Brits are increasingly living a ‘pay-as-you-go’ lifestyle, new research shows, as more people choose hire rather than buy an increasing range of products and services including cars and holiday homes and even less traditional items, such as art, clothing and children’s toys.
A new report from the UK’s largest pay-as-you-drive car club, Zipcar reveals the extent of the popularity of what it calls a pay-as-you-live lifestyle (PAYL), with the younger generations leading the way in this switch to hiring and borrowing rather than buying. Twice as many Brits aged between 18 and 54 were found would choose to hire rather than buy, compared to those aged 55+ who place a higher value on ownership. Over one in five under 55s (6.6 million) are now hiring more now than they were a year ago.
The new research, published in conjunction with YouGov and the Future Foundation in the “Pay-As-You-Live: The Business of Sharing in the UK” report explores growth of this sharing economy, valuing it as worth at least £22.4 billion in the UK.
Watching the pennies
The growth in pay-as-you-go has been found to have been driven in recent times by the recession, with 66 per cent of Brits admitting that they now take more time making big financial decisions than they did before the recession (Oct 2008) and nearly two thirds (60%) admitting that they workout the cost per use when deciding to hire something over buying it outright.
Technology too, is promoting the sharing economy, with smartphones making it easier to make instant payments for services, such as hiring a car by the hour through a car club.
Consumers are now 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%) quoted as key factors when determining whether to hire/share or purchase goods outright in the survey of some 2088 UK adults.
Mark Walker, General Manager, Zipcar UK, said: “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.
“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.”
Businesses born out of this growing demand for flexible, affordable hire include a number of car clubs, as well as web business such as ParkatmyHouse, where users can hire parking space on someone’s drive, Onefinestay.com, where homeowners rent out to their house to holidaymakers and Girlmeetsdress.com, a luxury rental service where women can borrow designer dresses at up to 95 per cent below the retail price.
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
I think the PAYL has been around alot longer and is not just a "new" thing.
As a provider of PAYG (Pay as you go) insurance we are testement to this
Very interesting article
October 17, 2012