It was one of the major government announcements at the end of 2022, the State had presented at that precise moment its carpooling plan aimed at “developing and amplifying daily carpooling” or, put differently, to ensure that the French no longer drive alone in their vehicle, a practice also known as self-driving. Another objective, and the main attraction of this plan, was to “reduce the expenses of the French” thanks to a check for €100 which it was possible to obtain by making a certain number of short or long journeys. Unfortunately, the first returns were inconclusive… which the 5th edition of the Vinci Autoroutes barometer on solo driving has today confirmed.
The French are still clearly mostly alone in the car
At the end of 2023, 83.8% of drivers were still “alone in their car in the morning during peak hours” according to measurements carried out by Vinci Autoroutes in a sample of 10 French metropolises (Aix-en-Provence, Biarritz , Bordeaux, south of Île-de-France, Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, Toulon, Toulouse and Tours). One of the highest figures recorded since these barometers existed. In autumn 2022, the proportion stood at 84.7%. In the spring of that same year, it reached an even higher 85.2%. We cannot really speak of a positive development since, for its first edition, Vinci Autoroutes noted that 82.6% practiced self-drive.
The objectives are far from being achieved. As noted in the press release, to achieve the objectives defined within the framework of the National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC) in 2030, the current number of carpoolers would need to experience growth of more than 200%!
Disparities at the local level and better in general
Let us render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. In most of the cities studied, this practice is in decline. In Toulon, a city in which the rate of single drivers is the lowest (73.9%), it is in sharp decline with -4.5%. It is in the Aix region that the decline is strongest with -4.9%. In Île-de-France, positive development also with -4.2%.
Conversely, self-drive is still widely used in certain cities and the trend is either stationary or increasing. This is the case in Toulouse (rate 83% and -0.8% only), in Montpellier (87.2%, a perfectly stable figure compared to previous readings) or even in Tours (93.8%, +3. 8%). Finally, the dunce cap goes to Nantes, a city in which 95.5% of cars are occupied by a single person. In fact, it all depends on the route taken, the rate drops to 77.3% during the week on the A83, a positive increase of -3.1%.
What to expect for 2024?
The Vinci Autoroutes teams have not ventured to imagine what could happen this year 2024. However, what we can already say is that the government has decided to scale back for this new year. The only people who regularly make short trips for work can no longer benefit from the €100 check. This should not help motivate the French to get started. See you in a year to see for yourself!
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To sum up
By launching its major carpooling plan towards the end of 2022, the government intended to put an end to the scourge of car ownership. However, this practice was still as widespread last year.
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