Research from Zipcar reveals Brits are shunning ownership in favour of hiring or sharing
Innovation in technology key to enabling mass adoption of the Sharing Economy

Nov 12, 2012

LONDON (12 November, 2012): Zipcar, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIP), the UK’s largest pay-as-you-drive car club, today announces its support to raise awareness of the benefits of the emerging ‘Sharing Economy’, most recently valued at £22.4 billion in the UK , to individuals and businesses, as an official partner of Global Sharing Day, taking place on November 14th, 2012. Global Sharing Day is a country-wide campaign to get Brits and British businesses sharing, everything from meals and homes to cars and time.

According to recent research published by Zipcar, Brits are increasingly shunning ownership in favour of hiring or sharing goods and services, with twice as many Brits aged between 18 and 54 choosing to hire rather than buy, compared to those aged 55+ who place a higher value on ownership. The findings were revealed in Zipcar’s ‘Pay-As-You-Live: The Business of Sharing in the UK’ research report, published in conjunction with YouGov and the Future Foundation, exploring the growth of the emerging pay-as-you-live generation, where access is valued over ownership.

Technology drives forward the Sharing Economy

The trend towards ‘pay-per-use’ is accelerating rapidly across the UK, with one in five under 55’s saying they are more likely to hire now than they were a year ago, equating to almost double the number of those aged 55 and over.

While cost is a key driver enabling the pay-as-you-live model of consumption, with 60 per cent of Brits working out the cost per use when deciding to hire something over buying it outright, technology enabled convenience is also a key catalyst fuelling this shift.

Mark Walker, General Manager, Zipcar UK, said: "Rental businesses and the concept of sharing goods and services within communities is nothing new. However, there is no doubt that we are seeing a revolution in the way people now consume goods and access services on a pay-per-use basis, thanks to today’s technology, which makes the experience highly convenient and simple."

Walker continued: "At Zipcar, we believe that the shift towards access over ownership is driven by three things; demographic shifts, cultural shifts and innovations in technology. Without technology our business model simply couldn’t exist, and with a majority of Zipcar reservations activity now occurring on mobile devices, continuous mobile innovation must become the mantra of the Sharing Economy in 2013."

Cost-savings and Convenience

Whilst the total cost of ownership is a key consideration when making purchasing decisions, respondents also cited on-going maintenance costs (45%), depreciation (38%) and the flexibility to upgrade or change styles/models depending on the occasion (29%), as key factors when determining whether to hire or purchase goods outright.

Benita Matofska, Chief Sharer at The People Who Share and Founder of Global Sharing Day, said: "A savvier consumer is emerging, who is being served by innovative new businesses-models, such as Zipcar, that promote a smarter utilisation of assets, delivering cost savings and convenience through cutting edge technology platforms. Global Sharing Day is all about bringing these businesses and individuals together, and promoting a world where people share everything from goods and services to time and ideas, to create a happier and more sustainable future."

Mark Walker, General Manager at Zipcar UK continued: "We believe in supporting an economy that facilitates a better utilisation of fixed assets. Our pay-as-you-drive model enables a pay-as-you-live lifestyle, and our members can save over £3,000 per year compared to owning their own vehicle. These cost savings combined with the convenience of cars being located within minutes from where our members live and work, makes Zipcar an integral part of a smarter UK transportation system."

The Zipcar Pay-As-You-Live report is available for download here.

Notes to Editor

Zipcar’s report "Pay-As-You-Live: The Business of Sharing in the UK" was commissioned by Zipcar in conjunction with YouGov and the Future Foundation to uncover attitudes to hiring and sharing across the UK. It features a number of UK case studies of brands facilitating the pay-as-you-live lifestyle in the UK including, Zipcar, onefinestay, Girl Meets Dress, Desk Wanted, Mini Lodgers, Storemates, Park at My House and Rdio.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2088 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd - 5th September 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

About Zipcar

Zipcar UK is part of Zipcar, Inc, the world's largest pay-as-you-drive car club with over 767,000 members and over 10,000 vehicles in urban areas across the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Spain and Austria. In the UK, Zipcar operates in London, Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford and has local authority partnerships in Kent and Surrey. London is the largest Zipcar network in the UK, with over 1,500 cars across 31 London boroughs. Zipcar members benefit from: 40 miles of fuel, insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance, road tax and the Congestion Charge when travelling in London. Zipcar offers a dozen models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car. More information is available at

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