Americans prefer car ownership, leasing by wide margin over sharing

Uber and Lyft.

Ride-sharing services that will shape the future.


Not so fast, really, according to a survey for Kelley Blue Book by Vital Findings consumer research firm. And that goes for Getaround, ZipCar and Car2Go car-sharing companies, among others.

040516 SC Americans prefer car ownership, leasing by wide margin over sharing

“The results are in … ride- and car-sharing is not an imminent threat to new-car buying and vehicle ownership, despite the growing number of services being offered to consumers,” said KBB.

The national survey, which comprised 1,900 U.S. residents ages 18-64, found that owning or leasing a vehicle is preferable to ride-sharing and car-sharing options because of the sense of freedom and independence and/or pride and success that having your own vehicle provides.

The survey found that ride- and car-sharing platforms “primarily are used as substitutes for taxis and traditional rental car companies, and have very limited impact on current or future vehicle ownership.”


“While there are numerous benefits to ride sharing and car sharing, our data reveals that owning a car still reigns supreme, with reliability, safety and convenience all being major factors,” said Karl Brauer, KBB senior analyst, elaborating on the results released in March.

Ride-sharing services use a smartphone app for consumers to request and pay for a ride on demand from drivers who typically own the cars they drive, while car-sharing companies allow consumers to borrow vehicles and drive themselves, using an app to schedule, unlock and pay for a vehicle.


When asked how they would respond to certain statements about owning or leasing a vehicle:

  • Eighty percent of respondents “completely or somewhat agreed” that owning or leasing a vehicle provides a sense of freedom and independence, according to KBB.
  • Sixty-two percent of those surveyed completely or somewhat agreed that owning or leasing a vehicle gives the consumer a sense of pride/success, KBB revealed.

Other consumer responses also showed a tilt toward vehicle ownership or leasing, even among non-owners who already use ride- or car-sharing services.

  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73 percent) were aware of ride sharing, but only 16 percent have actually used these services, while less than half (43 percent) were aware of car-sharing options with just seven percent using these services.
  • More than three-quarters (76 percent) of vehicle-sharing users reported their intent to purchase or lease their own vehicle within the next two years.
  • About four in 10 users of ride- and car-sharing services consider them mainly as substitutes for taxis (41 percent) and rental cars (39 percent), according to the survey.
  • Three-quarters or more respondents favor ownership or leasing because they believe those options are more reliable, safer and more convenient than depending on sharing services.

KBB commissioned the survey because “ride- and car-sharing services are getting a lot of attention these days, and we wanted to better understand the current landscape of these app-fueled platforms.”

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