business Surprisingly Effective in Reducing Car Purchases

Photo credit: Andrew Currie / Foter / CC BY.

Last October, UC Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) conducted independently funded research on Zipcar for Business carsharing users, surveying nearly 24,000 Zipcar members in North America — of which only 523 were corporate users. Their findings break down as follows:

Joining Zipcar caused nearly 20 percent of corporate users surveyed to either sell or postpone buying a vehicle. Extrapolated out to all of the 175,000 Zipcar for Business users, that means an estimated 33,000 cars were kept off the road thanks to Zipcar for Business.

  • 49 percent claim they are less likely to buy a car in the near future since joining Zipcar
  • 41 percent claim that their likelihood of purchasing a vehicle has not changed

Zipcar for Business members also claimed to walk and take public transit slightly more often than they previously had, while some reported a slight decline in biking.

  • 41 percent reported walking more often
  • 7 percent reported walking less often
  • 41 percent reported taking public transit more often
  • 13 percent reported taking public transit less often
  • 22 percent reported biking more often
  • 19 percent reported biking less often

If Zipcar were not an option...

  • 37 percent of corporate users would use a traditional car rental company
  • 24 percent would drive their own or a borrowed vehicle
  • 11 percent would not make the trip
  • 2 percent would accomplish the task online

A previous TSRC survey showed that one shared car replaces up to 13 owned cars, but this was for home users. That business carsharing has a similar impact is surprising and welcome news.