Covid-19 fuels popularity of car sharing in Czechia

Photo: Barbora Němcová

A growing number of Czechs are using car sharing services, the daily Hospodářské noviny has reported. One of the factors behind the popularity of car sharing in the Czech Republic is the coronavirus pandemic. Many people who would normally travel by public transport, are renting car in order to avoid the crowds.

The Czech Republic’s biggest car sharing company HoppyGo reported an 80 percent increase in the number of car rentals last year, while the number of registered users increased by 50 percent to over 100,000.

The company, operated by Škoda Auto, offers car sharing services in most parts of the Czech Republic. It connects people who have a car but don’t use it every day with those who only need it occasionally.

“Many of our clients use our cars to travel to work instead of using public transport,” HoppyGo CEO Robin Švaříček told the daily Hospodářské noviny.

At the same time, public transport services in Czech towns and cities are seeing an outflow of passengers. For instance the number of people using Prague public transport currently stands at less than 50 percent of the pre-Covid figures.

Other car sharing companies in the Czech Republic have confirmed a similar trend:

“Part of our clients stopped using our services because they are working from home, but other clients started using the services to avoid overcrowded public transport,” technical director of Car4Way Michal Pecina told the daily, adding that the overall number of rentals in 2020 increased on the previous year.

In 2020, HoppyGo recorded a turnover of CZK 41 million. Altogether its clients rented cars for more than 38,000 days. The company currently offers nearly 3,000 vehicles. The most popular ones are mid-range personal vehicles, but there is also a growing interest in minivans and trailers.