Environmentally-friendly car-sharing service on the rise in Sweden and Denmark

Peer-to-peer car-sharing service SnappCar is a more environmentally-friendly alternative to car ownership that lets you rent a car with just a few taps in the app.

Environmentally-friendly car-sharing service on the rise in Sweden and Denmark
Photo by Patrik Storm on Unsplash

Car-sharing service SnappCar is taking off in Denmark and Sweden, allowing the carless to get around easily, cheaply and reliably and giving car owners an extra source of revenue from a vehicle that spends most of its time unused. Most easily described as ‘Airbnb for cars’, SnappCar is a pretty straightforward concept. Vehicle owners list their cars on the service at whatever price they think is reasonable and those in need of a temporary set of wheels simply open the app, see what’s available and then book it and arrange a pick-up. The whole process takes just a few taps in the app. It's as easy as streaming a film or ordering takeout.

Click here to rent a car in Sweden or here to rent a car in Denmark

The service, which has a 4.5 star rating on Trustpilot, is seen as an environmentally-friendly alternative to private car ownership and currently has nearly 50,000 available vehicles and around 400,000 renters. But SnappCar doesn’t present itself as always being the best option. In fact, it encourages those who just need to make a 20-minute ride across town to take a taxi or public transport instead and suggests that traditional car hire services are still the way to go for rentals of 10 days or longer.

Photo: Grégoire Demont

For people like Grégoire Demont, a Frenchman living in Stockholm, it’s that happy medium where SnappCar comes in. Demont doesn’t own a car but he does own a boat that he keeps moored at Bullandö Marina around 40 kilometres east of Stockholm. Reaching the boat from his home in Södermalm isn’t easy without a car, especially when he’s lugging around the things he’ll need out on the water. So he often uses SnappCar to rent a vehicle for a few hours or a full day. 

“I could get there by public transport but it takes well over an hour and departure times are a bit limited, so it’s not very convenient. Using SnappCar makes it really easy and allows me to come back basically whenever I want,” he says. 

Demont says the service is perfect for when he wants to take an impromptu boat ride. If the weekend rolls around and he feels the urge to get out on the water, he’ll often open the SnappCar app late on Friday evening and book a car for Saturday morning. 

Click here to rent a car in Sweden or here to rent a car in Denmark

“It’s very convenient. With a traditional car hire agency, you have to either book a few days in advance or be willing to pay very high prices for the types of last-minute bookings I do. With SnappCar, I usually contact a handful of car owners through the app and someone gets back to me with a solution within 15 minutes,” he says. 

Since moving to Sweden in 2017 for work, Demont estimates he’s used SnappCar around 20 times. Although most trips are to shuttle back and forth to his boat, he’s also used the service to check out his new surroundings, including a trip to Gotland in which he rented a car to drive on to the ferry and then explored the island on his own terms. 

Because the service is built upon a network of privately-owned vehicles, there is a wide variety of makes and models at different price points.  Demont says the type of car isn’t terribly important to him. What he’s looking for is flexibility and availability. He’s usually able to find an available car within a kilometer or so from his home and the pick-up procedure, which involves either meeting the owner to collect the keys or using keyless technology to access the car through the app, is always smooth and easy. The whole process is made more reassuring for both parties by knowing that the vehicle is covered by insurance, including 24/7 roadside support, during the rental period.

“Generally, the owner is there waiting for me. It’s usually a pretty brief meeting where we check out the condition of the car and how much petrol is in the tank, but there are a few owners that I’ve rented from on multiple occasions that I’ve built a little bit of a relationship with,” he says. 

Although Demont cites convenience as the biggest selling point, he also says he feels good about being a part of the sharing economy. 

“It’s about using the thing you need when you need it rather than owning it,” he says. “Right now, it doesn’t make sense for me to have a car that I’d just use once a month. But if I decide one day that I need a car more frequently, I might buy my own and if I do, I would definitely put it on SnappCar.”

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by SnappCar.


Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Monday

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Monday
Sunny weather is expected all week this week. Photo: Niclas Jessen/Visit Denmark

Denmark’s former PM names new party Moderaterne 

Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Denmark’s former prime minister, announced on Saturday that his new centre party would be called Moderaterne, the same name as the leading centre-right party in Sweden. 

In a speech held to mark Denmark’s Constitution Day on Saturday, Rasmussen said the new party would attempt to unite Danes with a variety of different backgrounds and political viewpoints. 

“Some prefer mackerel, and others prefer salmon. Some have long Danish pedigrees, others have only recently chosen to live in Denmark,” he said.

What they all have in common, he said, is their love for Denmark, which is “among the best countries in the world”. 

“How do we drive it forward? We are trying to find an answer to that. How do we pass it on to our children in better condition than we received it?” 

Rasmussen said the party would not launch fully until after November’s local elections, but was ready to contest a parliamentary election if the ruling Social Democrats decided to call an early vote, something he said he did not expect to happen. 

Sweden’s state epidemiologist warns Swedes to be careful in “high-infection” Denmark 

After the per capita number of new coronavirus infections in Denmark in recent days overtaking that of Sweden, Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell has advised Swedes visiting their Nordic neighbour to be careful to maintain social distancing. 

“You need to keep [the infection rate] in mind if you go there, so that you really take with you the advice you have in Sweden to keep your distance, not stay with lots of other people, and not have the close contact that involves a risk,” he told the Expressen newspaper. 

He said Denmark’s higher infection rate was an obvious consequence of the country’s more rapid lifting of restrictions. 

“They chose to open up society relatively quickly even though they knew that there was a certain risk that the spread of infection would increase,” he said. “Because they had vaccinated the elderly and did not see that it would be that dangerous with a certain increased spread of infection.” 

Nils Strandberg Pedersen, former director for Denmark’s SSI infectious diseases agency called Tegnell’s comments “comical”. 

“It’s comical. It’s Swedish spin,” he told the BT tabloid. “Denmark has registered more infections because we test so much more than the Swedes. It’s not the same as having more people infected in the population.” 

More immigrants to Denmark are getting an education 

The education gap between first and second-generation immigrants to Denmark and people of Danish origin has fallen over the last decade, according to a story published in Politiken based on new figures from Denmark’s immigration ministry. 

An impressive 72 percent of 20 to 24-year-old first and second-generation female immigrants now completing further education of university education, compared to 58 percent in 2010.

Denmark records further 853 cases of coronavirus 

A further 853 people were diagnosed with coronavirus in the 24 hours running up to 2pm on Sunday, a rise on Saturday when 592 cases were detected, but still within the range of 600 to 1350 a day within which Denmark has been fluctuating since the start of May. 

Thorkild Sørensen, professor emeritus of epidemiology at the University of Copenhagen, told Ritzau that the sunny summer weather was allowing people to meet outside, and vaccinations were having an impact, allowing Denmark to open up without a surge in infections.

On Sunday morning, 138 people were being treated for coronavirus in Denmark’s hospitals, up four from Saturday, or whom 29 were in intensive care. 

Some 40.4 percent of the population has now received at least one dose of vaccine and 23.2 percent have received both doses. 

Sunny summer weather expected in Denmark this week 

Denmark is expected to have warm sunny weather with temperatures of 18C to 23C, with blue skies and little rain, Danish Meteorological Institute said on Monday. 

“This week looks really nice and summery, and it will be mostly dry weather most of the time,” Anja Bodholdt, a meteorologist at the institute told Ritzau on Monday.  “The only exception is Monday, when people in Jutland and Funen might wake up to scattered showers that move east during the day.” 

Danish property market show signs of cooling 

The number of houses being put on the market fell again in May, according to new figures released from Home, one of Denmark’s largest online estate agents. 

According to Bjørn Tangaa Sillemann, an analyst at Danske Bank, the figures suggest that momentum is seeping out of what has been a “scorching” market over the last year, although he said it was unlikely prices would actually fall. 
“Although demand seems to be declining, it is still high, and when interest declines, it can also make it less attractive to put your home up for sale than it has been recently,” he said.
At Home, 5.1 percent fewer houses were put on the market in May, while the number of apartments put on the market fell 9 percent, and the number of sales fell by 2.1 and 5.7 percent respectively.