If you live in or near an urban district, you’re probably aware of one or more companies providing “car-share” arrangements that offer members access to a network of personal-use vehicles on a temporary pay-as-you-go basis. No annual fees are often required, they can provide eligible members with insurance coverage, and may even pay for fuel. Beyond the bigger national or international brand name companies, there are also local co-op car sharing organizations and independent consumer groups that are growing in popularity. With smart technology, tracking and maintenance can be monitored easily and accurately, and user-payment can be made conveniently.

It’s a rational market response to the rising cost of car ownership, and a practical approach to addressing the obvious waste of road ready automobiles that are depreciating while parked unused most of the time. Shared ownership programs can have further significant longer-term effects. For example, if such a trend continues, the density of newly built neighborhoods can be affected, as fewer families require multi vehicle garages. This can also affect older homes and high-rises, as existing homeowners and condo corporations find more creative uses for unused parking spaces.