The future of car ownership

January 31, 2022

Car ownership header

For decades, the personal car has been an object of independence, status, and freedom. And to some extent, it’s still the case. 

But with advances in technology and car alternatives, attitudes are starting to change. In the same way that we don’t need to own physical copies of music or films, we don’t necessarily need to buy a car either.

The concept of non-ownership is beneficial for so many reasons — less hassle, zero commitment, and no long-term costs.

Whether the move to on-demand mobility spells the end of the personal car completely is up for debate. It’s clear, though, that more people are switching to alternative forms of transport that don’t require the upfront and long-term costs of owning a car. 

Let’s take a closer look at the factors that will change our relationship with personal cars in the decades to come.


In 2018, UN figures showed that 55% of the world’s population lived in urban areas, but that by 2050, this would reach 68%. The stats don’t lie. More of us will be living in cities and urban areas, globally. 

And this impacts how we move around. 

If every one of the above new city dwellers were to own a car, our cities wouldn’t be able to cope. That’s why TaaS (transport as a service) options are more convenient, increasingly popular, and more sustainable. 

While those in rural areas are perhaps more dependent on personal cars to get around, cities offer the infrastructure and proximity that make TaaS possible.

Let’s not forget — our cities cannot just grow in size and invent new space out of nothing. They, therefore, need new car alternatives to stop them from looking like huge overflowing car parks. 

Millennials and the subscription society

In its Global Automotive Consumer Study, Deloitte found a huge difference in attitude between millennials and older generations when it came to owning a car. 

Millennials chose price, flexibility, and convenience as their key priorities, and were more willing to embrace car-sharing and ride-hailing services that require less commitment.

The younger generations grew up with iPhones in their back pockets and don’t remember what a world without apps looked like. 

And as these generations become the dominant car driving age group, the personal car could start to be eradicated completely.

On-demand urban mobility

Just think, over the last decades we’ve shifted to a subscription-first society. 

Whether it’s Netflix, Spotify, or Amazon Prime, subscription, i.e. non-ownership, offers the flexibility and non-commitment that we all crave. If you get bored and don’t want the service anymore — no problem, just cancel your subscription and never worry about it again.

And there’s no reason why personal cars and urban mobility won’t end up here too. It might be that in 20 years, we’ll look back and wonder why we all had our own cars that clogged up our roads and led to a lower quality of life in our cities. 

With a ride-hailing app like Bolt, for example, you get where you need to go without having to worry about car insurance or repair costs. You can simply fire up an app and order a ride — without any long-term commitment or ongoing costs. 

If forecasts by RethinkX are to be believed, there won’t be many personal cars left in as little as 10 years:

By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of fully autonomous vehicles, 95% of all US passenger miles will be served by TaaS providers…providing passengers with higher levels of service, faster rides, and vastly increased safety at a cost up to 10 times cheaper than today’s individually owned (IO) vehicles.

RethinkX – Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030

Choose affordable and convenient Bolt rides

If you’re not into car ownership, but want a safe and reliable alternative, then choose Bolt. Get around town fast, sustainably and safely — without sacrificing on quality. 

Download the Bolt app, order a ride in seconds, and get picked up in minutes!


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