Bolt Drive is a viable alternative to personal cars

Feb 21, 2023

A woman a a child happy in front of a bolt drive car

We surveyed over 2,500 Bolt Drive users, and 67% saw car-sharing as a viable alternative to personal cars.

Bolt Drive has helped many reduce their car ownership expenses; some even decided to sell their private cars.

Read on to find out more. But first:

Why search for alternatives?

Why replace something so convenient and change your transport habits? Let’s pause for a moment and give it some thought.

Cars take up a lot of space

Cars, roads, and parking spaces use up a large amount of scarce city space that could be repurposed to make cities more liveable.

With two new vehicles entering the roads every second, the need for more space is becoming urgent.

They’re parked 95% of the time

We can’t stress enough that, although ready to whisk you off whenever and wherever you need to go, your car’s parked 95% of the time. And you still pay for the time it’s idle.

Yes, it’s convenient. But with multiple alternatives (from walking and e-scooters for shorter commutes to car-sharing for longer ones), do you need to spend so much on a vehicle used for an hour a day?

They impact our health

A century of car dependency has many known health and well-being impacts, including respiratory illnesses, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease related to physical inactivity.

They pollute 

80–90% of cars’ environmental impact comes from fuel consumption and emissions of air pollution and greenhouse gases. The transport sector is one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions and a major source of air and noise pollution.

So, the list goes on and on. And we believe there’s a huge potential in shifting people from private vehicles to shared mobility. 

By embracing it, we can help make cities less congested and reduce noise and air pollution without sacrificing convenience! It’s a win-win, really.

A woman secures a child in a Bolt Drive car - an alternative to personal car.

Back to the survey

In December 2022, we surveyed Bolt Drive users in Tallinn, Estonia, to find out whether they saw car-sharing as an alternative to personal cars.

Among other things, we wanted to know the following:

  • Whether car owners would consider selling their vehicles given the availability of Bolt Drive;
  • The primary purposes and reasons for using Bolt Drive.

2,691 people participated in the survey, revealing their transport habits. With 49% of respondents owning one car, 25% owning more than one, and 20% being car-free, here’s what we found out.

Key takeaways

Our users are willing to give up their cars

First and foremost, the survey showed users’ readiness to give up their cars for good. 

While a third of respondents who own a car admitted already using their car less often than before the introduction of Bolt Drive, 21% of respondents with several cars in their household plan to sell at least one.

Similarly, 63% of people who had sold their cars in the last 12 months revealed that Bolt’s car-sharing service played an important role in this decision.

In addition, over half of respondents who didn’t own a car weren’t planning to buy one.

Bolt Drive for everyday car use

A 2022 study on new mobility patterns in European cities reveals that excluding trips to home, the main purposes for travel are:

  • work; 
  • leisure (shopping and other personal business).

All these trips are short-distance, i.e., under 300 km, and 54% of short-distance trips are made by private car in most Member States.

The private car has also dominated the Estonian commute. 53% of residents in Tallinn and its suburban area choose to get to work by car instead of by public transport, cycling, or walking.

Similarly, half of our survey participants use Bolt Drive to commute — 42% to visit friends and family and 25% to get to transport hubs like train stations or airports. 

Therefore, it’s safe to say that car-sharing offers a viable alternative to private cars in everyday use, and means fewer cars on the roads. 

Our survey also revealed that many car-sharing trips are part of longer intermodal trips. Thus, car-sharing allows people to travel further and helps increase public transport use.

Bolt Drive is a more affordable and convenient alternative to private cars

The preference for shared vehicles over personal cars is linked to convenience and affordability:

  • For 58% of respondents, it’s essential to conveniently combine a rental service with other modes of transport without having the financial burden of owning a car.
  • 54% of respondents consider car-sharing more affordable than personal vehicles.
A woman puts a booster in a Bolt Drive car - an alternative to personal car.


The survey proved something we already firmly believed in — car-sharing is a viable alternative to personal cars.

Also, shared mobility is a catalyst for behavioural change. Once people see how affordable and convenient it is, they’re willing to use it regularly and even give up personal cars.

And since a Bolt Drive car covers three to four times the distance of a private car in one month, car-sharing can replace several private cars and make our roads less congested and cities less polluted.

“The more cars there are in cities, the higher the need for parking spaces, and the higher the noise and air pollution levels. Bolt’s car-sharing vehicles are a viable alternative to private cars that help solve these issues”.

Lukas Yla, Director of Bolt Drive

If you, too, are ready for a change and want to contribute to making your city streets less congested, choose a shared vehicle instead of your car next time you need to go somewhere.

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