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Use of car-sharing apps soars in France as fuel prices hit €2 a litre

Use of car-sharing apps soars in France as fuel prices hit €2 a litre

A group of young people share a car

Car sharing apps have seen a sharp rise in sign-ups as fuel prices continue to rise in France Pic: Eugenio Marongiu / Shutterstock

The number of people using car-sharing app services is at a record high in France as fuel prices continue to soar.

Car-sharing apps have reported a sharp spike in user numbers in recent weeks, in a continuation of a trend that has been increasing gradually for the past six months.

Car-sharing apps enable users to sign up and share vehicles for road journeys, splitting costs between the passengers and driver.

Industry leader BlaBlaCar has seen 500,000 new users sign up to its Daily commuter platform over the past six months, a rise of 25% in its user base. It now has 2,500,000 users signed up in total. BlaBlaCar is the industry leader in France.

Mobicoop.fr, the sector’s second-most used app in France, has also seen its user numbers rise by 22% nationally, with notable rises in the west of the country (up 38%), and in Hauts-de-France (up 30%).

Sign-ups have spiked very recently, figures from Mobicoop.fr show, with sign-ups over the past few days reaching numbers normally seen over weeks. In the past 15 days, the platform has reported more sign-ups than it would usually receive in an entire month, it said, with a particular rise on March 8 and 9.

BlaBarCar Daily said it had seen twice as many new members sign up on Tuesday, March 8, compared to a normal Tuesday. It said that since the start of the year, the platform has seen a 45% rise in the number of car-sharing journeys. 

Although the platforms suffered due to the health crisis – with BlaBlaCar recording a 30% drop in users between March 2020 and 2021 – it appears to have recovered better than some other transport sectors.

It comes as fuel prices reach €2 per litre at the pumps in several outlets and automobile experts predict that prices could even approach €3 per litre in the coming months due to the Ukraine conflict. 

Police have reported a rise in the number of petrol thefts and tank “siphoning” in recent weeks as prices continue to increase.

A police officer in Yvelines told Le Parisien: “As soon as prices rise, we see a rise in thefts. It’s systematic.”

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