Motorists still favour ownership over 'usership', survey finds

Car-sharing and ride-sharing are on the increase but most car buyers still want to own their own vehicle, according to new research.’s latest Consumer Insight Panel survey found that over three-quarters (75.8%) of car buyers like to financially own their car. Another 80.4% said they favoured having exclusive access to their own car.

But that’s not to say there is no interest in alternative mobility options. With car manufacturers, dealers and leasing providers rolling out flexible mobility services based on ‘usership’ rather than ownership, over a third (34.6%) of buyers surveyed expressed an interest in car subscription services.

As What Car? explains, with a car subscription service you don’t have to worry about costs like insurance, road tax or maintenance that come with owning or leasing a car.

The response to car-sharing schemes was slightly less positive, with just over a quarter (28.8%) saying they would consider sharing a car with a friend if it meant reducing their monthly motoring costs. This dropped to less than one in five (19.4%) who would consider sharing a vehicle with a stranger, even if it reduced their monthly motoring costs by as much as 30%.

Research firm Insight Advantage surveyed 1,006 new and used car buyers for the Summer 2019 Consumer Insight Panel.

“Our consumer research shows that when it comes to cars, ongoing, exclusive access to a vehicle of their own is a priority for the majority and whilst Personal Contract Purchase and Personal Contract Hire are not technically outright ownership, they provide people with the reassurance of exclusivity and status,” said Dermot Kelleher,’s head of marketing and business intelligence.

“However, nothing is forever and with a new generation of buyers used to paying subscriptions for entertainment services, we can also see some evidence of younger cohorts, and those in London in particular, being more open to these new models.”

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