Why is it that there are no Finnish apps that allow users to share and to rent their neighbour’s vehicles or motorcycles?
- We need cars because this is a big country, with big shopping centres and free-time houses a long way outside the urban areas.
- We need vehicles to transport our children to sport centres and other places where they have their regular hobbies.
- We need cars to visit family members spread out over the whole country at Christmas and during the summer.
- We need cars because during the long cold winters, a car is a comfortable means of travelling. Trains, buses and bikes are so slow, so slow… you just try to combine 2 or 3 public transport alternatives – the connection time and costs are far from what can be achieved with a car.
The government has done little to make life easier for car owners:
- We pay 5 to 7 times in taxes and fees what the government uses for maintaining and investing in the road network.
- Roads are not maintained well.
- Taxis are allowed to operate without any real competition.
The result of the above is that we have many expensive cars that are sitting in parking areas most of the day, with intensive use during public holidays in the summer for 5 months between May and September and around Christmas.
One solution that could lead to more efficient use of vehicles and reduce costs would be for a new application where car owners could rent out their card for short or longer periods through something similar to AIRBNB or Wolt.
The owner would make available a fully insured vehicle to a user who would be responsible for returning the car as agreed. The application could be cover many different types of needs. Owners could have their car washed, tyres changes, have official inspected, order repairs and maintenance, etc.
Users would be ranked as trustworthy or not, their driving habits could be automatically recorded on the application and used for insurance and renting purposes.
Cars need to be used on a regular basis and this the of application would allow owners to earn a return on their undersized cars.
Another important consequence would probably be that the number of cars would fall, and streets would have fewer parked cars during the day.
This is the sort of development that the government should encourage.
Applications from other countries include Zipcar, JustShareIt, Wheelz, etc…