If you want to get a hint about the potential for car-sharing programs consider that Hertz, Avis and other traditional rent-a-car firms have purchased pioneers in the short-term rental market, such as ZipCar, over the last couple years.
And, apparently, such moves will be well rewarded, a new study predicting that the number of members subscribing to car-sharing services will surge by more than 550% before the end of this decade – from the current 2.3 million to more than 12 million.
Global revenues are expected to grow even more rapidly, forecasts Navigant Research, jumping from an anticipated $1 billion this year to $6.2 billion in 2020.
Car-sharing services offer an alternative to the traditional vehicle rental approach by targeting those who might have need of a vehicle for as little as an hour, rather than those who want one for a day or more. In most cases, customers access vehicles at unmanned lots or even at reserved, street-side parking spots.