Carsharing 2024: Providers Compared


  • Carsharing is convenient because users don't have to worry about anything and only pay for the time they use a car. Providers take care of inspections, parking permits, and refueling.
  • Carsharing is worthwhile for people who don't need a car daily and drive less than about 10,000 kilometers a year.
  • Cars without fixed stations (so-called "free floating") are ideal for spontaneous trips and short distances. Vehicles can be unlocked via app or customer card. Free-floating providers are mainly found in large cities.
  • For planned round trips with a stay, providers with fixed stations are more practical and generally cheaper. They are now available in more than 500 cities in Germany.
  • For long distances or periods, rental cars are more suitable. From one month onward, a car subscription is recommended.


  1. Carsharing available in more than 1,200 cities and towns
  2. Station-based or free-floating: Overview of carsharing solutions
  3. Flexible carsharing for spontaneous trips
  4. Station-based carsharing for planned trips
  5. Finding the right provider locally
  6. Carsharing providers in Germany
  7. Cities with the largest carsharing offerings

Cheaper and more comfortable than owning a car, carsharing often proves advantageous in larger cities. Carsharing users only pay when they are on the road and not for parking. Moreover, carsharing users don't have to worry about refueling, washing, inspections, or TÜV, as these are handled by the carsharing provider.

Carsharing available in more than 1,200 cities and towns

The latest statistics from the German Carsharing Association show accelerated growth in carsharing offerings. By early 2024, there are carsharing services available from nearly 300 companies in more than 1,200 German cities and towns. This marks an increase of about 200 locations compared to the previous year, particularly in small towns and rural areas, addressing the criticism that carsharing is mainly an offering for densely populated urban centers.

The number of available carsharing vehicles increased by 27% in the same period, reaching over 43,000 vehicles.

Usage has also grown: by early 2024, more than 5.5 million carsharing users are registered in Germany, reflecting a 23% increase from the previous year.

Major providers like Flinkster, Cambio, and Stadtmobil operate carsharing services in over 100 cities each. In metropolitan regions and larger cities, there are usually multiple providers, offering not only a well-developed network but also the option to choose between station-based and free-floating carsharing.

Electrification of fleets is advancing more rapidly in carsharing than in the national car fleet: many providers now offer electric cars alongside conventional models.

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Station-based or Free-Floating: Overview of Carsharing Solutions

Carsharing offerings differ mainly in whether the cars are available at specific locations (station-based carsharing) or are flexibly distributed around the city (free-floating carsharing). Some providers also operate a combined system, offering both variants from a single source.

Many carsharing providers have fixed parking spaces or designated areas where cars are picked up and returned. The market leader, Flinkster, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, for example, has over 800 stations where vehicles of different categories are available.

Flexible Carsharing for Spontaneous Trips

In free-floating carsharing, users can rent a car flexibly within a defined business area. This allows one-way trips without returning the car to the same location. There are no reserved parking spaces; the car is left where the last user parked it. Users can locate the desired car via the provider's app.

Due to changing availability, the exact location of the next vehicle is uncertain, and booking is possible only shortly before departure. Some providers, like SHARE NOW, offer the option (usually for a fee) to reserve a car nearby for a short period.

Bookings are generally open-ended and billed by the minute, except for the provider MILES, which charges by the kilometer. Users often have the option to choose hourly rates.

Station-based Carsharing for Planned Trips

In station-based carsharing, users pick up the car from a nearby station and return it there at the end of the rental period.

Bookings can be made on short notice, depending on availability, or months in advance. Availability and location of the vehicle are more predictable at the desired time of travel. This also means that the end time of the booking usually has to be planned in advance. The car has a reserved parking space at the station and must be returned there.

Finding the Right Provider Locally

For shorter trips without a return or spontaneous trips, flexible providers with free-floating fleets like SHARE NOW or MILES are best suited. For planned trips with a round trip and longer parking times, providers with fixed stations or return locations are cheaper. Availability can vary from city to city. Not every city has flexible or station-based carsharing.

If station-based carsharing is available in the city, it also depends on whether there is a station with available cars nearby. If renting requires a long journey, the advantage may be lost. An overview of available carsharing offerings can be found on the map of the German Carsharing Association.

It's worth registering with multiple carsharing providers and choosing the one that best suits the purpose and distance of the trip.

Private Carsharing as an Alternative to Commercial Offerings

In addition to commercial providers, there is also private carsharing via online platforms like Drivy, Snappcar, or Getaway. Here, private individuals offer their own cars and set the rental prices themselves. They are secured through the online platform.

Platform operators offer users additional insurance, usually charged at a flat rate. Since these fees are added to the actual rental price, private carsharing may not be worthwhile for short distances but can be cheaper than a commercial offering for daily rentals or longer distances. Additionally, private individuals sometimes offer specific models, such as vintage cars, which can be an incentive to use private carsharing.

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Carsharing Providers in Germany

Development Among Carsharing Providers

As of early 2024, a total of 293 companies, cooperatives, and associations offer carsharing in Germany. The number of carsharing providers increased by 44 compared to the previous year. Most providers operate smaller carsharing fleets in small towns and rural areas.

Station-based carsharing and combined systems (station-based and free-floating vehicles from a single source) are offered by 287 providers. The largest providers include Flinkster, stadtmobil, cambio, and teilAuto. Flinkster, the carsharing service of Deutsche Bahn, has the largest network of stations. Flinkster is available in more than 140 cities in Germany, operating over 800 stations and cooperating with other providers, enabling Flinkster customers to rent cars at over 2,500 stations in Germany.

Only six providers offer pure free-floating carsharing in Germany. The largest providers are Miles and Share Now, which are also the largest providers in Germany in terms of fleet size.

The Largest Carsharing Providers by Fleet Size

  • Miles
  • Share Now
  • stadtmobil
  • cambio
  • teilAuto
  • Sixt Share
  • book-n-drive
  • Bolt
  • scouter
  • Stattauto München

Higher Share of Electric Cars in Carsharing Than in the German Car Fleet

Carsharing providers continue to be pioneers in electrification. By early 2024, 17.8% of carsharing vehicles in Germany were battery electric. In comparison, the share of all battery-electric vehicles in the national car fleet was only 2.7% as of October 1, 2023.

Cities with the Largest Carsharing Offerings

The German Carsharing Association regularly determines the number of carsharing vehicles in Germany and calculates how many cars are available per 1,000 inhabitants. The results are presented in a city ranking, considering all carsharing locations with at least 50,000 inhabitants.

The Top Ten in the Carsharing City Ranking (Carsharing Cars per 1,000 Inhabitants)

  1. Karlsruhe
  2. Munich
  3. Berlin
  4. Hamburg
  5. Freiburg
  6. Tübingen
  7. Cologne
  8. Heidelberg
  9. Frankfurt am Main
  10. Darmstadt

Germany's carsharing capital is Karlsruhe, with about 300,000 people and just over 4 carsharing vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants. Karlsruhe is followed by the metropolises of Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg, with about 2 sharing cars per 1,000 inhabitants.

The ranking shows that not only metropolises are well-served with carsharing. The top ten include medium-sized cities with less than 250,000 inhabitants, such as Freiburg, Tübingen, Heidelberg, and Darmstadt. Notably, these cities are large university towns with many students.

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Stefan Wendering
Stefan is a freelance author and editor at NAVIT. Previously, he worked for startups and in the mobility sphere. He is an expert in urban and sustainable mobility, employee benefits, and New Work. In addition to creating blog content, he also produces marketing materials, taglines, and website content, as well as case studies.
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