Amazing…and disturbing! In the latest Sofinco survey and its scale of French consumption, the latter announced that they spend an average of at least 174 euros per month on transportation. A more level has been reached since mid-2010. “This is explained in particular by a return to normal after limited travel due to the health crisis and high fuel prices,” explains Jesse Marius, project manager at the Polling Institute.
Behind this amount, there are completely different facts depending on the geographical location and the preferred mode of transport: for motorists or two-wheeled drivers, the bill rises to an average of 216 euros. Almost half (105 euros) is offered for those using other modes of transport. And if one in two residents of Ile-de-France does not exceed the 100-euro mark, only one in three fits into this budget in the provinces, and only 1 in 5 among the population of the rural communes …
Restricted vehicle use
Eléonore Quarré, Director of Studies at OpinionWay explains, “This difference is mainly explained by a more visible use of the car outside urban areas. This is mainly due to the lack of alternatives: the transport offer is less developed and workers who live in these rural areas often cannot work remotely. Thus, according to OpinionWay, 64% of rural residents exclusively use a car or two-wheeled vehicle for their daily commute, while only 32% do so in cities with more than 100,000 residents and 17% in urban areas.
However, the Covid crisis has encouraged the development of other, more sustainable modes of transportation. “The habits acquired in 2020 seem to be continuing: 45% of French people use walking or cycling more than they did before the health crisis,” explains Jesse Marius. Here again, behaviors vary by place of residence: “These soft means are not compatible with all lifestyles. 41% of the French still consider themselves highly dependent on the car”, confirms Eléonore Quarré.
Payment and rental facilities
The survey also highlights strong polarization regarding purchase intentions for eco-friendly transportation. “City residents prefer scooters and bicycles, in particular thanks to the subsidies provided since the health crisis,” continues the Director of Studies.
Additionally, more than one in two French (56%) would like to buy an electric or hybrid car but feel they can’t afford it. “Payment facilities such as the use of credit or a loan, or even installments will make it possible to make up for this budget shortfall according to 28% of car, scooter or motorcycle users,” says Jesse Marius. To reduce the short-term cost of their car, 20% of the French today resort to long-term leasing or with an option to purchase, and 9% are considering buying a hybrid or electric car.However, if the cash payment drops, it remains the financing of choice for the French, whatever mode of transportation is envisaged.
Testimonials from Jane and Julie
Jane, a new bicycle fan
Jane recently joined the Parisian fans of the little queen: she invested in a bike last October. “I bought it for 90 euros during an organized exchange in Saint-Nazaire, where I come from,” identifies an employee of the cosmetics group. For this 1st arrondissement resident, riding her bike is more practical than using public transportation to get to her workplace, near Grands Boulevards. “I use my bike regularly for other trips, otherwise I’d rather walk,” she adds. It’s my main mode of transportation: I only leave it when the weather isn’t good enough. »
The 27-year-old rejected the company car that was offered by her company. “I didn’t get the point: take the train outside Paris, and in the capital, parking can be complicated and expensive.” If Jane invested in her own bike after several months of renting via various apps, it was also because she had safe places to park: “In my building , we are fortunate to have a relatively large room and in the office, I can leave my bike in an inner courtyard.”
Julie chooses a hybrid car
Julie, 52, has worked as a catering agent for Vogue for ten years. For residents of Châtel-sur-Moselle, business trips are frequent: “We go directly to the farmers to collect their produce, and this sometimes amounts to up to an hour’s drive. In the face of rising fuel prices, it will change one of its petrol cars.” It costs me about 250 euros a month just fill it out. If we add maintenance, insurance and taxes, that’s several hundred euros more,” she said she regrets. So Julie chose a hybrid SUV. “I detailed my needs with my seller. He proposed a 4-year lease that also includes maintenance, for 480 euros excluding taxes per month”, she explains.
In addition to inflation, what the entrepreneur also decided was to create a low-emissions zone (ZFE) in the Nancy region. “I have to be able to go into town for my work. Renting a hybrid car gives me peace of mind about future traffic restrictions,” explains Julie. By 2025, all communities with populations greater than 150,000 will be affected by the expansion of ZFE. “My daughter is a student at Nancy and she has a 12-year-old diesel car,” she says. We’ll have to think about changing his car, too. »
“More rental use”
Professional advice. Etienne Royol, Sofinco Mobility Manager, specializes in consumer credit
Are you confirming that the French are more demanding of cleaner mobility?
Yes, today a quarter of the funding we support is for green vehicles, a number that is growing rapidly. Not only do consumers have a stronger environmental awareness, but they are also increasingly forced to do so, particularly with the creation of low-emissions zones. However, not everyone has the means to invest in electric or hybrid cars, which are often more expensive than thermal cars.
How do you reconcile the environment and purchasing power?
More and more French people are turning to long-term lease or with option purchase and are moving away from buying on credit. These offers have the advantage that they reduce their weight on the most modest budget: the rent can be much less than the monthly payment. In addition, rental contracts can include many services: maintenance, insurance … The motorist knows exactly what the budget will be.
Is payment in installments an option?
Not really, because the prices for “green” vehicles are high. However, the flea market is a possibility, and it is growing. Feel free to push the doors of car dealerships to find out more about assistance: professionals are trained regularly to answer questions about financing.
Cleaner Driving Aid
The environmental bonus is payable when purchasing an electric car, and it is a maximum of 5,000 euros from July (6,000 euros until the end of June) for a new car and 1,000 euros for a used one. The conversion premium, up to 5,000 euros, depends in particular on the vehicles purchased and scrapped and the income of the buyer. A bonus of €1,000 can be allocated to people who live or work in a low-emissions zone (ZFE). Some local authorities also provide assistance. The most generous is the Métropole du Grand Paris, up to 6000 euros. The different amounts are cumulative, so it is possible to get up to 17,000 euros in assistance for the purchase of a new electric car in this region.