The Sharing Economy in Europe grew in 2019. There are positive signs in Italy for the Home-Sharing sector, but the transport sector is lagging.
The Sharing Economy in Europe closed out 2019 with positive signs. According to Eurostat data, one in five Europeans aged 16 to 74 used an app to book accommodation from another individual, and that number is growing. In 2017 it was 18%, in 2018 it was 19%, and it is already 21% in 2020.
Only 8% of the surveyed group used online peer-to-peer transport: car sharing, car pooling and ride sharing. The number is static, and seems to indicate a reluctance on the part of Europeans to use Sharing Mobility. But it should be noted that services for Sharing Mobility are limited to metropolitan areas only.
According to Eurostat’s data, Home Sharing is most popular among Luxembourgers, with a 46% lead in the ranking, followed by the Irish with 34% and the Maltese with 30%. Home sharing is the least popular service in Czechia (5%), Cyprus (5%) and Latvia (8%).
With Sharing Mobility, the picture is different. Estonia (29%), Ireland (26%) and Malta (25%) are the countries where online peer-to-peer bookings for transport services are the most popular, whereas the lowest proportions were seen in Bulgaria, Greece, and Cyprus (2% each).
Italy is at the EU average regarding Home Sharing with an uptake of 21%, while Italian Sharing Mobility is under the average with only 6%. But the number is growing. Strangely, Italy does better with Sharing Mobility than Germany. With just 3% uptake, there seems to be some kind of mistrust with these types of services.
The stats show only the rapport between users and population, but they don’t show the frequency of utilization or the turnover of the Sharing Economy companies. Sharing Mobility is a service mainly intended for metropolitan areas where only a part of the whole population lives. The numbers don’t show the frequency of utilization of Sharing Mobility. We don’t see the turnover of Sharing Economy companies, so we don’t know if it has increased or not. At the moment the Eurostat survey only allows us to understand the way habits of European consumers are changing.
The Sharing Economy in Europe in 2019 reached a satisfactory level and is growing as predicted in the 2016 PWG study. At the moment, however, a major obstacle to growth seems to be the lack of single and consistent European regulations for the sector. The 27 EU members each have different regulations and this can create interchange problems between various countries. Given the growth of the sector, harmonization among EU members is an urgent requirement.