Snapshot of the European car-sharing market

The European shared-mobility market has an estimated value of about €70 billion today (exhibit).1 What’s even more impressive is the sector’s potential growth. By 2030, shared-mobility spending is projected to reach €150 billion in our base-case scenario and about €200 billion in our accelerated scenario in our model of mobility markets. The main drivers behind the uptake include increased consumer willingness to use shared modes, a regulatory push to steer people from private-car ownership and usership to alternative mobility options, and the introduction of shared autonomous mobility.

In our accelerated scenario, the European car-sharing market is expected to reach about €4 billion to €5 billion by 2030.

Car sharing accounts for around €3 billion of total shared-mobility revenues today. These services may follow free-floating, station-based, or peer-to-peer models. The CAGR is expected to be lower for the car-sharing market than for total shared mobility, with revenues reaching about €4 billion by 2030 in the base-case scenario and around €4 billion to €5 billion in the accelerated scenario. Several factors contribute to this lower growth:

  • Customer-experience issues. Some customers are not able to find available vehicles when they need them, while others are reluctant to use car-sharing services because of the need to find parking at the final destination. Other customers prefer modes of transportation that do not require driving, since it gives them time to do other things.
  • City concerns. People typically use sharing services in addition to their existing private vehicles, thus increasing the number of cars on the road and potentially creating more problems with parking and traffic congestion.
  • Operator constraints. Building and operating fleets is expensive because of high asset costs, limiting the number of potential competitors. Less expensive vehicles, which are already under development, might help with this issue.

Evolving attitudes and other changes could mitigate many of these problems. For instance, many urban residents might realize that car sharing is more convenient and cheaper than private-car ownership, especially if they only need a car occasionally. Similarly, car sharing is more likely to reach its full potential if cities change their policies on individually owned cars, such as by introducing city tolls, significantly upping the price for resident parking, and designating some city areas as car free. They could also aggressively promote car sharing by exempting car-sharing vehicles from such restrictions. On the operator side, companies can build momentum by addressing current consumer pain points, such as by providing parking spots at end destinations and increasing vehicle availability. They could also gain market share in urban areas by acknowledging local issues, such as the need for more electric vehicles that help cities meet their guidelines for reducing emissions.

1. Shared mobility includes pooled and nonpooled taxi, ride-hailing, and robo-taxi services; pooled shuttle, robo-shuttle, car-sharing, and car-rental services; and shared micromobility.

Kersten Heineke is a partner in McKinsey’s Frankfurt office, where Benedikt Kloss is an associate partner; Timo Möller is a partner in the Cologne office; and Darius Scurtu is a consultant in the Munich office.

McKinsey Center for Future Mobility