Get a travel buddy!
by Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter: @kellythekiwi)
Car sharing sites (also known as carpooling or lift-sharing) connect drivers who have empty seats with people who are looking for a ride. The concept is simple, cost effective and great for the environment. Here’s the basics:
How does car sharing work?
Register with one of the car sharing sites. The most popular UK car sharing websites are Bla Bla Car, Liftshare and National CarShare.
Search the database for the journey that you would like to make – the date that you need to travel and where you are going. If you are a driver who is looking for passengers then you need to add your journey to the site.
Make contact with the driver who is offering a suitable journey. Or, in the case of drivers, wait for potential passengers to get in touch.
What kind of journeys can I share?
ALL – from doing the weekly shop to your daily commute to work; or one off journeys like airport pick-ups, holidays and travel to festivals.
How much should I expect to pay?
Drivers should not make a profit! The cost should be worked out so that the cost of fuel is shared between the people who are making the journey.
Most often, you will pay the driver in cash when you meet for the journey. Sometimes the driver may ask for payment in advance; this can be done by PayPal or credit card.
Advantages of car sharing:
#1 The feel good factor
Sharing your journey puts fewer cars on the road meaning less congestion and less pollution – an easy way of doing your bit for the environment. It also takes away the stress of having to find a parking space.
#2 New friends
You might end up sharing your car with a colleague who has lot of similar interests to you; or meet the man/woman of your dreams on route to a music festival. Car sharing gives you the opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t normally get the chance to meet, and makes the journey a lot less tedious.
#3 Money saving
If there are two people driving instead of one, then your travel costs are halved. The more people in the car, the more money you will save. Sharing a car is also A LOT cheaper than last-minute train tickets. Use the Liftshare calculator to find out how much you can save.
#4 Perks at the workplace
Some workplaces reward those who have signed up to lift share by reserving parking places close to the entrance
I’ve always been told not to get into a car with strangers…
We are all aware of the dangers of hitchhiking so take these things into account when deciding who to share a car with:
- All users must use their real name (not nicknames) when they register with the website
- The phone number and email address of the user is verified by the car sharing company
- If you don’t want to accept a ride with somebody or have somebody in your car, you don’t have to accept their booking
- You can choose your preferences (so ladies can choose to drive only with other ladies)
- Choose somebody that is rated highly on the site
Whether it be long-haul, a daily commute or a trip to the shops for you weekly shop, sharing a lift with somebody is an easy and enjoyable way of getting to your destination. Start planning your next journey now!
Car sharing mobile apps for androids and iPhones:
Carpooling.co.uk – Available through: iTunes | Google play
BlaBlaCarUK – Available through: iTunes | Google play
Liftshare – Liftshare: iTunes | Google play
Follow these sites on twitter:
Carpooling – @carpoolingUK
Liftshare – @Liftshare
Bla Bla Car – @BlaBlaCarUK
Share your Tips with Kelly at email@example.com.
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You may want to check our post about Cheap Travel in London.