Ireland's Mobility Future

A survey by Amárach for Europcar Mobility Group Ireland has found that almost half of car owners in Ireland are rethinking their motoring futures, as a result of carbon taxes and climate change. The survey has also found that many motorists underestimate the annual costs of owning a car, by more than 40 per cent.

The nationally representative survey of 1,000 adults, conducted in August 2019, found that 47 per cent of respondents claim carbon taxes and climate change will affect their decision to own a car in the next ten years. Further, 48 per cent believe the Government will not achieve its target reduction in CO2 emissions from transport, while more than half (54 per cent) of Irish people are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their transport habits.

Tellingly, 35 per cent of those surveyed think Dublin should copy Paris and introduce a blanket ban on all petrol- and diesel-fuelled cars by 2030. This ties in with 53 per cent of Irish motorists considering buying an electric or hybrid vehicle in the next five years (diesel 18 per cent, petrol 15 per cent), but concerns over the availability of charging stations (77 per cent of respondents) and the cost of buying such electrified vehicles (68 per cent), or EVs, are the main barriers to people buying green cars.

Transport trends were also forecast by the survey, with 46 per cent of people questioned saying they would trade-in their current car for some form of EV is the Government reduced Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) on such machines. Beyond this, 15 per cent plan to increase their use of car-sharing schemes in the next five years, while 12 per cent will increase their use of bike-sharing schemes, 14 per cent will increase their use of car rental and 11 per cent will increase their use of electric scooters.

Ownership shifts

The survey also predicts a complete change in car ownership behaviour, with 14 per cent admitting they will reconsider owning a car due to greater remote working flexibility, while almost one-in-ten (9 per cent) will sell their car in favour of alternative transport options.

Furthermore, roughly a quarter (24 per cent) will increase their public transport use in the next five years, although access to this represents an issue - more than half of those surveyed (56 per cent) said they are only partially served or not well served by public transport.

However, not owning a car might help people financially, as Irish drivers think the annual costs of running a car are around €6,000 - when, in actual fact, recent AA Ireland research revealed that such a figure was more like €10,500 per annum. Currently, 80 per cent of people in Ireland own at least one car and one-fifth claim to own two cars. In total, 73 per cent of those questioned said being able to drive their own vehicle was one of the top reasons for owning a car, with family needs (67 per cent) and a lack of suitable public transport options (50 per cent) also being main contributary factors. On the flip-side of the coin, 31 per cent of those surveyed said that the high costs of running a car was the main reason they did not own one in the first place.

'Holistic and sustainable approach'

Colm Brady, the managing director Europcar Mobility Group Ireland, said: "People's attitudes to car ownership and sustainable transport are constantly evolving, and now - more than ever before - they are rethinking their individual transport requirements and considering flexibility, cost and, importantly, environmental impact.

"A huge number of people in Ireland are still reliant on car ownership as a primary form of transport, but we can see from the research that almost half will reconsider their decision in the coming years primarily for environmental reasons. At Europcar Mobility Group Ireland, we understand this growing demand for a more holistic and sustainable approach to daily transport, and are committed to providing convenient transport solutions, including car rental and car sharing, which can be used in conjunction with other transport types to accommodate the individual transport needs of the public in a sustainable way.

"In Ireland, the Government, local councils, key players in the mobility sector and the media need to combine efforts to make sustainable transport options and alternatives to car ownership an accessible and affordable reality for people nationwide - committing to this change now will pave the way for an improved and more environmentally friendly transport infrastructure in the future."



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