Kids Born Today May Never Drive a Car

My kids have never known what it’s like to not have Internet or cell phones. It makes me feel pretty old to say things like, “When I was a kid we had to look things up in the encyclopedia and make phone calls while attached to the wall.”

When my kids are parents, they’ll probably say things like, “I remember when people had to drive their own cars.”

Technology advances fast and the next decade will likely bring changes we can’t even fathom right now. On the automotive side of things, self-driving cars are already shaping up to be the next revolution right alongside a shift in the traditional car ownership model. Continue reading >>>

GM and Toyota Dive Deeper Into Car Sharing

MAVEN

How would you like to rent a car in less than a second?

The idea of instant access to a vehicle could be appealing, especially for people who don’t own a car and live in a big city. General Motors and Toyota are the latest major automakers to get on board the car-sharing trend and could help turn it into a new normal for urban-dwelling commuters.

The idea of a car company venturing into the by-the-hour car rental business might seem to fly in the face of their desire to sell cars meant for individual ownership, but the younger generation seems to be demanding a change in how they transport themselves.

They don’t want to own cars, but they want convenient, inexpensive access to them.

Cue Maven.

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BMW Will Launch Car Sharing Program… Again

bmwi3

Why own when you can borrow?

The average payment for a new car in the United States is $479 per month. Insurance can cost an additional hundred bucks or more, so let’s figure it costs somewhere around $600 per month to own a new car. Factor in monthly fuel costs, parking fees, and general maintenance, and costs can get close to $1,000.

It’s no wonder some people choose to forgo car ownership in favor of public transportation or car sharing.

Car sharing has found pockets of success in the U.S., but BMW hopes that the new service it’s starting in Seattle will eventually benefit car sharers nationwide.

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10 Kinds of Cars We’d Buy to Share

A Ford van empties at school

With the exception of a home, a car is the most expensive purchase a person will likely make (and we hope that home and car aren’t the same thing). Considering the improvements in safety, powertrain, and infotainment technologies, it’s not surprising to see vehicle prices rising at or above the rate of inflation. So, with the fiscal scope of a vehicle purchase firmly in mind, we have to ask: why don’t more people share cars? We posted an earlier article about the prevalence of ride-sharing services and their impact on consumer purchasing trends. While Uber and Zipcar have certainly given drivers more ways to get around, car ownership still seems to be the clearest path to unlocking the flexibility and freedom that a set of wheels can provide.

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Do You Prefer Car Ownership to Car Sharing?

jeep_renegade

The new Jeep Renegade is a perfect example of an inexpensive, stylish vehicle that millennials love to own.

Young people don’t buy cars, right?

We’ve been hearing it since the millennial generation reached adulthood. The rise of car sharing services such as Uber and Lyft gave pundits and writers evidence to cite, while carmakers and dealers tried to figure out sales tactics to woo young people.

Does the youngest generation really despise car-ownership, though?

Probably not, though they do have certain expectations when considering the purchase of a car.

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Could You Get By Without Owning a Car?

Drivenow BMW i3

Services such as ZipCar, DriveNow, and Car2Go are in, or planning to expand in, many of the larger cities in the United States. The concept is simple: Find a car, drive to where you need to go, park your car, and move on. Some companies, such as ZipCar, require the car to be returned to the same place where it was rented while other companies allow for the car to be left wherever it was parked.

BMW owns DriveNow and Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, owns Car2Go. Both companies have sizable investments in the short-term car rental business, but how viable is car-sharing when compared to car ownership?

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Could Car Sharing Go Luxury?

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250

Even when sitting parked in the garage, a car costs big money.

Owning a car is like having a constantly running meter of dollar signs adding to your monthly financial obligations. Things like insurance, fuel, maintenance, parking and loan payments contribute to the gigantic price of owning a vehicle.

Not driving your car certainly reduces the costs of having it, but you’ll never eliminate the financial obligations of car ownership.

Public transportation is a viable option when trying to reduce or eliminate commuting costs. The tradeoff, though, is becoming reliant on someone else’s schedule and being forced to interact with certain members of humanity you otherwise might choose to avoid.

Car sharing is a fairly new phenomenon and might be just the solution for those who need to reduce their transportation costs but don’t want to give up the freedom of having a car. If only some cooler cars were available….

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