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Introducing the One Less Car trial

Australia has among the highest rates of private car ownership worldwide, with 15.1 million private cars on the road. Plus, private car registrations are growing faster than the population.

As we all consider the impact that car ownership has on personal finances, the livability of our cities, and our environment, Uber Australia is excited to partner with behavioural economics specialists The Behavioural Architects to introduce the One Less Car trial.

This first-of-its-kind social trial is calling on 50 Australians to give up their car for 4 weeks and document their experience throughout. During the trial, participants will be tasked with using alternative multimodal transport options instead of a private car. Participants will be provided with up to $1,300 in transport and delivery credit to use on modes including public transit, micromobility, carshare and rideshare.

Uber’s mission is to reimagine the way the world moves for the better. This trial will provide insights that will help Australians recognise their over-reliance on their car and decide whether car ownership is worthwhile for them.

We also hope these learnings will help inform urban planning efforts as cities seek to create greener, more livable spaces.

The problems in detail

  • Road congestion and delays cost Australia more than $17 billion a year, and this is expected to increase to $30 billion by 2030.

  • Cars in Australia sit idle 95% of the time. In sprawling metropolitan areas, parking can take up a substantial amount of public space, and kerbside spaces are designed first and foremost with private cars in mind.

  • Many Australians own cars that don’t make financial sense, with Uber research indicating that at least 2.5 million cars in Australia are under-utilised. Of those, 2.1 million are located in urban areas.

  • Our research also indicates that, on average, if a car travels fewer than 5,000 kilometres per year, it’s likely to be under-utilised.

Car ownership in numbers

Amount spent on owning and operating cars in Australia annually¹

Number of cars in Australia that are under-utilised²

Number of private cars on the road in Australia³

Share of Australia’s mobility trips that take place in a private car⁴

Amount of time that cars sit idle, not being used⁵

Annual cost of road congestion and delays in Australia⁶

This project’s mission

Uber research shows that when a household relies on one less car, those trips get redistributed across a wide variety of transportation methods. While some trips are replaced by other forms of car trips (like ridesharing or carsharing), a significant portion will be redistributed to transport where emissions are comparatively much lower per trip (like public transport, walking and cycling).

Reducing private car ownership and use in major cities will ease many of the negative consequences of too much road use – namely congestion, air pollution, carbon emissions and accident trauma. As the cost of living continues to increase, Australians could also reap the financial benefits from decreased car ownership.

We don’t have all the answers on how to get there. The mission of the One Less Car trial is to help us and industry partners gain valuable insights into how we can help Australia reduce its over-reliance on private vehicles and create greener, more livable cities.

Read the full A car-light future: Reimagining Australian cities report here


¹ Australian Bureau of Statistics 2022, Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, accessed via

² Uber & FiftyFive5 2021, Quantitative Survey of Australian Car Owners and Non Car Owners, 21 October – 8 November 2021.

³ Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics 2022, Motor Vehicles Australia January 2022 (First Issue), available via:

⁴ Analysis based on Sydney, Brisbane and Metro Victoria Household Travel Surveys, available via:;;!/.

⁵ NRMA 2017, Future of Car Ownership, pg. 6, available via:

⁶ Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), Traffic and congestion cost trends for Australian capital cities, accessed via