Car-sharing is a rapidly expanding system that guarantees its users easy mobility in each area. Present in several European countries, car-sharing has replaced individual car ownership. There are several types of car-sharing, but the most popular is car-sharing in free floats or “free-floating”. The question therefore arises: “what is free-floating car-sharing? And what are its advantages? ».
Mechanisms of free-floating car sharing
Also known as a “free-floating car-sharing system”, free-floating car-sharing is a free and flexible rental system par excellence. It allows you to take possession of a car, a scooter, a bicycle or a scooter, in any place located in a determined area. Without prior reservation, the use of geolocation via a smartphone is required in order to detect the vehicles available in the area. Therefore, it is up to the customers to block the vehicle and access it within a maximum of fifteen minutes. The vehicle is unlocked by means of a password or “mobility pass”, provided by an application downloaded into the smartphone. In this practice, there is no point of departure and no point of arrival. At the end of the rental period and by way of return, customers are required to park the vehicle in the designated conurbations. But what are the advantages of free-floating?
The advantages of free-floating car-sharing
Free-floating car-sharing has many advantages. First, it offers the driver complete freedom to dispose of the vehicle at any time. In fact, the application downloaded into the smartphone makes it easy to locate available vehicles near the customer. Secondly, free-floating car-sharing is also a flexible and accessible mode of transport, without the need for a lengthy reservation process. In addition, it offers an economic advantage to its users as there are no expenses related to vehicle maintenance and repairs. Moreover, in the B2B world, it is possible for employees to easily access car-sharing vehicles without a reservation. Nevertheless, this practice has some limitations that affect its use.
The limits of free-floating
In this practice, the problem arises when parking lots remain congested. In this case, customers must extend their reservation in the hope that a parking space will become available. However, the rental price is calculated per minute. This means that unnecessary extra costs are incurred. Moreover, in terms of acts of vandalism, car-sharing vehicles are not immune to this and are most often victims of theft. As a result, repair and security costs are increasing for car-sharing companies. In other words, free-floating carsharing promotes free movement, but it also constitutes a blockage if the car parks intended for this purpose remain saturated.