New research reveals sharing everyday items could save save Brits 145k over a lifetime

New research out today reveals that Brits would save a hefty £1,822 every year if they shared more – from pooling car journeys to the office with colleagues, sharing their mobile phone plan and borrowing that "barely worn" wedding outfit from a friend. 

The study by EE(2), commissioned to mark the launch of its new Shared 4GEE Plans(3),  the UK's first mobile phone sharing plans, reveals that Brits could save more than £145,000 in a lifetime by sharing more every day. That's enough for a 5 star family holiday every year. Just by sharing a lawnmower, DIY tools, and a BBQ with neighbours Brits could save up to a whopping £11,700(4).

The research revealed that over half of Brits (52 per cent) would be happy to share more if it saved them some pennies. One in ten (10 per cent) would consider sharing a toothbrush if it saved them at least £25 a year and a quarter of frugal Brits (25 per cent) would even share a razor with their partner if it made them a saving of £50 or more.

The average Brit is losing out on £563 each year in petrol costs by not sharing car journeys to the office with colleagues or to social events with friends. Almost a fifth of bashful Brits (16 per cent) admitted they were "too embarrassed" to ask a colleague if they could share a ride to the office despite this obvious saving. 

When it comes to sharing and saving, women came up trumps with the 'borrowing potential' of clothes, beauty products and toiletries totting up to £220 every year - £139 of which could be saved on fashion jewellery alone. More than a quarter of women (26 per cent) have been asked at least three times to lend their nail varnish collection in the past few years making it one of the most desired objects for sharing. 

It seems some Brits are already savvy to the value of sharing with nine per cent revealing they have signed up to a shared gym membership with their friend or partner and one in ten (10 per cent) saying they are part of a holiday home time share. 14 per cent of Brits currently share the use of a car with a family member and 39 per cent with their partner. 

Regional breakdown:

  • When it comes to lending possessions, people in Wales are the most reluctant to share, with more than half (52 per cent) revealing that they simply don’t trust other people to look after their things
  • Londoners are the most likely of any region polled to share their toothbrush to save cash (21 per cent – 11 per cent higher than the national average)
  • Londoners are also the most likely to have a shared gym membership (24 per cent)

Simeon Bird, Director of Propositions, EE says: "In these tough economic times, it's fascinating to see just how much we could each save if we shared more as a nation – from car journeys to work, to pooling money for presents. Many of us have already started sharing more on a day to day basis, and to help make even further savings - we’re launching the UK's first shared mobile phone plans – which could save a typical family of four nearly £500 a year on their mobile phone bills."(5)

EE's Shared 4GEE Plans – the UK's first shared plans for consumers, allow users to connect up to five separate devices to one 4GEE plan. Customers will receive one bill for all of their devices on their shared plan, providing greater convenience and value. The plans are designed for individuals wanting to connect several devices to their one plan or couples and families so they can make cost savings over separate individual plans.


For more information, please contact the EE press team on:

0845 373 7070

Notes to Editors:

EE Shared Plans

EE Shared 4GEE Plans allow customers to connect up to five devices to the one 4GEE plan – whether it's with friends and family, or for their own tablets and laptops. Customers can add an existing 3G or 4G phone to their 4GEE phone plan from just £12 per month on SIM Only (from £22 per month for a new 4G phone), allowing them to receive unlimited minutes and texts on both phones, as well as access to the shared data.

  • Alternatively customers can add an existing 4G tablet from £5 per month on SIM Only (£26 per month for a new 4G tablet) or an existing 3G or Wi-Fi enabled tablet (via a mobile Wi-Fi device) for £11 per month. An example saving for a typical family of four would be £38 a month – over £450 a year.
  • Devices added to a Shared 4GEE Plan will also receive great EE benefits, including 2-4-1 cinema tickets with EE Film, Clone Phone Lite, inclusive content add-ons (music, games or TV) and Fast Track Service into Customer Services.
  • Shared 4GEE Plans for corporate, medium and small businesses will also be available

(1) Brits could save £1,822 every year by sharing more.  Life expectancy in the UK is 80 (as defined by 2012 Office of National Statistics Census).  £1,822 multiplied by 80 is £145,000

(2) EE used the independent online research company FlyResearch who surveyed 1,001 British people, between the 11th and 13th July 2013.  Costs for each "sharing item/activity" were calculated based on an average figure. FlyResearch is an online market research company. Its researches are members of the MRS, PRCA, BPC and Esomar, and abide by their guidelines. Further information is available at

(3) EE, Orange and T-Mobile customers can now sign up for Shared 4GEE Plans which allows customers to connect up to five separate devices to one 4GEE phone plan whether it's with friends and family, or for their own tablets and laptops

(4) Brits could save £146.25 every year by sharing or borrowing the items referenced. Life expectancy in the UK is 80 (as defined by 2012 Office of National Statistics Census). £146.25 multiplied by 80 is £11,700

(5) Based on a family of four who hold four devices on different plans and one data SIM on some of the most popular mobile plans in the UK which would cost £150 per month. Usage is estimated at approximately 1,450 minutes, unlimited texts and varying data plans totalling 4.5GB. A Shared 4GEE Plan which includes unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 20GB of shared data would cost £112.00, saving £38.00 per month which equates to a saving of £912 over 24 months.

About EE

EE is the most advanced digital communications company in Britain, providing mobile and fixed-line services to more than 26 million customers. EE is the first company in the UK to provide superfast 4G mobile services alongside fixed-line fibre, and runs the Orange, T-Mobile and EE brands in the UK.

4G from EE is currently available in 74 towns and cities across the country offering access to the superfast service to more than 50% of the population. EE's 4G network is also on track to cover more than 70% of the population by the end of 2013 and 98% by the end of 2014. EE's mobile service currently provides coverage to 99% of the population with 2G and 98% of the population with 3G.

EE's fibre service is currently available to 50% of the UK households and businesses.

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