Car ownership isn’t dead, yet

Car ownership

Research by Kelley Blue Book shows that car ownership is still strong in the U.S.

(Nick Ut / Associated Press)

The rise of on-demand transportation services such as Uber and Lyft may have automakers spooked, but it hasn’t yet weakened car ownership in the U.S., according to a survey conducted by vehicle valuation firm Kelley Blue Book.

The survey results, released Thursday, reflect the responses of 1,900 U.S. residents ages 18 to 64 across the country. It found that while many people are aware of ride-hailing services (73%), most have never used them. Those who have are mostly millennials and city dwellers.

When it comes to car-sharing services such as Zipcar and Getaround, 43% of respondents had heard of them, but only 7% had used them.

Seventy-six percent of respondents expressed intent to buy or lease their own vehicle within the next two years, and the majority said they believed owning a car was more reliable (81%), safe (80%) and convenient (74%) than depending on sharing services.


“While there are numerous benefits to ride-sharing and car-sharing, our data reveals that owning a car still reigns supreme, with reliability, safety and convenience all being major factors,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

Good as this news may be for car manufacturers, companies such as General Motors have nevertheless invested heavily in autonomous vehicles and ride-hailing.

GM announced a $500-million investment in on-demand transportation company Lyft in January, acquired assets from Sidecar, and launched a car-sharing program called Maven.

“We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous,” GM President Dan Ammann said in a prepared statement in January. “With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly.”


Twitter: @traceylien

Get our weekly California Inc. newsletter