Americans prefer the freedom that comes with driving their own vehicles over using ride- and car-sharing services, a new study released today found.
The study, commissioned by Kelley Blue Book, revealed large majorities of Americans consider owning their own vehicles safer, more convenient and more reliable than car- and ride-sharing services. It also found 76 percent of respondents who use sharing services said they intend to purchase or lease a vehicle within two years.
The results throw into question the notion that sharing services are an imminent threat to vehicle ownership rates, KBB analyst Karl Brauer said.
“When that’s going to happen, no one knows,” Brauer said. “But the time frame is 10 to 20 years, not three to five years.”
Replacing cabs, not cars
He said sharing services have proved popular mostly among young people in urban environments, where vehicle ownership rates are already low and where an Uber ride might replace a cab or train ride.
“If people in New York are switching between those modes of transportation, then there’s been zero impact on ownership,” Brauer said.
While 73 percent of respondents were aware of ride-sharing, just 16 percent said they used Uber, Lyft or similar services. Forty-three percent were aware of car-sharing services such as Zipcar, while just 7 percent used them.
Brauer said safety concerns could be preventing some Americans from using ride-sharing services, pointing to last month’s shootings that authorities say were carried out by an Uber driver in Kalamazoo, Mich., as an example of what people see when they hear about those services. The shootings occurred after the survey was conducted.
One-third of respondents found ride-sharing to be safe, while roughly half, 48 percent, said they would not use a ride-sharing service alone.
Other key findings include:
- Just 5 percent of respondents who do not own or lease a vehicle said using ride-sharing services is a reason why they had chosen not to purchase a vehicle, compared with 3 percent for car-sharing. Affordability was listed as the top reason for 57 percent of those respondents.
- Vehicle-sharing services are seen as a substitute for taxis by 41 percent of respondents, while 39 percent view them as replacements for rental cars.
The study was conducted Aug. 3-9 by Vital Findings and surveyed about 1,900 U.S. residents.