Americans’ use of ride share services grew 30% in the last year

February 20, 2018

As auto shows around the country showcase the latest innovations in the market, it seems consumers are increasingly setting aside their car keys in favor of ride sharing apps. New research from Mintel reveals that the percentage of those who have used a ride sharing service has grown 30 percent in the last year*. Indeed, 30 percent of Americans used a ride sharing service in 2017 compared to 23 percent who used these services in 2016.

In addition to increasing usage of ride share services, it seems ride share users** aren’t limited to a favorite brand as three in ten (30 percent) say they use more than one ride sharing app.

Overall, consumers want to know that they will arrive at their destination with little to no extra effort and in one piece. Aside from cost, the most important factors ride share users consider when choosing how to get somewhere are reliability (59 percent), convenience (54 percent) and safety (50 percent).

“Ride sharing participation has increased due to positive macroeconomic factors such as low unemployment, as well as heavy investment from ride share investors to accelerate growth and market share. Advancements in technology and the mass adoption of smartphones have made these services not only possible, but in many cases, more convenient or cheaper than alternative mobility options. Mobility services may not be the primary method of getting around for most consumers yet, but they can further increase usage by identifying opportunities to provide a more reliable and convenient experience,” said Buddy Lo, Automotive Analyst at Mintel.

Despite a growing interest in ride sharing services, more than one third (35 percent) of ride share users say they use ride sharing services less than one trip per month.

Only 10% of car owners would get rid of their car if they had other transportation options available
Furthermore, car owners aren’t yet ready to part ways with their vehicles. More than three in five (62 percent) of those with at least one vehicle in the household agree that a personal vehicle is best for a regular commute, compared to only 10 percent who say they would get rid of their car if they had other transportation options available.

“Mobility in the US is still very reliant on the personal vehicle, and it looks like that will continue to be the case for the near future. Personal car ownership is still very significant to consumers and often represents freedom and flexibility for car owners. As seen at the 2018 Auto Shows, brands have returned to focusing on the driving performance of their vehicles to appeal to consumers in a technology-saturated market. In order to turn consumers away from the powerful draw of car ownership, mobility solutions need to provide comprehensive mobility that is reliable and cheaper than personal car ownership,” concluded Lo.

*Between December 2016-November 2017.
**US internet users aged 18+ who used ride sharing in the 12 months to November 2017.

Press copies of Mintel’s Car Sharing and Ride Sharing US 2018 report and interviews with Buddy Lo, Automotive Analyst, are available on request from the press office.

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