Car-sharing programs are not new to the United States, but have grown significantly over the last five years in an effort to provide an alternative to car ownership. Typically, car-sharing programs have membership requirements and hourly rates, unlike the rental-car business. Car-sharing programs may have a common vehicle fleet owned by the company or share members' vehicles. In addition, ride-summoning programs are also being used as an alternative to car ownership.
Car-sharing typically falls into two categories:
- Fleet vehicles provided by the company can be rented by the hour. Examples include:
- Enterprise CarShare
- Fleet vehicles owned by members can be rented by other members. Examples include:
Ride-Summoning programs Uber and Lyft are the leading ride-summoning companies. Members use a mobile app to request transportation from a background-checked driver.
National Car-Sharing and Ride-Summoning Companies by State of Operation
Note: RelayRides cannot operate in the state of New York due to insurance laws.
Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2014 Vehicle Technologies Market Report, ORNL/TM-2015/85, March 2015.