The End of Motoring?


Young people today would rather have the latest smartphone than a flashy car. And the number of them who can drive is plummeting. Is Britain's love-affair with the car really over?

The Guardian tackles the changing nature of car ownership in Britain. The kids don't care about cars, they'd rather an iPhone, the traffic is hellish, the petrol costs too much and the congestion charge is keeping cars out of the city.

 In Britain, the percentage of 17- to 20-year-olds with driving licences fell from 48% in the early 1990s to 35% last year. The number of miles travelled by all forms of domestic transport, per capita per year, has flatlined for years. Meanwhile, road traffic figures for cars and taxis, having risen more or less every year since 1949, have continued to fall since 2007. Motoring groups put it down to oil prices and the economy. Others offer a more fundamental explanation: the golden age of motoring is over. 
The article looks at more than just a decline in car-ownership. Car companies can clearly see the writing on the wall, and are doing what capitalism does best when faced with economic pressures- adapting.

Peugeot, for instance, has launched a European project called Mu," says Pollard. "You become a member and can then rent whichever Peugeot best suits your mobility needs that day. So you can borrow a van to move house at the weekend. Then get into a 308 for the school run, Monday to Friday. Then hop into an electric car to scoot silently around town. Then borrow a Peugeot bicycle to cycle to the pub in the evening. It's an attempt to second-guess how we'll run cars in future, and a pilot scheme at present, but you can do this today in London. Other car manufacturers are studying similar ideas."

Read more at the Guardians website here. 

What do you think of Peugeot's idea - would it work in Aus?

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