Carsharing or car sharing is a model of car rental where people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour. They are attractive to customers who make only occasional use of a vehicle, as well as others who would like occasional access to a vehicle of a different type than they use day-to-day. Carsharing contributes to sustainable transport because it is a less car intensive means of urban transport, and according to The Economist, carsharing can reduce car ownership at an estimated rate of one rental car replacing 15 owned vehicles.
Car sharing operators are increasingly opting to brand parts of their fleets with third-party advertising in order to increase revenue and improve competitiveness. For future applications, many car sharing companies are now investing in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). With the use of these types of vehicles, cost of gas consumption can be greatly reduced. Since most customers do not need the vehicle for long amounts of time or distance, it gives the car sharing company time to collect and recharge these vehicles for additional use.
Carsharing can also help reduce congestion and pollution. Replacing private automobiles with shared ones directly reduces demand for parking spaces. The fact that only a certain number of cars can be in use at any one time may reduce traffic congestion at peak times. Even more important for congestion, the strong metering of costs provides a cost incentive to drive less.
Political / Legal
In most countries car-sharing has developed within the existing legal framework. It has therefore demonstrated that it can operate without needing special legal measures. However, since car-sharing creates benefits for both wider society and individuals, there are good reasons to amend existing laws to further stimulate growth and increase the gains.