Number of drivers in Switzerland to fall by half in 10 years, survey claims

Number of drivers in Switzerland to fall by half in 10 years, survey claims

Despite the fact that the number of cars on Swiss roads and motorways continues to rise, a new study from accountancy firm Deloitte has revealed that many people want to quit driving. They predicted that the number of motorists in Switzerland will drop by half in the next 10 years.

Half of Swiss motorists want to give up driving

In the study, reported by Watson, Deloitte predicted that the number of drivers in Switzerland will fall from 80 percent of the adult population today to just 40 percent in 10 years. Half of the survey's respondents could see themselves giving up their cars in the next decade, meaning that if all these people follow through and send their gas-guzzlers to the scrapheap, Switzerland will see a net decline in the number of cars on the roads.

The most pronounced changes were recorded among young people, with 30 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds reporting that they were looking to use taxis and car-sharing apps instead of owning their own cars. “These figures indicate a rapid generational change in mobility use,” experts wrote, adding that the findings have “important consequences for urban planning and environmental policy."

Popularity of cars in Switzerland has declined

Today, the report found that the car is only the preferred means of transport for half the population. In second with 35 percent was public transport, followed by bicycles (8 percent), and e-scooters (1 percent). 

Speaking to Watson, Deloitte insurance director Michael Ruosch said that people’s preferred mode of transport had “clearly” evolved in recent years, with people moving away from cars and toward public transport for reasons ranging from concerns about the climate to financial considerations. He added that the change in mood could “initiate a profound transformation of the urban mobility landscape, with a greater emphasis on sustainable and public transport.”

Car dependency remains a challenge in rural areas

However, it must be noted that Deloitte’s findings go against the prevailing trends in most parts of Switzerland. In 2021, for example, 532 cars were recorded for every 1.000 people in the country, a 9 percent increase compared to 20 years before. In the last 20 years, only four Swiss cantons have seen the number of cars per capita fall, namely Basel-Stadt, Geneva, Zurich and Vaud

The biggest increases in the number of cars were recorded in rural areas. Indeed, Watson surmised that while half of motorists were considering or looking to get rid of their cars, they may be forced to keep them due to the practicalities of public transport in their area. “We can therefore doubt whether the abandonment of the individual car is really as rapid as the Deloitte survey shows. The poll, however, shows that the population is willing to consider it,” the newspaper concluded.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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