4 min

Getaround x SNCF: A look back at a winning bet

Today, one of the main challenges for car-sharing operators revolves around the strategy for placing their vehicles in order to establish a lasting presence in users’ routines. Mobility hubs, such as train stations and airports, appear to play a crucial role in enhancing their offerings. By bringing together various mobility services in a single location, these hubs make it easier for users to access and discover them. This growth lever is increasingly being embraced by car-sharing operators seeking to secure dedicated parking spaces for their service. Getaround has also shifted its focus toward this strategy. We had the opportunity to interview Europe’s leading car-sharing platform, who gave us an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at this long-term collaboration…

>> Car-sharing operators: The 4 main obstacles to overcome
if you want to ensure the long-term future of your business

In what context did Getaround approach SNCF, and what opportunities does your service represent for them?

SNCF “Gares & Connexion” launched a call for tenders in 2021 to provide parking spaces in car parks reserved for digital car-sharing rental companies. In 2021, Getaround won 150 spaces in 19 stations. This year, 2023, we have won a further 80 spaces (for a total of 230) at 32 stations across the country.

The idea behind this partnership is to promote multimodality by giving users access to a car sharing vehicle as soon as they arrive at a station, at any time of the day or night, thanks to Getaround Connect technology. No more queuing at rental agencies or stressing about train delays, the vehicle can be unlocked completely independently using the application.

For the SNCF, this is a way of expanding its range of mobility services at stations and making trains more attractive than private cars. For long journeys, for example, it is more convenient to take the train and hire a self-service car to finish the last few kilometers or to travel to your holiday destination. At the same time, this helps to optimize the use of station car parks.

Could you give us a few figures to illustrate the success of this kind of collaboration, and what are your long-term objectives?

After two years of partnership, we are seeing real success. Here are a few figures to illustrate the point:

  • The occupancy rate of vehicles belonging to the program is around 10% higher than other vehicles equipped with the box connected to the Getaround platform.
  • The fleet of vehicles belonging to the partnership has increased by 53% in one year.
  • In 2022, we counted 14,400 users of these vehicles, and in the first half of 2023 we have already reached more than 11,000.
>> Car-sharing operators: The 4 main obstacles to overcome
if you want to ensure the long-term future of your business

What are the challenges facing car sharing in stations? Are some stations more suitable than others?

This partnership reveals itself to be a real opportunity for us to have more visibility with the users of the SNCF. For this, we have to ensure the signaling within the garages, in order to be well identified and facilitate the experience of users who will find more easily vehicles. The stations where the signage is most visible, and where tourism is particularly well-developed, are the most beneficial for car-sharing, such as Avignon, St Malo and Biarritz. The outlying stations of the city center or the smaller stations are also propitious, because the mobility solutions to the arrival in the station are more limited.

Being international, is it a model that can be easily re-adopted in Europe? If so, in which country have you done so, or could you list the main obstacles if not?

Getaround’s idea is to replicate the model in Europe with mobility partners (such as railway stations), but also with public bodies and cities. For the moment, France is the leading country in this field. The same type of opportunity is also available in Norway (Getaround’s second key market in Europe), but for the time being the priority is cities, with which discussions are already well under way. Getaround already has operational support in a number of major Norwegian cities (partnerships for car washes, for example). Efforts are also being made at airports to promote car sharing in the surrounding area, with dedicated car parks. Airports are Norway’s main source of growth.

In the United States, a number of partnerships have already been signed across the country, including in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Las Vegas. In San Francisco, for example, Getaround has reserved on-street parking spaces as well as hundreds of spaces in commercial and residential buildings, in line with a city requirement that car sharing be included in new builds. Since the partnership began :

  • 10% of users have sold or given away their car.
  • 83% of users did not buy a car using Getaround.
  • 74% of journeys involve two or more people in the car.

Like the SNCF, Getaround is partnering with public transport systems such as the Los Angeles (CA) Metro and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in the San Francisco Bay Area to serve as a “last mile” mobility solution. More than 1,500 parking spaces are dedicated to Getaround worldwide, including more than 1,000 parking spaces in 12 US cities.

 data-src=>Access to the first interactive spreadsheet of the car-sharing market    “>