There are no free lunches in property development. Parking spaces are one example of a factor that increases property development costs and living expenses. The cost of one parking space in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area is estimated at approximately EUR 30,000. Car sharing is one viable alternative when looking for ways to support sustainable, convenient and affordable rental housing. It reduces the need to build parking spaces, supports the goals of ecologically smart urban transport and provides a flexible extra service for tenants.
VVO Group builds a better future by focusing on innovative housing solutions. This cannot be achieved without good partners. The idea of a car sharing scheme was developed in partnership with 24Rent.
We want to support employment-based migration and make life easier for people living in growth centres. Convenience is key in housing and transport. Car sharing is a potential solution when public transport does not satisfy all transportation needs. Compared to public transport, car sharing is a more convenient way of managing major shopping trips and weekend getaways.
The car sharing scheme differs from other car-share models and car rental in that the vehicles are not owned by the housing company or one of the residents, nor are they reserved or picked up from a car rental company. The car-share vehicles are reserved and picked up from the building’s own designated car park. The vehicles are maintained and managed by 24Rent, and using them is approximately 30% cheaper than an ordinary rental car.
The car sharing scheme was first piloted in Suurpelto, Espoo, and Hervanta, Tampere, in early 2015. The properties were selected for the pilot based on their location outside the city centre, which means that their tenants are more likely to need a shared vehicle. The tenants at these locations also include many young people and young families whose values are different from those of the previous generation. Owning things is no longer seen as a must, and owning a car is rare.
The car sharing scheme received exceptionally positive feedback during the very first pilot. It also attracted media attention, and our customer panel in the LumoLab group on Facebook also expressed a great deal of enthusiasm for this innovative service. We have been asked to introduce the car sharing scheme to other locations, and we have received lots of encouraging comments.
The sharing economy is growing, and car sharing is one example of its rising prominence. Owning an apartment, car or household equipment is not seen as important today as it once was. We also support a sense of community at our properties by building club rooms and organising various events for tenants all year round. This means that the car sharing scheme is a natural move for us, and it benefits both tenants and the environment.
The feedback we have received shows that we are on the right path. We have every intention of continuing to offer the car sharing scheme to our tenants, and we hope that all of our properties will eventually be covered by this smart transport solution. After the success of the pilot projects, we can promise that the car sharing scheme is here to stay!
VVO Group plc is Finland’s largest private-sector landlord, offering good rental solutions coupled with Lumo housing services.
We invite you to learn more about the views of housing industry professionals regarding current phenomena in housing, as well as good housing and what it is like to work in these areas. The blog provides a communication platform for VVO Group experts and employees, as well as our tenants and cooperation partners.
Mikko Purola, Letting Manager, VVO Group