Car sharing: is it really worth it for private and business use?

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Contribution image part car and CarSharing

All advantages and disadvantages of car sharing and the Saxon provider teilAuto in portrait, clarifies!

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Mobility in Germany has many faces. Some people live in the city and can manage their entire daily lives by bicycle and public transport. Others have to commute to their workplace or are even completely dependent on their own vehicle for work. Nevertheless, the term "traffic turnaround" is strongly represented in politics and the media for a reason. Thanks to demographic and social change as well as for climate protection reasons, it is very important to tackle the traffic turnaround and develop possible solutions. One of these possible solutions is car sharing. Basically, car sharing is a joint use of an (e-)car based on certain contractual framework conditions. The concept is particularly popular in densely populated areas. asked the Saxon car sharing provider teilAuto. How does car sharing for private and business customers actually work? What sets teilAuto apart? What role does electromobility play in the carsharing market?

How does car sharing work?

In a nutshell: Commercial car sharing is nothing more than renting a vehicle as you already know it, but much faster, easier and more spontaneous. You agree on a framework contract with the provider. The basic principle of car sharing is similar with most providers: users have to register in advance via an app, deposit their payment information and driver's license, and be activated by the provider after a check. This rarely takes more than 1-2 business days. With that, you actually have the roughest part behind you. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of the providers. The costs vary widely, ranging from four to 19 euros per hour, and the cost-benefit calculation depends heavily on the annual mileage.

After successful activation, nothing stands in the way of a spontaneous trip. Simply select the vehicle of your choice in the app and open it. Most providers keep a damage list in the apps. So check the vehicle for damage before you set off, and you'll be ideally protected.

The vehicle's on-board computer automatically logs the kilometers driven. As soon as the journey is over, the vehicle can be parked in one of the provider's many parking spaces. If these parking spaces are occupied, many providers offer alternatives so that the vehicle can be dropped off elsewhere.


A distinction is made here between "free-floating" and station-based car sharing. In station-based car sharing, the vehicle always has to be returned to a "station" in order to end the trip. This system makes it possible to book a vehicle at short notice and for a long period in advance, but the end time of the trip must also be planned in advance. In contrast, with "free-floating" car sharing there is no fixed location for the vehicle. It can simply be parked anywhere else where a vehicle can be parked. This system gives users maximum flexibility, but they cannot reserve a vehicle well in advance.

Blog graphic Functionality car sharing
Source: own illustration with elements from shutterstock/petovarga

What are the advantages and disadvantages of car sharing?

On the one hand, both private and business customers benefit from the elimination of the purchase price for a vehicle. For occasional use, the price per kilometer driven is also significantly lower than that of a private vehicle. On top of that, there's a lot of convenience: you no longer have to worry about repairs and maintenance, you no longer need to rent a parking space, and the costs for electricity/fuel as well as taxes and insurance are already included in the price. So in addition to saving money, you can also save yourself a whole lot of stress and effort.


You have to evaluate exactly how much money you can save based on your own driver profile. The ADAC's overview of all car costs from A to Z is helpful. Here you can easily see what your dream car will cost you each month, complete with depreciation, service, repairs and operating costs. For example, if you are thinking about buying an ID.3 Pro Performance, the model will cost you 656€ per month. The next step is to think about how you actually use the car on average. In our fictitious example, we assume six short trips per week and one weekend trip per month. Now we can evaluate what the same trips would cost via a car sharing provider. On teilAuto's overview page, there are practical example trips and their costs in the different tariffs. Here, the six short trips per week (2.5 hours, 15 km) and one weekend trip per month (2 days, 250 km) would cost 390.52€ in the most expensive tariff. With this average vehicle usage, a carsharing user would save just under 265€ per month!


If you want to test whether electromobility is something for you, you can also do that quite easily via your carsharing provider(?). But there are also one or two disadvantages. Flexibility and spontaneity in particular are very dependent on the coverage of the provider in your own region. If you live in a rather rural area, it is currently unlikely that you will benefit from the advantages of car sharing to the same extent as people who are at home in the city. There is also no guarantee that a free vehicle will be available to you at all times. Although carsharing providers are always keen to match supply to demand, it can be annoying not to get a vehicle when you need one.



Why is car sharing particularly interesting for business customers?

The advantages of car sharing apply not only to private customers; companies can also take the next step in developing their vehicle fleets by cooperating with a car sharing provider. Here, too, the advantages are obvious: employees can make short business trips flexibly and spontaneously using the carsharing vehicles. However, this does not require a large investment in a company-owned vehicle fleet and the organizational effort is low. Billing is automatic, without the need to keep a complicated logbook. The only prerequisite is sufficient space to set up a parking space for the car sharing cooperation partner. Depending on your needs, several parking spaces can be set up by arrangement. In this way, you also enable visitors to your company to use the pleasant car sharing service.


Two factors that should not be underestimated are also the possibility of taking the first step toward electromobility by cooperating with a car-sharing provider and getting one step closer to one's own sustainability goals. Many companies consider the (partial) conversion to electromobility to be much more costly than it actually is. With the e-car car sharing option, you can easily create electromobility offers and test for yourself as a company to what extent an e-car fits your requirements.

Portrait of a car-sharing provider: teilAuto

We asked Marcus Buchfeld (Regional Manager Dresden) of teilAuto and were able to find out some interesting details about the company and the business field of car sharing.

Car sharing provider in portrait
Eric Wegner from SachsenEnergie in conversation with Marcus Buchfeld, Regional Manager teilAuto Dresden

You have probably already seen vehicles from teilAuto's fleet on the roads. The provider is the largest in central Germany and stands out for its dense network of stations. Currently, its fleet includes well over 400 vehicles at more than 200 locations, of which around 70 are e-cars. The business field of electric mobility is a particularly interesting one for the company. Here teilAuto has already been able to record some successes by diversifying its fleet. In general, the car sharing business area is developing very well, according to the company's own statements. In general, demand and supply for car sharing have grown continuously over the past ten years. The Covid 19 pandemic has caused a bit of a stir. During the first lockdown phases, usage initially slumped, but during the pandemic summers of 2021 and 2022, when everyone was on vacation in Germany, it shot up again. Currently, everything is leveling off again at the original level. At the same time, e-car sharing is becoming an increasingly important issue. At the same time, electromobility brings with it new challenges. For example, the cost-intensive installation and maintenance of charging stations at the actual parking spaces means additional expense for the company. Many customers are also unaccustomed to electromobility, which leads to errors in use that also currently represent an additional expense for teilAuto.

teilAuto always sees car sharing as a replacement for private car ownership. The principle works by complementing it with cycling, walking or public transport. A route covered by bicycle or on foot is always the provider's preference. However, for those situations where you really need a vehicle, car sharing is supposed to be the most practical, affordable and sustainable option. To be able to ensure this for teilAuto users in the long term, price stability is an extremely high priority for the provider, and they work hard to achieve it. In the past 15 years, teilAuto has only seen one moderate price increase. Hardly any other mobility service provider is so price stable!

Charge card SachsenEnergie
Charging card of SachsenEnergie
Logo Saxony Energy-1c

Car sharing practical example: Dresden Municipal Hospital

How can a car sharing project be implemented in a company? The best practice example of the Dresden Municipal Hospital shows it! The starting point was that employees make many short trips within the city on business. After an internal evaluation at the Municipal Hospital, it quickly became clear that both electromobility and the principle of car sharing were a perfect fit for the purposes of the Dresden Municipal Hospital. Right from the start, the best conditions were in place: a high level of motivation among employees for the project, several clinic locations in the city, and the possibility of creating space for the required infrastructure. So all that was missing were the right partners.


This is where teilAuto and SachsenEnergie came into play. As experts in their respective fields, they provided the Dresden Municipal Hospital with advice and support. teilAuto with its experience in the field of car sharing and SachsenEnergie in setting up the charging infrastructure required for the e-cars and using SachsenEnergie 's large charging network via the SachsenEnergie charging card. The result is convincing: employees are very happy to use the e-car sharing service and the Dresden Municipal Hospital has shown true pioneering spirit with the clinic locations on the way to more sustainable mobility.

Practical example of car sharing at Dresden Hospital
A practical example of car sharing for companies: Mr. Kiefer from Dresden Municipal Hospital with a "teilAuto" vehicle.
Source: teilAuto

Car sharing: A concept for more sustainable mobility!

Car sharing is already a successful concept today, regardless of whether it is used with combustion engines or e-cars. However, the development in the field of electric mobility is particularly interesting. The major advantages are, firstly, being able to drive shorter distances flexibly and spontaneously, and secondly, thus making one's own contribution to sustainability without having to worry about purchasing, taxes or repairs. However, the same advantages are not available everywhere: depending on where you live, the coverage of car sharing providers is not yet sufficient. But what is not, can still become, after all, the business field of car sharing is in constant growth.


The practical example of the Dresden Municipal Hospital, teilAuto and SachsenEnergie impressively shows how useful car sharing can also be for business customers. It is advisable to take a close look at car sharing as a supplement for company mobility, e.g., in its use as pool vehicles.


If you have any further questions on this topic, please feel free to write to us at!

A contribution by Eric Wegner

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