Key lift-sharing stats from the Commuter Census 2023

Commuter Census 2023 - Lift-sharing findings

The results from this year’s Commuter Census are in, and the outlook is positive for car-sharing on the commute.

The Commuter Census is the UK’s largest independent commuter survey, run annually by Mobilityways, Liftshare’s parent company. 7,439 people completed the survey, with some significant findings in relation to sharing lifts.

Read on for highlights, or view the Commuter Census report for further details of how people are travelling to work more generally.

84% Could be encouraged to car share

84% of people could be encouraged to car share - 2023Only 16% of Commuter Census 2023 respondents said ‘Nothing would encourage me to car share’. The majority of people would still most likely make the change “If they could find someone that shares their route to work”, but this response has dropped significantly, from 52% last year to 35% this year. This indicates less of a barrier, and that more people are now able to find car-sharing matches.

The other noticeable change is that fewer people would only car share “If I could share with someone I already know” – falling from 33% in 2022 to just 7% this year. This shows more confidence in sharing with a stranger, and is an indication that car-sharing is becoming more normalised.

Car-sharing is the most common commuting alternative

Car-sharing is the most common alternative modeWhen asked ‘Which of the following would you consider as an alternative to your current commuting mode?’ 55% of respondents this year said car share (including EV). That’s up significantly from 31% last year.

There’s little difference between the distance travelled by commuters driving alone or those choosing to share. This continues to highlight that there is no geographical barrier to car-sharing – it holds potential to reduce the number of vehicles on our roads.

As more people travel to work again, they’re choosing more sustainable modes

How do you usually travel to work? 2023There has been a clear shift towards more days back in the workplace; Just 4% of respondents now say they usually work from home, down from 16% in 2022.

And as people travel more for work again, car sharing is the transport mode that has gone up the most: from 7% in 2022 to 12% in 2023. But in fact, all sustainable modes have increased, with slightly fewer people choosing to return to the workplace by car alone year-on-year.

The willingness to change from commuters is there

Commuters may be beginning to put the environment first, but they need the right resources at their disposal, as indicated by the steep increase in respondents who named availability as a factor for their current choice of transport. The number has almost doubled, from 28% in 2022 to 49% this year.

Additionally, 44% of respondents listed the biggest barrier to changing commuting mode as something beyond their control: Either “no public transport option”, “not the lowest cost”, or “doesn’t suit my work/family commitments”. If these barriers could be removed, a significant number of people could travel more sustainably.

The UK Government announced its “Commute Zero” policy as part of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan in July 2021, but as yet this hasn’t had a large impact on sustainable trips to work. The Commuter Census 2023 shows that the willingness from commuters is there; Now they need the support – in the form of work-from home and car-sharing policies, and better public transport infrastructure.

See more details in our full report: The Commuter Census 2023 Report

As an organisation, each year we use the results of the Commuter Census to enable change. For example, we share with Local Authorities key clusters of people who would benefit from better public transport provision. Plus, we quantify commuting emissions, so we can advise on where the biggest potential lies to reduce them.


Interested in car sharing for your commute or other journeys? Join Liftshare for free.


Or find out how much Liftshare for Work can save your organisation.

Author Amy Young


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