Just over half (57%) of Irish motorists are nervous about driverless cars, however, over a third (39%) would explore the option of using them in the future. This is according to new research commissioned by car sharing provider GoCar, one of the Europcar Mobility Group brands. Having launched in 2008, GoCar is celebrating its 10th anniversary and ten years of car sharing in Ireland this year. It’s a major milestone for the Irish company, which in the past year launched the service nationally and doubled its fleet.

The research shows that two-thirds (66%) of Irish people want to see a reduction in the number of cars on Irish roads, citing the need to ease traffic congestion and protect the environment. A majority (51%) of people rate the costs associated with car ownership (including tax, fuel, repairs) as the most stressful aspect of owning a car while sourcing suitable and affordable insurance is the biggest concern for 20% of the public. The high cost of insurance premiums would make over a third (39%) of people in Ireland consider car sharing rather than car ownership.

Despite this, 68% of people view the lack of viable and affordable transport alternatives as the biggest barrier to a car-free life, with over half (52%) of people in Ireland dissatisfied with the quality and availability of public transport.

The biggest benefit of car sharing according to half (48%) of Irish people is cost effectiveness, with 1 in 5 (20%) citing environmental friendliness and one-sixth (16%) citing the ease of accessing shared vehicles. In fact, 68% of respondents believe that Irish drivers should chose transport options that limit environmental damage.

Since GoCar launched in Ireland ten years ago, the number of people using the service has grown to over 30,000 nationally, with over 450 GoCar vehicles on Irish roads. Recent initiatives from the company include a corporate car pool scheme and a partnership with the NTA to enable Leap Card access. The company plans to double its fleet again in 2019, growing to 1,000 cars on the road.

Commenting on the research, Colm Brady, Managing Director Europcar Mobility Group Ireland, said, “Irish people recognise the need to reduce the number of cars on our roads for a multitude of reasons, chief among them the high cost of running a car, traffic congestion, and environmental concerns. Car sharing provides a great alternative to owning a car – it’s convenient, cost effective, and has a lower impact on the environment.

“We are delighted to be celebrating GoCar’s 10th anniversary this year. GoCar is committed to making car sharing accessible to as many members of the public as possible, and over the last ten years we have done just that – expanding the service nationally and growing our user base to over 30,000 people.”

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, GoCar is offering free sign ups and €10 off first journeys to new users for the month of November. For more information, visit www.gocar.ie.

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