Over 53% of Bucharest users choosing carsharing to travel around the city prefer SPARK, the carsharing service with the largest fleet of exclusively electric cars, according to a survey initiated in March-April by SPARK among a total of more than 3,300 carsharing users. The main reasons for choosing SPARK are the ease in finding available cars nearby, the lower rental price compared to other similar services and the easy rental experience, as well as the fact that they travel in a responsible way for the environment and can park for free in any public parking.
SPARK facilitates quick and convenient access to eco-friendly transportation around the city, being an important option for passengers in their city transportation mix. The company, which in the middle of 2020 had 50 cars, expanded its fleet nearly 10 times, despite the challenges generated by the pandemic that led to changes in people’s travelling habits. Сurrently, SPARK is the largest car sharing operator in Romania with an auto fleet larger than all other car sharing operators combined and plans to continue growing the number of available electric cars in 2021 and beyond.
As a result, passengers can easily find a car available when they need one. Almost 41% of survey respondents say that a car is available within a very short walking distance from their location and another 49% just a few hundred meters away. The short distance to the car is an important factor in choosing the SPARK carsharing service, followed by the rental cost, the battery level, and the car model. 39.6% of those who rent SPARK electric cars prefer to drive a Renault Zoe, followed by BMW i3 (23.5%), Nissan Leaf (22%) and Skoda Citigo (14.8%).
“Renting an electric car for short distances in the city has become increasingly popular and we are happy that SPARK is part of the solution to major challenges in the city environment, including heavy traffic and pollution. Even if many of our users own a car, they often prefer the alternative of leaving their personal car at home and renting an electric vehicle for an eco-friendly experience, at costs up to 3 times lower than owning a similar petrol car. The typical monthly cost of ownership, insurance, gas and maintenance for a conventional car equals up to 275 fifteen-minute rides using SPARK each month, which means an average of 9 trips per day. In addition, in the context in which parking fees increase in Bucharest, SPARK users don’t need to worry about parking expenses either, since electric cars can park for free in public parkings”, explains Dimitar Stoyanov, SPARK Romania Country Manager.
SPARK gives users the freedom to always choose the closest car, use it for their trip around the city and leave it whenever they want almost anywhere in Bucharest. Most often, Bucharest residents choose SPARK to meet friends, to go to places where they do not have access to public transport or at special events. 29.8% SPARK users consider that this saves time and another 24.6% say that they prefer this mobility option to others such as ridesharing for the pleasure of driving, especially when it comes to electric cars.
IT, engineering and sales professionals, most frequent SPARK users
SPARK makes carsharing accessible to all types of active people who want to travel worry-free around the city. Today, IT professionals represent more than a quarter of SPARK’s users, followed by engineering and manufacturing specialists, sales professionals and transport and logistics employees, showing that the service is convenient for people in all kinds of professional areas. Over 71% of frequent users are under 34 and almost 59% are full-time employees, while 26% have their own business. Almost 62% of those who use the eco-friendly SPARK urban mobility service weekly or even daily own a personal car but prefer carsharing with SPARK for short distance trips around the city, as they find it more convenient, comfortable and efficient for the environment.
Renting a car through SPARK, a safer mobility option during the pandemic
Since the pandemic, 32% of respondents to the SPARK survey say renting a car through the carsharing service has been the safest way for them to get around the city, after their personal car, compared to alternatives such as renting scooters, taxi or ridesharing or public transport. Even though for 55.7% the mobility restrictions imposed by the pandemic context and working from home led to a lower need for travel, over 90% say that traveling with SPARK was safe or very safe.