Car Sharing

20% of AA members now car share regularly

The first ever liftshare Week takes place from 4th-8th October

4 October 2010

Soaring fuel prices and ever-increasing car park charges are forcing one in five AA members to car share at least once a week, new AA/Populus panel research reveals at the start of Liftshare Week. The opportunity to reduce CO2 voluntarily is also proving a strong incentive.

Although 58% of the 15,903 respondents do not car share, a quarter would if there was some way to guarantee getting home if something goes wrong with the arrangements.

Record fuel prices and an ever-increasing toll of taxes and charges on car users Travelling with someone they know (21%) and clear information about who else is travelling their way (19%) would sway many more people to pool car journeys.

During Liftshare Week (4-8 October), drivers across the UK will be encouraged to explore car-sharing as an alternative to their current travel arrangements. At the same time, local authorities will be asked to raise awareness of how car-sharing can help drivers save fuel and CO2, instead of some councils punishing motorists for needing to use their cars.

The AA/Populus panel research shows that the 18-24 age group is the most likely to share at least once a week, but it is the 25-35 year olds who are most likely to give or get a lift every day.

Women are also more likely to seek a driving buddy at least once a week.

Regionally, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Yorkshire/Humberside are the areas most committed to regular car-sharing.

With the organisation now helping almost 400,000 drivers across the UK to cut journey costs and stress, the framework exists for companies to organise and help their employees to car share. This would ease pressure on car parking and help to improve a company's environmental profile.

Local authorities, who claim to want to reduce congestion and CO2, should take note that 15% of respondents who don't share at present would if there was reserved parking at their destination, and 13% who would be encouraged by a cash incentive, such as reduced parking costs.

How often do people car-share?

  • Every day – 3% (biggest response: 3% among males, 4% among 25-34 year olds, 4% in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)
  • Most days – 7% (biggest response: 7% among males and females, 11% among 18-24 year olds, 9% in Yorkshire/Humberside)
  • Once a week – 10% (biggest response: 12% among females, 18% among 18-24 year olds, 11% in the East and West Midlands)
  • Once a month – 7% (biggest: 8% among females, 10% among 18-24 year olds, 7% in London, South West, East Midlands, East Anglia, North East and West Midlands)

Attractions of car-sharing

The AA/Populus survey shows the biggest attractions of car-sharing are:

  • Saving money on fuel and wear and tear – 77% (biggest response: 82% among females, 88% among 18-24 year olds, 80% in the South, South West and East Anglia)
  • Reduces CO2 – 71% (biggest response: 80% among females, 75% among 18-24 year olds, 75% in the South)
  • Sharing as and when travel coincides with someone else – 70% (biggest response: 75% among females, 74% among 18-24 year olds, 72% in the South and West Midlands)
  • Saving parking costs – 65% (biggest response: 72% among females, 77% among 18-24 year olds, 69% in Northern Ireland)

Reasons to share

For those respondents who do not car share, the main factors that would make them split the driving with someone else include:

  • A guarantee of being able to get home – 25%
  • The opportunity to share with someone they know – 21%
  • Clear information showing other potential sharers – 20%
  • Reserved parking for car-sharers – 15%
  • A cash incentive – 13%


"Record fuel prices and an ever-increasing toll of taxes and charges on car users makes car-sharing such a sensible choice for car owners who find costs mounting," says Edmund King, the AA's president.

"The AA/Populus survey shows that at least a quarter of those who don't car-share at present could if they found a driving 'buddy' who does the same regular route at least some of the time. That is what Liftshare Week is about: introducing drivers to the car-sharing network, its possibilities and the flexibility it offers.

"In the past, car-sharers used their thumbs to hitch a ride – today it can be done with a click of a mouse."

Ali Clabburn, founder of liftshare, says: "Since the credit crunch began two years ago, 45% (125,000) more people have signed up to the liftshare network. Car-sharing is clearly an attractive option to many drivers who are concerned by the financial impact of driving alone, but the AA/Populus research shows that there are still many people who would like to car-share but do not know how to find someone travelling the same way as them. Liftshare Week provides a great opportunity for people to discover how easy it really is to find a travel companion or two on

"Local authorities and other employers who wish to cut congestion and pollution would also benefit from taking note of the research's finding that they could significantly increase car-sharing levels by simply providing reserved parking for those who do share."

Join the discussion in the AA zone


1 October 2010