Carsharing-Balance 2015: Further growth and adjustment in the German carsharing-market

Berlin, 29th of February 2016

As of 01.01.2016 there were 1,26 million carsharing-customers registered in Germany, 220.000 more than last year. 16.100 carsharing vehicles were available to them. The number of cities with a carsharing service increased from 490 to 537. A new trend: Combined carsharing-services that provide free-floating and station-based cars within one tariff now operate in four German cities and in the Rhein-Main region.

Carsharing, the principle „using not owning“, grew again in 2015. 1.26 million customers were signed up for a carsharing service, 220.000 more than the previous year. As in previous years, the most dynamic growth happened within the free-floating segment. Here the number of customers grew by 26 percent, to a total of 830.000. Station-based services increased their customers by 13 percent and have 430.000 customers now.

The number of cities and communities with a carsharing service increased to 537 – 47 more than the previous year. Station-based carsharing models account for all of this growth. Free-floating models did not expand.

Carsharing fleets grew at very moderate rates. Some station-based providers expanded their fleets, while others left some locations.  Two providers reduced their fleets significantly in 2015 due to a complete market exit planned for 2016. For these reasons the national fleet of station-based cars grew by only 100 cars, a gain of 1 percent.

The national free-floating fleet grew from 6.400 in the previous year to 7.000 cars in 2015. It is worth noting, that 400 of this 600 additional cars where brought into service by station-based providers. They established combined carsharing services which offer station-based and free-floating cars within one tariff. Such combined services operate in Frankfurt, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Hannover and Osnabrück.

On average, 45 customers shared one station-based car, 3 more than the previous year. In the free-floating segment the number of customers per car increased to 126. That is 23 additional customers compared to last year.

Willi Loose, CEO of the national German carsharing association bcs concludes: „2015 was without doubt another year of significant growth for carsharing in Germany. But the only slight growth of the national fleet and the increase in the number of customers per car hints at the fact that some providers began to consolidate their businesses and worked on the utilization of their existing cars. This is especially true for the free-floating segment.”

Combined carsharing offers make free-floating cars available in a new way.

In 2015, a scientific evaluation showed that within combined carsharing systems, free-floating cars are used in a way that differs from the way they are used in free-floating-only systems. Within combined systems there are significantly fewer one way trips. Trips and booking times are longer and tend to equal those of station-based cars. It can be concluded that customers of combined services use free-floating cars because they didn’t want to reserve them in advance or wanted an open-ended booking. Users of free-floating cars in combined systems show no tendency to replace public transport trips with car trips for convenience reasons.

Willi Loose comments: „In order to relieve the pressure on inner city traffic and reduce air pollution, all means of transport have to be interlocked in the best way possible. Combined carsharing services seem to be a possibility to integrate free-floating carsharing into the combined carsharing/public transport mobility offer.”

The view of public transport authorities on carsharing-growth

Oliver Wolff, CEO of the German association of public transport authorities (VDV), appreciates the development of carsharing from the viewpoint of public transport:

“The future growth of traffic in inner city areas will not be possible on the basis of privately owned cars. Even today most inner city areas suffer from steadily increasing daily traffic congestion and pollution loads from the transportation sector. Combined mobility offers and co-operations will shape the future. Public transport authorities and carsharing providers have worked together successfully for years. This pioneering cooperation provides a solution for the future: Mobility without a private car. With public transport and carsharing combined, households can save money and at the same time increase the quality of life for themselves and their community.”


For its annual survey, bcs collects data from all known carsharing providers. Since some customers are registered with two or more providers, double counts may occur. This applies especially to customers of free-floating systems in big cities of more than 500.000 inhabitants if several free-floating providers operate there. Since customer data from different providers are not cross-referenced, these double counts are inevitable.

Further Information on the annual balance:
As of January 1st, 2016, a data sheet for the 2015 carsharing annual review, diagrams on carsharing development for past years and free photos can be found on the press website of Bundesverband CarSharing e. V.:

Information on the bcs:
Bundesverband CarSharing e. V. (bcs) represents the political interests of German carsharing service providers on the regional and national level. 122 carsharing providers are members of bcs.



Press release CarSharing-Balance 2015, english version.pdf

Data sheet Carsharing in Germany, 01.01.2016.pdf


Gunnar Nehrke
Telefon: 030 - 92 12 33 53

Bundesverband CarSharing e. V. (bcs)
Kurfürstendamm 52
10707 Berlin