18 Apr 17

Germany enacts car-sharing law 

The German Bundestag has approved a so-called Car-Sharing Law, for the first time regulating the establishment of parking spaces specifically for car-sharing on a Germany-wide basis. 

The law regulates the use of public parking spaces for fixed-location provision of car-sharing, which can be allotted to individual providers. Public parking spaces can also be used for free-floating car-sharing, in this case not limited to single providers. The new law also enables local authorities to reduce or waive parking fees for car-sharing vehicles. 

“Car-sharing is currently available in 600 cities across Germany, and in 588 of those according to the fixed-location principle. More than 90% of these shared cars park in private parking spaces, because public parking spaces are often unavailable in inner cities. This new law can help remedy this, which would be good, for these fixed-location car-sharing initiatives offer a strong contribution to reducing traffic congestion”, says Willi Loose (pictured), CEO of the German Car-Sharing Association. 

The Car-Sharing Law explicitly names car-sharing as an eco-friendly alternative to the current paradigm of individualised vehicle transport. Fixed-location car-sharing, as offered in or near city centres, has already reduced private car ownership by up to 20%, says Loose. A recent study claims that up to 78% of inner-city customers of car-sharing services no longer own a car. That is significantly higher than the average of 18% for the inhabitants of large German cities, and even the 53% of Berliners who do not own a car. 

Another study shows that 47% of free-floating car-sharers and 57% of fixed-location car-sharers use public transport on an almost daily basis – more than double the share of the general population. 

The German Car-Sharing Association says the law, enacted after 13 years of lobbying, offers local governments the legal framework to reduce traffic and improve the environment while maintaining a full range of mobility options for their citizens.

Image: Bundesverband CarSharing e.V.

Authored by: Frank Jacobs