Almost two thirds of people in Ireland would give up their company car 

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New research from mobility app FREE NOW reveals changing commuter trends

  • Mobility needs in society are changing rapidly across Ireland and other European countries post pandemic according to new research
  • The car as a status symbol is losing ground as research from mobility app FREE NOW shows that 63% of employees in Ireland would give up their company car in favour of alternative transport modes
  • 53 % of people in Ireland say that a mobility budget from their employer supporting commuting costs would encourage them to go to the office more often.

New research from leading mobility app FREE NOW reveals new commuting trends across Europe and increasing demand for greener and faster transport solutions in Ireland post pandemic.

With hybrid working transforming commuting patterns over the last two years, the first step in reducing congestion is the switch from private car ownership to more flexible and sustainable mobility options. Recent FREE NOW research found out that 77% of employees in Ireland want their companies to promote sustainable mobility alternatives to reduce carbon emissions. However, only 1 out of 5 respondents feels their employer is interested in the emissions caused by the mobility of its employees commuting to work or on business trips.

The end of the company car

To improve the sustainability and efficiency of commuting and business travel, the vast majority, 63% of company car owners, would give up their car and replace it with a mobility budget. The research also reveals that Italians are most willing to give up the keys to their private company cars, while Germans and Austrians are currently the most attached to their company vehicles. Ireland ranks fourth on the list of European countries most willing to give up their company car. 3 in 4 respondents would find it an appealing company benefit if their employer would finance an alternative to a company car.

A mobility budget works as a benefit scheme for employees and allows them to avail of a monthly allowance across different transportation modes (e.g. car sharing, eBikes and eScooters) and thus significantly reduces emissions. FREE NOW offers its mobility budget solution for companies in the UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and will be introduced to Ireland in the near future, allowing businesses to offer employees a variety of mobility options to travel. Overall mobility benefits are very popular for employees and rank among the top 3 of most desired company benefits by respondents, along with canteen or meal allowances and home office option as the most attractive employee benefits. In addition, 53 % of people in Ireland said that a mobility budget would encourage them to go to the office more often.

Niall Carson, General Manager, FREE NOW Ireland adds: “At FREE NOW we are aiming to provide passengers with a dynamic range of sustainable, low-emission and efficient transport options across Ireland and insights from our European network allow us to gauge what the future commute in Ireland might look like in line with the integration of varied transport options to our app – including a growing electric fleet and eScooters and eBikes which will launch in Ireland in the near future. 

We want to create better cities by making them more sustainable and liveable for everybody. All trips via our app have been climate neutral since 2020 and our platform across Europe provides passengers with more choice in decreasing their transport-related emissions, reducing their dependence on private cars and engaging with daily transport in a more flexible and sustainable way. In a purely shared mobility city around 90% less vehicles are needed. Currently, our B2B customers can avail of Ireland’s largest Eco fleet, providing companies with a sustainable solution for an increasingly eco-conscious workforce – an alternative to the traditional company car.”

The classical company car is outdated – green mobility options desired now

Many studies today indicate that commuting patterns are already changing. A recent McKinsey & Company survey found that 70% of employees are willing to use micro-mobility vehicles for their commute and that the classic company car is outdated in many urban use cases. For many companies, mobility is an integral part of their compensation and benefits strategy and will become even more important in the battle for talents. A growing number of companies are modernising their corporate benefit schemes in the coming years and integrating greener mobility alternatives such as the mobility budget for employees, which tackles many mobility challenges and can become a popular alternative for commuters.