Americans are willing to share rides as the success of services such as Lyft demonstrates – but we’re not so crazy about sharing our cars, according to a recently conducted survey.

In December, surveyed members of a consumer panel to learn consumers’ appetite for two different car sharing concepts – sharing their own cars (outside family and friends) for pay and participating in a dealership’s car subscription program. Here’s what we found:

  • Only one in five consumers would consider sharing their cars. The majority (43 percent) cite safety (“I don’t like the idea of someone damaging my car”) as the biggest detractor. They are concerned with renting to strangers (51 percent), not knowing how they might drive (46 percent), and that they won’t take care of the vehicle as an owner would (46 percent).
  • Only one in four would consider a dealership subscription program, with the biggest benefit being the ability to drive a different car each month (45 percent).

 The individual replies were quite revealing. Here’s a sample:

  • Car sharing may work for some to help with car ownership costs. I can see it growing, especially with autonomous cars in the future. I am not interested in it at this time.
  • Good for people who consider their vehicle just another boring appliance, but for anyone with a performance-oriented car like myself, it’s just asking for someone to trash your car.
  • I just don’t trust other people driving my car. I don’t know how they’ll drive or take care of it. I take care of my property and don’t want others messing with it.

Although it is clear that ride sharing has been widely accepted by consumers, our research finds that consumers are not yet ready for car sharing. Our data shows that they don’t think of their cars as a utility – they care for their cars, much like their spouse — and don’t want to share either.

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