November 30, 2021

Car Sharing Significantly Reduces Emissions, Improves Urban Living Experience, New Zipcar Report Finds

A new report released today by Zipcar, the world’s leading car sharing network, shows the impact of car sharing on city living, finding that Zipcar helps remove more than half a million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. In addition to cleaner air, Zipcar brings social and economic benefits to cities across the U.S. by reducing congestion, opening up street space, and providing an affordable means of transit that serves a diverse member base.  

Zipcar’s 2021 Impact Report, which surveyed nearly 23,000 members across North America, shows how the car sharing leader has helped dramatically cut carbon emissions by eliminating the need to own a car in the city and reducing unnecessary trips by car: 

  • Members in its 10 largest markets have kept more than 140,000 personally owned vehicles off the streets, the equivalent of removing 644,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.1

  • In Seattle, the average number of vehicles per household for Zipcar members fell 34% between 2019-2021, compared to a 13% increase in Seattle for non-Zipcar members during the same period.2

  • 75% of members do not own or lease a car and 45% had postponed buying or leasing a car, even as car purchases increased nationwide.

  • Zipcar members reported driving 40% fewer miles than they did before joining.

In the last year, as many cities made shifts to prioritize walking, biking and dining over cars and parking, Zipcar’s report found that car sharing can play a critical role in allowing these positive changes to continue. Research shows that each Zipcar replaces up to 13 personally owned vehicles3, opening up 13 parking spaces or the equivalent of 200 outdoor dining seats. With the ability to repurpose parking spots, cities have generated new economic opportunities such as outdoor dining, while also reducing congestion, emissions and noise pollution, creating a higher quality of living for city residents. 

“In our 21 years of operation, this past year we have seen some of the largest and most disruptive changes in the urban areas we serve,” said Tracey Zhen, Zipcar President. “In cities, there’s been a shift away from individual parking spaces, toward more shared spaces like bike lanes and outdoor dining. Zipcar has proven to be a valuable partner to urbanites allowing them to enjoy this new urban landscape, without having to sacrifice mobility options.” 

Additionally, as more cities build multimodal transportation networks, the report finds that Zipcar is a key component that provides access when urbanites need a car without the hassle of parking or ownership: 

  • Zipcar members are active users of public and low/non-emission transportation with 91% walking and 28% biking for transportation at least every other week.  

  • Over the last two years, Zipcar members only decreased their transit ridership by 5%, compared to a 53% decline for non-members.4

The report also showed that Zipcar remains an affordable alternative to car ownership that attracts a diverse member base: 

  • 52% of Zipcar members identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and over the last five years, Zipcar members identifying as Black has grown 27% and as Hispanic has grown 21%. 

  • Zipcar remains an affordable mobility alternative to car ownership, with members saving an average of $784 per month on average compared to car owners.

“I truly believe that shared car services benefit the community as a whole. They eliminate the need for individual car ownership, reducing the need for parking and encourage use of public transit, reducing congestion. They also make cars available to people who are unable to afford owning one" – Zipcar Member for 18 years 

To download the full Zipcar Impact Report, visit

Report Methodology  

Zipcar-specific data was collected as part of Zipcar’s 2021 North American Transportation Survey, two email surveys conducted in January and August 2021 with a sample size of nearly 17,000 and 6,000 respondents respectively across North America. Industry-specific data was made possible by Zipcar’s partners at Sam Schwartz Consulting and credible industry parties. Sources Include:

1 EPA;

2 Washington State Department of Licensing. 2019-2021. Motor Vehicle Registration by Class and County.

3 Martin, Shaheen, and Lidicker. 2010. Impact of Carsharing on Household Vehicle Holdings: Results from a North American Shared-use Vehicle Study.

4 American Public Transportation Association. 2021. Second Quarter 2021 Ridership

About Zipcar   

Zipcar is the world's leading car-sharing network, driven by a mission to enable simple and responsible urban living. With its wide variety of self-service vehicles available by the hour, day or week, Zipcar operates in urban areas and university campuses in hundreds of cities, towns and universities. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR), a leading global provider of mobility solutions. More information is available at