Is car sharing worthwhile for everyone?

If you have ever thought about selling your own car because of the costs, sooner or later you will come across the term car sharing. But is car sharing really worth it for anyone who has a driver's license and wants to do without his own car? This question is not so easy to answer, since a distinction must be made from case to case.

This concept is behind car sharing

The question "Is car sharing worthwhile?" can only be answered realistically if you know exactly what to expect from this relatively new concept. In general, it is about renting a car that you can use for a limited period of time. Providers of this type have mainly settled in large cities, as customers can pick up the car here quickly and easily. When choosing a landlord, it is important to ensure that you can get to the rental car easily and comfortably either by bike, on foot or by public transport. If that works, the first cornerstone has been laid.

The special thing about car sharing: You make no commitments, since all costs are included in the rental price. As a customer, you do not have to worry about insurance or the condition of the car.

How much would owning a car cost?

Before you can estimate whether car sharing is worthwhile in direct comparison to owning your own car, you should find out how the running costs are made up. It is best if you roughly estimate all the costs and add them up. Assuming a used mid-range car, the costs per month are made up of depreciation, insurance, taxes, operating costs, the cost of the inspection and the cost of new tires and repairs. You will quickly land with an amount between 400 and 600 euros.

That would be the maximum amount that car sharing should cost so that the whole thing is worthwhile. But one thing should not be forgotten: It is definitely more convenient if your own car is ready for use at any time. This means a great deal of independence, which is limited when renting the car.

Carsharing also incurs costs

Of course, renting a car is not free, but costs - depending on the cost model - either rent per time unit, per kilometer or part thereof, or is billed as a flat rate. Here you should find out in advance which cost models are offered in your area and which best correspond to your personal usage behavior. For example, if you want to use the car for a shopping tour in the next larger city, you will park the car for a long time on site. A model that is billed by minutes is not particularly suitable here.

Of course there are also providers who offer so-called flat rates. These work very similarly to telephone flat rates or internet flat rates. You pay a fixed amount per month and can use the car as often and as long as you like. The tricky thing about this model: Just like with your own car, there are fixed costs that have to be paid month after month. If you like it more financially, this option is out of the question. In addition, a flat rate entices many users to use the car more often than they would otherwise have done when paying per minute or per kilometer. This means that customers end up paying more and also harming the environment.

Is car sharing worthwhile in your individual case?

If you want to compare the approximate cost between classic car sharing and maintaining your own car, you should know how you use the car. Do you only get into the car from time to time, for example to cover short distances within the city more comfortably? Or do you also need the car for trips, trips or business appointments outside? Depending on how many kilometers you actually drive in a month, the question of profitability can be answered.

If you drive your own mid-range car, you pay an average of 400 euros per month if you cover around 3000 kilometers. With car sharing, the costs for this route range between 150 and 250 euros depending on the provider and billing method. However, the ratio becomes more and more equal the longer the journeys that you cover regularly. If you drive at least 10000 kilometers, car sharing is usually worth a lot more in direct comparison with your own car.

Car sharing is worthwhile if the car is used irregularly

The question "Is car sharing worthwhile?" is unnecessary at the latest if you only get into the car irregularly. Renting instead of buying becomes financially profitable at the latest if you rarely use the car. If you have your own car, all costs continue to run. Neither the insurance, nor the TÜV or the workshop forego money just because you only use the car a few times a month.

Set your own priorities and then decide

So after all these considerations, is car sharing worthwhile in your specific case? That can only be answered by yourself. Many people see their own car as a special luxury with which they can fully develop, because they can move from A to B as they wish. Mobility always means a bit of freedom - but you can also achieve this with car sharing.

If your own car is a favorite hobby, renting is out of the question anyway, that much is clear. In any case, you should be aware that you can always stay flexible with car sharing, especially in financial terms. If you can no longer afford a car tomorrow, then simply switch to a bicycle or public transport. If you own your own car, it is more of an effort to sell the vehicle and keep the loss and effort as low as possible.