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Carsharing has been around since the 1990s, but, not surprisingly, it has seen rapid growth ever since the economy started to tank back in 2008. The increasingly popular short-term car rental solution is a great tool for people in large, urban cities, and according to a study from Colorado-based Navigant Research, the number of carshare participants will continue to climb from today's 2.3-million users to more than 12 million by the end of the decade.

With 810,000 members, ZipCar is perhaps the globe's biggest and most well-known carshare company, but it has its competitors, and we wouldn't be surprised to see more companies join the fray with the expected increase also bringing the potential for more profit. The study goes on to predict that carsharing revenues will swell from $1 billion this year to around $6.3 billion by 2020. Navigant Research's press release for its findings is posted below.
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Carsharing Services Will Surpass 12 Million Members Worldwide by 2020
August 22, 2013

As an alternative or a supplement to personal vehicle ownership, carsharing provides drivers with convenient and affordable access to a range of vehicles on an hourly or daily basis. Enjoying rapid growth since the 1990s, the carsharing market has grown from an informal network of small companies and organizations to a market driven by major multinational corporations. According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide membership in carsharing programs will grow from 2.3 million in 2013 to more than 12 million by 2020.

"Carsharing offers members the ability to enjoy mobility without the expense and hassle of owning a car, or the need to frequently rent a vehicle from a traditional car rental agency," says Lisa Jerram, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "In addition, carsharing is viewed by both public and private entities as a powerful tool to reduce urban congestion and lower emissions of greenhouse gases."

The growth of the carsharing market, however, will continue to be limited by the perceived inconvenience of not privately owning a vehicle. Additionally, consumer attitudes about cars as symbols of status, success, privacy, and freedom persist. Most importantly, according to the report, this market is constrained by the ability of carsharing companies to achieve sufficient revenue per vehicle in order to create a sustainable, profitable business.

The report, "Carsharing Programs", examines the evolution of carsharing services in regions around the world. The study examines the key drivers and barriers to continued expansion, as well as the societal benefits of carsharing. Market forecasts for vehicle demand due to carsharing programs, reduced personal vehicle acquisition, and revenue from carsharing services by region extend through 2020. The report also reviews market segmentation and key logistical considerations, and provides short profiles of the top companies involved in the carsharing industry. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, "Carsharing Programs," is a summary and reflects Navigant Research's current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report's conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.