From 10% VAT to the abolition of the annual fee: these four measures proposed by SHARE NOW to government bodies aim to safeguard the sector and make the conditions for managing car sharing services in Italy more favourable.
Milan, 10 May 2021 – SHARE NOW, leading free-floating car sharing operator in Europe, wants to advocate again for the importance of encouraging a service that has become a cornerstone of urban sustainable mobility. For this reason, both individually and together with the trade associations Assosharing and Aniasa, SHARE NOW has submitted to the attention of the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of the Ecological Transaction, Anci and the municipal administrations of the cities in which it operates, four measures which make the conditions for managing car sharing services in Italy more favourable. The action taken by SHARE NOW aims to safeguard a sector that has suffered the heavy grip of the pandemic and which, despite the difficulties of the period, has continued to operate safely while remaining available to all citizens.
"Several Italian municipalities have applied solutions to limit traffic, pollution, and the use of private cars in urban centres, such as Congestion Charge and Limited Traffic Zones. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequential reduction of the local public transport, these measures have often been temporarily suspended to safely facilitate citizens’ mobility. On the other hand, however, we had a massive return to the use of private cars, to the detriment of the more sustainable solutions offered by the sharing industry," stated Luigi Licchelli, Business Development Lead Italy of SHARE NOW. "Therefore, we felt the need to engage in dialog with the authorities in order to generate solutions that allow the entire sector to continue operating in a suitable and economically viable environment, thus alleviating the burden of the substantial management costs that we bear and which have further increased with the pandemic, while we also experienced an obvious reduction of the mobility demand. Most of the time, the feedback received so far from the interlocutors has been very positive. Therefore, we are confident that concrete actions will soon be born from this dialogue.”
Here are the four measures proposed by SHARE NOW to revive the car sharing sector:
1. Abolition of the Annual Fee
To support an essential service for sustainable mobility, SHARE NOW invites all municipal administrations to reset the annual fee required to car sharing players to carry out their services, regardless of the type of engine of the fleet. This action has already been taken by the Capitoline Council at the beginning of 2021 and by the Turin Council even though for the moment only on a transitional basis. The use of car sharing, in fact, generates an enormous benefit for the environment, not only in terms of reducing pollution and traffic, but also in adapting the urban layout of our cities. A private car generally remains parked for about 95% of its life, on the contrary a shared car is in constant circulation. As demonstrated by Carlo Ratti’s MIT Senseable City Lab in the Unparking study, car sharing could reduce parking spaces by 86%, thus re-allocating them to the creation of green spaces, lanes for micro mobility and outdoor areas for commercial activities, particularly affected by the restrictions imposed by the pandemic situation. It is therefore counterintuitive to require operators to pay an annual fee for parking shared vehicles, when it is precisely the car sharing service that frees up public spaces and drastically reduces the need for parking.
2. Alignment of VAT at 10%
Among the measures proposed by SHARE NOW, there is the alignment of the VAT rate to 10%, which is the provisions that must be applied in the field of urban transport of people. Although free-floating car sharing is a service managed by private operators, it is in effect part of the urban transport network that is made available to citizens and serves the public use. The nature of the service is precisely to act as a valuable complement to the public transport as it is also used for the first/last mile movements or to reach important junctions, such as train stations. For this reason, car sharing should also be included among the services subject to a VAT rate of 10%, instead of 22%, which is foreseen for other urban transport services for people such as LPT and PHV.
3. Inclusion in the Mobility Bonus
Since last November, the so-called Mobility Bonus has been activated, covering 60% of the costs incurred for the purchase of bicycles, scooters or similar vehicles, and for the individual use of shared mobility services, but excluding those by car. SHARE NOW requests to renew this incentive, but including car sharing among the purchasable services. In a country like Italy, which ranks second in Europe in terms of the number of cars per capita (Eurostat data), car sharing represents the most similar form of transport to the private car, but with significantly higher environmental benefits, such as reducing traffic, pollution and the use of parking spaces. This is because shared mobility users walk more, while driving fewer kilometers.
Consequently, it is the only service that can really replace the use of private vehicles while keeping a high level of flexibility, especially for long journeys for which it is more difficult for users to make use of micro mobility services. According to the study conducted by the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), in Rome, a shared car replaces from 4 to 14 private vehicles, thus confirming the great potential that car sharing has in making our cities more liveable.
4. Public funds for the promotion of MaaS
Many Italian administrations are planning to design MaaS platforms that enable the integration of the various sustainable mobility options in the city, discouraging the use of private cars. On the other hand, however, some administrations have required sharing operators to provide discounted vouchers to involve users more in the use of MaaS platforms. SHARE NOW proposes that these vouchers should be granted through public funds with the hope that, in a time of economic crisis, sharing mobility operators are not aggravated by additional costs.