Could car ownership die out by 2030?

words Al Woods

Our lives are being transformed by technology on a daily basis and, as we embark on a fresh new decade, attention turns to how life will be different by the time the 2020s are out. When it comes to car ownership, the change could be drastic – with some experts suggesting that car ownership could even be a thing of the past in ten years.

There are now more alternatives to owning a car than ever, largely thanks to the relationship young people have with the idea of car ownership.

Historically, owning a vehicle has been a real aspiration for many people, but in the current climate of young people renting homes and not owning physical music, books or films, the obsession with ownership isn’t as strong. There’s an upward trend of people seeking out alternative transportation options, but what are they, why is there a trend and will it affect vehicle ownership in the next 10 years?

What are the alternatives to car ownership?

In the past few years, the amount of car ownership alternatives have grown – these are often called Mobility as a Service, or MaaS schemes. These schemes give users access to different types of transport with the help of an app. You will even find electric scooters for rent such as Lime, Bird, or Bolt, in big cities like Miami or Washington DC.

From vehicle financing options and subscription models to car clubs, on-demand car sharing services and peer-to-peer services, there are many options that can offer a replacement for out and out ownership.

Why is there a trend for seeking alternatives to car ownership?

As we’ve already discussed, the obsession with ownership isn’t as strong as it used to be. But there are a number of other reasons that are fuelling car ownership alternatives. These include:

  • Environment – climate change awareness has increased in recent years and the Government is also pushing to reduce emissions
  • Cost – the general price of running a car is seen as unfavourable
  • Convenience – younger generations are used to on-demand services
  • Culture – as well as outright ownership, younger generations are accustomed to subscription and streaming services
  • Technology – apps and other tech make alternative services much easier

So, will car ownership die out by 2030?

While there will almost certainly be a surge in vehicle subscription models, peer-to-peer services, on-demand car sharing services, financing and car clubs in the next few years, car ownership is unlikely to die out. What this trend will do, though, is grow. There will be a massive shift in the market. As business and marketing strategist, and tech blogger Niv Calderon commented:

“By 2030, people will have been born into the ride-sharing/car-sharing economy, just like people who are today 15 and grew up not knowing a world without smartphones.

“I think ‘usership’ and ‘subscription’ models will eventually overtake traditional car ownership in some parts of the world.”

While that will be the case in ‘some parts of the world’, there are people living in remote areas in many places and will therefore need to own a car simply to get around. It is extremely likely, however, that in busier, more connected urban areas such as towns and cities, these ownership alternatives have fabulous potential to rise in popularity. Expect an evolution by 2030, not a revolution. E-scooters are a popular form of alternative transportation.  These adult electric scooters are perfect even for heavier riders.


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