Car-Sharing in Condos – Is it a Viable Condo Amenity?

February 2014

Why own a vehicle when you can borrow one!

This is the approach embraced by car-share companies. But does it make sense for a condominium to offer car-sharing as an amenity? The answer depends on the available space and demand for the service within a condo.

Car-sharing services are especially popular among the under-30 crowd in urban centres such as Yonge North Corridor. Many in this group consider car ownership to be a luxury or a hassle rather than a necessity. They are also more likely to rent rather than own, and to purchase a condominium as their first property.

All this makes the under-30 crowd both an appealing and growing demographic within condominiums. Some condominiums offer amenities to specifically attract this demographic.

Users pay a monthly and/or annual fee plus a charge when a vehicle is used. Having one or more car-share vehicles within a condo is certainly a convenience to those who require the service. This makes it convenient and cost effective to the user who does not own their own vehicle. It makes the condominium appear both hip and green and sets it apart from other condominiums. Finally, condominiums lacking sufficient parking spaces for residents can offer this service as a way to attract those who do not own a vehicle.

While car-sharing companies generally operate under a revenue sharing arrangement when working with a condo, this only works if the condominium is of sufficient size and has enough residents who make use of the service. The earned revenue from making a car-share service available within a condominium in itself is not likely to be sufficiently large to warrant offering the service. The value is more likely to be found in attracting to the building residents most likely to benefit from easy access to a car-share service.

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