Home » Opinions & Commentaries » It’s good to share – the sharing economy has something to teach small businesses.

It’s good to share – the sharing economy has something to teach small businesses.

Europcar Mark Maguire, Northern Ireland Sales Manager for Europcar UK reveals how companies can reduce costs and work more efficiently through collaboration

The sharing economy is big business, both for consumers and companies worldwide.  More and more firms and individuals are sharing assets and services, from homes to parking spaces.

This shift has been driven by a combination of the advances in technology and economic pressure.  As a result, open collaboration is not only changing the workplace, it’s having a major impact on external factors such as transportation.

The evolution of car sharing or pooling as opposed to car ownership offers a significant range of benefits for businesses.

Tech-savvy professionals and businesses are using collaborative services such as carpooling to drive down costs and improve efficiency whilst managing their mobility needs.  Indeed, new research commissioned by Europcar[1] has revealed that a quarter of the senior business decision makers polled said that their company operates a carpooling policy.  Such policies enable employees to access vehicles for both business and even personal use, demonstrating a new approach to employee mobility.

The cost of car ownership is steadily increasing and, taking into account costs such as insurance, fuel, maintenance and servicing, outright vehicle purchasing is becoming increasingly less appealing.

For many Northern Ireland based SME businesses vehicle purchase is often cost-prohibitive and, at the very least, unnecessarily ties up valuable capital which can be better invested in other areas of the business.

Car sharing (famously portrayed in Peter Kaye’s popular comedy show) is increasing in popularity as society looks for more convenient, cheaper and flexible travel solutions.  Yet the concept of shared mobility is relatively untapped by the business community.

Companies and organisations in Northern Ireland are no different to other regions in seeking out products, services and practices which can reduce costs to their business. What is the sense of investing in a depreciating asset when car and alternative ride-sharing options are available?  After all, a business which can reduce the cost of fleet ownership as well as the expense of business mileage claims will have a much improved chance of surviving and growing in the current economic climate.

Carpooling options do not only assist with cost reductions. They are also a highly effective solution to tackling the challenge of grey fleet usage and, consequently, enable fleet managers to meet statutory duty of care obligations.

Europcar’s range of mobility solutions offer employers the confidence that their employees have access to the latest, most efficient vehicles and a nationwide support network for added peace of mind. Our innovative usage-driven automotive services offer a 21st century solution, which also helps minimise a company’s carbon footprint and meet environmental objectives.  The benefits for wider society include lower emissions, reduced congestion and parking and obviously a tangible reduction in the number of vehicles on our roads.

Collaborative approaches in the business world are nothing new but carpooling can directly address the specific needs of multiple companies, organisations and even communities.

Our evolving sharing economy is gathering pace and Europcar’s position as Europe’s No. 1 provider of alternative mobility solutions places us at the forefront of delivering innovative, convenient and cost-effective services for our customers and for the environment which we live and work in.

If your business or organisation is interested in finding out more about alternative solutions to vehicle ownership or long term fleet commitments then please get in touch.

Email: [email protected] or Tel: 07969 109425.


[1]  Research conducted by Censuswide based on a sample of 501 senior business decision makers, May 2018