There was significant growth in ride-sharing through 2019 and the beginning of 2020. Since the occurrence of the world-changing COVID-19 pandemic, car-sharing has taken a hit.
Many people began to opt for car-sharing as it was greener, more efficient, and an economical mode of travel. Due to the lockdown and fear of the contagion, there has been a decline in the use of traditional rented cars and services such as Uber for everyday travel.
Public transport has taken the biggest hit as people are now opting to travel in their own vehicles. In areas that are not under lockdown, this can lead to more congestion and pollution that was relatively low when the majority of people commuted via car-sharing or public transport.
Interestingly a poll by Turo showed that people opted to go for a drive as they wanted to get out of the house and found it to be safer. They even said that they did not mind car-sharing, many stated that they are planning on longer trips especially during the 4th of July weekend. When asked why they did not mind driving a car that isn’t their own during this time, they answered that they just wanted to have a fun experience in a nice car.
Regardless of many car rental companies taking all necessary precautions to ensure customers that their vehicles are COVID-19 free, they have experienced fewer bookings. Traditional rental company’s like Hertz have found themselves in dire circumstances whereas company’s like Turo seem to be having a more positive experience – despite company growth having reduced significantly from that before the COVID-19 pandemic.
With lockdowns in certain areas being lifted rental fleet businesses may experience things going back to normal. However, the fear of COVID-19 will have many people opting for personal transport over car-sharing.