Uber says a quarter of Londoners ditching car ownership have done due to alternatives

 
Lynsey Barber
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Fewer people own cars in the capital compared to the rest of the country (Source: Getty)

More than a quarter of Londoners who have ditched their cars have done because of alternatives such as Uber, new research by the on-demand taxi service claims.

A YouGov poll of 1,000 residents in the capital for the startup found 28 per cent of those who no longer own a car, but used to, said it was down to using alternatives. That figure jumped to 42 per cent among those who were recent Uber users, while 11 per cent of Uber users said they were less likely to need their own car in the future.

A further one in five said they were less likely to buy a car in the capital for the same reasons and among those who started using Uber in the las six months that stood at a third.

Read more: Uber: We’re still here, don’t forget us!

"These figures suggest apps like Uber are starting to have an impact on car ownership," said Uber UK manager Jo Bertram.

"Ditching your own car can be good for our city as well as your wallet. When people can get around and connect with public transport without needing their own car there’s less need for parking spaces."

Uber launched its car sharing option UberPool a year ago in London offering a cheaper ride with someone else going in the same direction. More than two million journeys have been shared using the service as of the end of August, saving more than 1.3m miles being driven, 98,000 litres of petrol and 231 metric tonnes of C02, it's estimated.

Read more: Uber's going electric in London

In the US, where UberPool has been established for longer, early data from one of the first research projects on the matter indicate this may already be the case. However, in London Uber has been blamed for increasing congestion on the roads with the number of mincabs rising in recent years.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has promised to tackle the capital's "toxic air". A new charge for the most polluting cars on London's roads is planned.

The new survey also indicates people are using Uber as a compliment to public transport; 65 per cent said they used it when other public transport options were not available, 55 per cent when those options were limited or suspended and 43 per cent as a safer option to get home at night. Just under one in five said they used Uber because they didn't own their own car.

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