What is car sharing?Also known as car pooling, car sharing is quite simply where two or more people share a ride, although the aim is to get as many people in as possible. Whether it’s for getting to work, team events or travelling for leisure purposes, it can be a great way to maintain the convenience of a car while gaining other benefits. It can be a one-off thing or regular arrangement, while it can also include a financial agreement. Drivers can be rotated for fairness if all of your group have a car, while car sharing schemes are also increasingly popular within businesses.
What are the benefits of car sharing?It’s environmentally friendly
Clearly, less cars on the roads means less pollution, not to mention less traffic. Instead of four or five cars all driving to the same place, sharing a ride can help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The amount of CO2 our cars produce is a worldwide problem, but you can do your bit whether you’re off to work or heading to a festival.
It's cheaperAnother obvious benefit of car sharing is that you can reduce your travel expenses by splitting the cost. Petrol prices are rarely out of the news, but you can also lower other running costs while putting fewer miles on your car’s clock. Plus, car sharing can be significantly cheaper than public transport for the daily commute, or if you’re doing some travelling around the UK and beyond.
It’s more sociableYou may be a bit of a grump in the morning, or like to turn up the radio and have a good singalong to get yourself in the mood for work. There’s no substitute for company though. You might find that you meet lots of great new people by signing up to a car sharing scheme, or build new relationships with your colleagues at work. And of course, you can still crank up the tunes and let rip with your mates in the car.
Should more people car share?You may be able to pick holes in the idea of sharing a ride with someone you don’t already know, but the environmental advantages alone mean it’s something we should do more to encourage car sharing in general – especially between friends and colleagues. To that end, there are websites you can use to find and offer lifts, whether it’s a regular thing or not. Also, businesses are encouraged to promote car sharing schemes, which usually come with big incentives, such as:
Priority parking spacesEveryone feels like they’ve had a little win when they bag a great parking place. Whether a company has a large or small car park, the best spots can be saved for car poolers.
Financial incentivesSome businesses offer an allowance for people driving their colleagues to work, which could be 5p per mile for each passenger.
Other rewardsThere are lots of ways to offer rewards to car sharers, whether it’s a free car wash while you’re at the office, prize draws for those involved in a scheme, or free parking.
See resultsMost people like to be told when they’ve done something good, so companies are encouraged to let their staff know the ongoing results of car sharing schemes. That can mean things like financial savings or how many driving hours have been cut out.
If you have your own business, there are lots of great ideas for rewarding staff who car share, or you could suggest something to your employer to get people involved. There are practically no downsides if you get involved in a scheme that suits your needs, so why not give it a go?