Save money and make connections by lift-sharing
By Liftshare ( Guest blog post)
Transport budgets are essential in London, because whether you live out in Zone 5 or you’re based centrally, the Tube, Boris Bikes, taxis and car travel are synonymous with living in the capital. Alone, these costs may seem trivial, but add them all up for a month and you’re likely to end up with a whopping unexpected figure.
Liftshare is a free site that gives drivers across the country a chance to split petrol costs with passengers by posting their journeys online, and Liftshare’s community makes over 80,000 journeys on U.K. roads each day. If you’re stuck without transport in London due to tube strikes or familiar scenes of gridlock, simply check out the site and grab a lift with one of Liftshare’s members.
Regular commuters save on average £987 a year by lift-sharing, so not only is this a cheaper way to get around London and the broader UK, countless users have made new friendships on their regular commute, while helping to cut back on carbon emissions.
Sharing is caring, as they say, so we thought we’d share a quick tips guide for those looking to save on their transport budget by using Liftshare.
#1 Seek out regular commuters – and travel together
There are a lot of commuters in London like you – all travelling to the same place of work or study each week, all spending a great deal on transport. By asking around at your office or campus, you can seek out others in need of cheaper travel and arrange a regular lift-share together. Splitting petrol costs four ways is much cheaper and more sociable than taking the tube alone each morning.
#2 Put yourself out there – don’t worry about meeting new people
We’re not all social megastars capable of making friends with absolutely everyone we meet. If you don’t own a car and you want to start lift-sharing, you need to be prepared to do so with new people. You’ll find that the sharing community are a friendly bunch who are in it to help each other just as much as they want to save money. Be prepared to make new friends and get involved.
#3 Ask questions ahead of each trips – remember, it’s not your car
Liftshare drivers are good at listing specifics such as whether or not they allow smoking in their car. Some do, others don’t but it’s important to remember that they are doing you a favour, so it’s perhaps inappropriate to enter the vehicle with a big greasy bacon roll dripping with HP sauce on a Monday morning. Drivers are approachable and open for discussion, so don’t be afraid to ask if something is allowed beforehand.
#4 Be prepared for a change of plan – London is still busy
It is possible to filter site searches by which lift-shares are regular and which are for one time only, but it’s important to have a back-up plan should your usual driver fall ill, or have their car break down unexpectedly. By keeping regular contact with them you should have enough of a heads up to leave earlier for the Tube or another form of transport. Leave nothing to chance – especially in London.
#5 Think beyond the commute – sharing is everywhere
Going to a big music festival but can’t stomach the huge train costs? No problem – in fact, music festivals are a regular fixture on the lift-sharing calendar each year. You will find that drivers and passengers will start posting requests and trip plans well ahead of the festival season, and that’s a resource you should definitely use. The same goes for sports fixtures, expos, gigs and just about any other event you can think of. Give it a shot!
You may also want to check out our article about Car Sharing in London.