Based on the number of customers in 2018, the largest car sharing service in Germany was BMW’s DriveNow, with one million drivers using it, followed by Daimler’s car2go with 985 thousand and Deutsche Bahn’s Flinkster with 315 thousand customers. However, in terms of the number of vehicles available to share from these services, the list is basically flipped upside down. car2go had the most cars for customers at four thousand, while Flinkster and DriveNow had 3.4 thousand and 2.6 thousand, respectively. As of 2017, the number of German cities and towns with car sharing services amounted to 597 with station-based and 12 with free-floating options.
The number of car sharing stations in Germany has been increasing during the last eight years. In 2018, there were five thousand stations, compared to 2.2 thousand in 2010. In 2017, car sharing companies provided a total of 17.2 thousand vehicles for their customers, compared to 16.1 thousand just the year before. Of the cars available from automobile groups with their own car sharing services, like car2go and DriveNow, roughly 14 percent were electric.
While the car sharing industry in Germany is clearly experiencing growth, consumer awareness of the service and its local availability is still a work in progress. Surveys among respondents showed that most of them were informed about car2go and DriveNow. Further surveys indicate that the number of people who use or are interested in car sharing in Germany is rising. If 7.25 million people stated their interest in 2014, that figure had grown to 9.2 million in 2018. Meanwhile, in the same four years, the number of users nearly doubled.
Registered car sharing user numbers have exploded in Germany in recent years, from over one million in 2015 to over 2.1 million in 2018. Among these users, various trends were visible regarding car sharing app usage by gender and age. Using an app was most popular among younger customers and more popular among men than women, with roughly 20 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds and 12 percent of men reporting to have used a car sharing app. Of course, consumers have various reasons for deciding against car sharing. Most often, these were uncertainty regarding availability or no service being located close to their place of residence. Some also simply did not want to drive a car they weren’t familiar with.