New pay-as-you-live lifestyle changes the paradigm - Business Works
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New pay-as-you-live lifestyle changes the paradigm

Mark Walker, GM, Zipcar UK The UKs younger generation (aged 18-54) is fuelling the growth of a pay-as-you-live lifestyle. According to recent research, almost twice as many Brits aged between 18 and 54 would choose to hire rather than buy, compared to those aged 55+ who place a higher value on ownership.

The report, Pay-As-You-Live: The Business of Sharing in the UK, is published by Zipcar in conjunction with YouGov and the Future Foundation. It explores growth of the pay-as-you-live lifestyle, most recently valued at £22.4 billion in the UK, as Brits increasingly shun ownership in favour of hiring or sharing goods and services.

The top-line statistics are as follows:

  • 66% of Brits now take more time making big financial decisions than they did before the recession and nearly two thirds (60%) admit that they workout the cost per use when deciding to hire something over buying it outright
  • The sharing economy is valued at £22.4 billion in the UK, with Britons increasingly shunning ownership in favour of hiring or sharing goods and services
  • The trend towards hiring and sharing is accelerating rapidly across the UK, with over one in five under 55s (6.6 million) hiring more now than they were a year ago, equating to almost double the number of those aged 55 with only 10% or around 1.7 million
  • Increasingly, people are making purchasing decisions based on total cost of ownership rather than simply the up-front ticket price, with consideration of cost per use (60%), on-going maintenance costs (45%), depreciation (38%) and the flexibility to upgrade or change styles / models depending on the occasion (29%) as key factors when determining whether to hire/share or purchase goods outright
  • Nearly one in three of the Pay As you Live Generation believe advances in technology have helped to facilitate the proliferation of the pay-as-you-live lifestyle such as being able to use a car by the hour with Zipcar all through your smartphone
  • Top items Brits would consider sharing: Big ticket items such as cars and holiday homes top the list of shareable items, but the PAYL Generation wouldnt rule out hiring less traditional items, such as art (49%), clothing (47%) and even childrens toys (54%)

From ownership to pay-as-you-live

The report reveals that the trend towards hiring and sharing is accelerating rapidly across the UK, with one in five under 55s saying they are more likely to hire now than they were a year ago, equating to almost double the number of those aged 55 and over.

The findings suggest that the pay-as-you-live model of consumption is being driven by a smarter and more considered approach to spending. It reveals that Brits are taking longer to consider purchasing decisions with 66% acknowledging that they are taking more time making big financial decisions than they did before the recession (Oct 2008) and three in five (60%) admitting that they are working out the cost per use when deciding to hire something over buying it outright.

"A number of years ago we noticed a paradigm shift in thinking, away from a desire to own assets to a more collaborative wish to access services, which is more sustainable in the longer term," said Mark Walker, General Manager, Zipcar UK. "We spotted a gap in the market for a new car hire model with collaboration at its heart: a pay-as-you-drive model for a pay-as-you-live lifestyle. This is made possible by new technologies and a desire amongst our members to simplify and improve the way they get around, on a trip-by-trip basis."

Cost-savings and convenience

Whilst the total cost of ownership is a key consideration when making purchasing decisions, respondents also cited on-going maintenance costs (45%), depreciation (38%) and the flexibility to upgrade or change styles/models depending on the occasion (29%), as key factors when determining whether to hire or purchase goods outright.

The research further highlights advances in technology and self-service business models as catalysts for fuelling this shift. It found that almost one in three (31%) of the PAYL Generation believe that advances in technology have helped to facilitate the proliferation of the pay-as-you-live lifestyle.

Pippa Goodman, Trend Consultant at The Future Foundation, comments "The PAYL Generation are children of the Digital Revolution. They have an appetite for frequent novelty and excitement but are also dealing with the constraints of a new financial reality. Empowered by technology, they are embracing the convenience of new, more flexible models of ownership. Automotive is one category where there has been real progress in evolving offers for the pay-as-you-live lifestyle, with services such as Zipcar providing hourly hire from convenient locations with all costs included, compared to the traditional model of a full-day minimum hire."

Items for hire

Whilst the research uncovered that expensive items such as cars and holiday homes top the list of things that Brits would consider hiring and sharing, it also found that much of the PAYL Generation would not rule out hiring less traditional items, such as art (49%),clothing (47%) and childrens toys (54%), as they become increasingly comfortable with the pay-as-you-live lifestyle.

Mark continues, "We commissioned this research to understand more about the UKs attitudes towards sharing and hiring. We understand from our members that alongside cost; convenience, simplicity and reliability are all key drivers fuelling a pay-as-you-live lifestyle and with our simple mobile application, we provide our members with a 'car in their pocket' and access to over 1500 cars available by the hour, at convenient locations across London, Oxford, Bristol and Cambridge."



The Zipcar Pay-As-You-Live report is available for download here: zipcar.uk.mediaroom.com

Zipcar UK is part of the Zipcar Inc, the world's largest pay-as-you-drive car club with over 731,000 members and more than 11,000 vehicles in urban areas across the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Spain and Austria. More information is available at: www.zipcar.co.uk




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