Autolib’: an alternative to private cars?

Context of the study

In 2013, 6t teamed up with “France Autopartage” (now called Citiz) and with the support of ADEME to conduct the first French National Survey on Carsharing. The main objective was to better understand the impact of round-trip carsharing on urban mobility. After noticing that there was no study to date focusing on the uses and the impacts of one-way carsharing, 6t decided to conduct the first independent survey aiming at assessing the practice through objective criteria.

The use of private cars in France has reached an inflection point: in large urban areas, car-based mobility has decreased, whereas transit use has increased. This trend stems from a growing dissociation between car ownership and use.

Even if the majority of carsharing operators function on a round-trip basis, several municipalities are currently inquiring about the interest and the impact of one-way carsharing programs (no obligation to return the car to the starting point or to pay for parking) and self-service programs (no obligation neither to reserve the vehicle, nor to anticipate the duration of the rental).


The online survey was conducted between November 2013 and January 2014. 1169 respondents (644 from Autolib’ users and 525 from Mobizen users, now called Communauto) answered to it.

 Main results

  • Autolib’ users are mainly executives, but some students are also attracted by the service;
  • Autolib’ is a substitute to private cars without the parking contraint;
  • Autolib’ is a solution deemed more practical than public transportation;
  • Carsharing systems and demotorization​:

Capture d’écran 2016-10-24 à 18.06.13

  • Autolib’ competes with private cars, but also with all the other transportation modes (including motorized two-wheelers and taxi).

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Photo credit: 6t-bureau de recherche

A project sheet is available

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