The shared car is popular in Amsterdam: ‘With so little parking space, people are looking for alternatives’
Last week, a shared car research report awaits which are hardly used in the Netherlands. Only 0.02 percent of all car journeys are made with a shared car, reported knowledge platform Crow. That share has not changed since 2014. And if people use a shared car, it is most important as a replacement for public transport – not as an alternative to owning a car.
Remarkable, because how different is the situation in Amsterdam. Look around you inside the Ring, and you’ll see cars from companies like Share Now, Fetch Car Sharing and Sixt driving around everywhere. The figures confirm the picture: an interim report by the municipality of Amsterdam on the use of shared transport shows that in 2020 2,470 people will be sharing a car every day. This means that the shared vehicle was used approximately one million times in that year. Together, users have traveled nearly 26 million kilometers.
That of shared cars among Amsterdammers has to do with the fact that all cities in the world in the capital spend the most on an hour of street parking (7.50 euros per hour in the city center), says Head of Sector of ABN Amro Franka. Rolvink Couzy. “In addition, Amsterdam counts (0.5 place per few inhabitants). As a result, people are more likely to look for alternatives.”
In 2019, Rolvink Couzy collaborated with ABN Amro on research into various types of sharing platforms, including shared mobility. “A car should be close by and preferably be able to reserve at the touch of a button.” Soon, more of that wish will be fulfilled. For example, you can reserve a car in the area in no time — if not via one app, or via one of the deletions.
Companies such as Greenwheels, Mywheels, Share Now (formerly Car2go), Fetch and Sixt offer two types of shared cars: cars with a fixed location and free floating cars. The latter means that you can leave the car in a place in the city after use. These cars are more often used for short trips, such as a trip to Ikea or when you want to quickly move from one side of the city to the other. Cars with a fixed location are more often used on weekends, for example for visits outside the city.
Rolvink Couzy sees the shared car as a logical development. “There must come a point until there are so many shared cars that as a resident you no longer see the advantage of having a car.”
Amsterdam the shared car
More Amsterdam figures: since the beginning of last year, 1068 new shared cars have been added in Amsterdam and the total has risen to 2313. The municipality is looking satisfied. He would like to see shared cars dominate the streets, says the transport quality: “We want to substantially increase the number of shared cars. Ultimately, there should be 2500 free-floating cars in Amsterdam.”
The shared car companies are of course also satisfied with the holiday companies in Amsterdam. “We notice that things are going well. The popular ones are increasing and about a hundred users are added,” says Marco Boender of Fetch. Boender understands that the shared car is not yet catching on in the country. “Of course it is quite an urban thing. We are not in the countryside: you don’t have high parking costs there, for example.”
Karina Tiekstra of Mywheel also sees that the shared car is gaining in popularity. “If you zoom in on water that is happening in the cities, you just see that things are going well. Of course it is not yet catching on in East Groningen, but we have become enormous assets in a short time. In Amsterdam, for example, we used to have 250 cars in public space. Now there are 600.”
“We have cars with a fixed location. They are used for long distances. We also want to encourage short journeys as little as possible.”
Share your own car
In addition to the car-sharing offered by companies, platforms like Snappcar offer another way of car-sharing. It is a kind of Airbnb with cars: individuals lend their cars to each other for a fee. According to Crow research platform, cars that are shared through this scheme (more than 69,000) are the most commonly found on the road nationwide.