Corona & CarSharing - How the pandemic is changing corporate mobility

7. Apr 2021 | By Tim Ruhoff

Nothing has shaped the last year as much as the Corona virus. Laws have been newly enacted, habits have been adapted, and people have learned to live with the dangerous virus. Corona trends are also evident in usage data, which we've prepared for you. Sign up here to receive insights and outlooks regarding Corona & CarSharing.

Corona in Germany

The first lockdown started in March 2020 and over the summer, infection rates showed a slight improvement, which also reduced the lockdown measures and led to the opening of restaurants and shops. Unfortunately, the German government was forced to initiate the second lockdown in November 2020 - the reason for this was the high increase in infection rates. Until today, this situation is unchanged.

The first lockdown was characterized by relatively harsh measures at low infection rates, while the second lockdown has supposedly weaker measures at high infection rates. Infection rates peaked shortly after Christmas/New Year 2020. Since then, however, the numbers have steadily declined.

Corona und Corporate CarSharing

In order to reconcile the Corona situation with fleetster bookings, we have analysed all bookings and booking types over the course of the Corona pandemic. In doing so, we basically distinguish between private bookings and business bookings.

Business bookings
The majority of fleetster customers use CarSharing for business trips. This means that if you look at the total bookings, business trips reflect the majority of bookings. For business bookings, there are pool vehicles - company shared vehicles - which are used solely for business trips such as client appointments or meetings. Business bookings saw an extremely sharp decline due to the closure of numerous companies and employees moving to home offices.

Private bookings
There are companies that offer their employees the private use of company vehicles. Our analysis has shown that directly after the first lockdown in 2020, private bookings increased. You can see in the numbers that usage is even higher today than it was before Corona. That is, there are more private bookings than ever before.

Corona and public CarSharing

Some of the fleetster customers also operate a public CarSharing. These offer their cars to public users who pay for the service per kilometre or hour. This concept is in contrast to in-house CarSharing, where vehicles are made available to a closed group of users - often free of charge.

The fleetster statistics show a sharp decline at the beginning of Corona. Over time, however, the public seemed to get used to the situation and car sharing was seen as an option for private use. Accordingly, the second lockdown showed a smaller drop in bookings than the first lockdown - but far below the level of booking drops in corporate car sharing.

Conclusion and trends

The lowest booking figures were recorded on 8 April 2020 - the start of the first lockdown. Since then, the numbers remained at a low average and tended to improve towards Christmas and New Year 2020.

Business trips in corporate car sharing have not recovered so far and have remained at a low level. Private trips, on the other hand, are the exception and represent a strong increase since the beginning of the first lockdown in April 2020. Use in public car sharing has recovered slightly - but remains at a weak average.

The trend of increasing private bookings shows that private trips with company cars became more popular. It seems that user behaviour has changed, which is important information to keep in mind - especially when building CarSharing business cases.

Private trips with company cars are a feature that fleetster has supported for almost 10 years. Finally, it seems that the trend we were expecting is here.