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Online tool calculates cost of car ownership vs sharing

Car sharing vehicles from the company Zipcar in Brussels (BELGA PHOTO THIERRY ROGE)
10:27 02/12/2020

A new online tool, developed by Autodelen.net, Test-Achats and Brussels Mobility, will help Brussels residents to calculate how much car sharing costs compared to owning a car. For those who travel up to 15,000km per year, the online calculator shows that car sharing is the cheapest option.

On savewithcarsharing.be, live from Wednesday, you can calculate whether it is cheaper to share a car or be a car owner. Based on the characteristics of the car you own or want to buy and an estimate of the number of kilometres you drive per year, the new tool calculates what the cheapest option is.

You can also find several sample profiles on the site, such as that of the Brussels couple Lies and Olivier, with their three children. They do about 8,226km annually and according to the price calculator the family can save between €172 and €1,556 through car sharing.

"For the majority of car owners in our country, car sharing would be the cheapest option,” says Jeffrey Matthijs, director of Autodelen.net. “On average, a private car costs at least €400 per month."

Brussels mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt also sees the potential in car sharing: "Sharing cars is the future for this city,” she says. “On the one hand, they give families the opportunity to use a car without having to bear all the costs. On the other hand, they encourage limited use of the car. You only use it when there is no efficient alternative (on foot, by bike, public transport)."

Van den Brandt also sees an advantage in terms of space in the city: “A shared car is available for several families and thus frees up several parking spaces for cycle paths, terraces, parks, footpaths, in short for a smoother, greener and more cosy city," she adds.

The price calculator also shows that a shared car is not a cheap option for those who commute to work. This is partly due to the fact that the car will be stationary in the company's car park for a whole day and cannot be used by another driver. The price for the duration of the use of the shared car will increase quickly.

Written by Nick Amies