Home > Energy & Water > Car Share Schemes

Car Share Schemes

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 13 Sep 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
Car Share Sharing Scheme Save

You probably already car share. At its most basic level car sharing is defined as being when two or more people travel together in a car for all or part of a journey. But, of course, taking the car to go shopping with your partner isn’t all we’re talking about here.

Car sharing usually involves one person as the driver and at least one passenger who pays a contribution to the costs, or alternatively two or more drivers who take it in turns to use their cars.

Car sharing means less pollution, less congestion, less cost and less stress.

The history of car sharing

One of the earliest examples of car sharing was a co-operative in Switzerland that ran from 1948 to 1998 but car sharing really took off in popularity in Europe in the 1980s. Then in the 1990s America, Asia and Australia also picked up on the idea, which is gradually spreading around the world.

Car sharing in France has proved to be a huge success with over one million users and it’s growing in popularity in Britain, where there are dedicated car sharing lanes in some areas that suffer high congestion. In 2008 the M606 near Bradford became the first motorway to have its own car sharing lane.

Why car share?

Car sharing is good for the environment, reduces congestion and saves money.
  • Fewer cars mean less pollution with a decrease in CO2 emissions and improved air quality.
  • It saves precious fossil fuels.
  • You can save money by sharing fuel and parking costs and with the ever-increasing price of fuel that has to be a good thing.
  • With fewer cars on the road traffic congestion is reduced making your journey quicker and less stressful.
  • Personal safety. If you work at night or in a less reputable area you’ll have a companion to walk to the car with you or company if you break down on a lonely road.
  • Company on long journeys.

Who can car share?

Just about anyone who has to travel anywhere. Car sharing provides an obvious benefit for regular commuters but it’s possible to car share on one-off or infrequent trips as well especially if it’s a location or event that is likely to attract a number of visitors, such as a music festival or sporting event.

And you don’t have to have a car to car share. Many drivers will be happy to take a contribution towards their costs – and some drivers prefer not to be passengers.

How do I go about car sharing?

You may already be doing it. Mums have, for years, shared the ‘school run’ with other parents and car sharing works on the same principle: finding others who want to go roughly where you’re going at about the same time.

  • You can start informally by asking friends, family or workmates if they’d be interested in sharing lifts.
  • Some large organisations run their own car share schemes for the benefit of their employees. Check with your personnel department. If your company doesn’t run such a scheme, ask them why not.
  • Join an online car share scheme. There are many to choose from including national and regional ones. Look for one in your region e.g. London Liftshare or Carshare Devon. Consult your local council website for details of approved schemes in your area.

Is car sharing safe?

Car sharing is safe as long as you take the normal precautions:
  • If you’re put in touch with a partner through the internet, arrange to meet that person first in a public place. Tell a family member or friend what you are doing and where you will be. Ask to see identification and, if you feel uncomfortable with him or her, don’t car share.
  • If you make an informal arrangement with a slight acquaintance who will be driving ask to see his or her driving licence and insurance documents before accepting a lift.
  • Don’t get in a car with a driver who is intoxicated.
If you sign up for one of the online car sharing schemes you can request to be put in touch only with members of the same sex.

What about the legalities?

The Association of British Insurers says that car sharing will not affect your policy or premium as long as your vehicle doesn’t seat more than 8 passengers and you’re not doing it for profit. To calculate a fair contribution consult the AA website where you’ll find a running costs table or agree on a recommended mileage rate e.g. your employer’s or the government’s (currently 45p per mile).

If you have any concerns, check first with your own insurer.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Rob the roller
    Re: What Not to Do in Your Allotment
    Hi Giancarlo I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate condition. There is nothing to prevent you growing mushrooms etc…
    27 November 2018
  • Kate br
    Re: Selling from Your Allotment
    I would recommend. Country markets as local places to sell surplus veg
    9 November 2018
  • JoJo
    Re: Foraging for Mushrooms
    @Amy - Lepiota (Dapperlings) which look like smaller versions of Parasols have an approx 7cm diametre. They can be very poisonous - so…
    3 September 2018
  • Amy
    Re: Foraging for Mushrooms
    Hello, Im wanting some advice please,ive found a fungi/mushroom in my garden...ive been searching on the internet and it seems as its a…
    1 September 2018
  • Mick
    Re: Self-Sufficient Energy
    I am looking into a thermoelectric generator to place on my solid fuel burning stove. The stove is hot all but two weeks out of the year.
    26 June 2018
  • GoSelfSufficient
    Re: What Not to Do in Your Allotment
    Giancarlo - Your Question:Hello,My name is Giancarlo Cristea, I live in Tooting, London, where I came 3 years ago.…
    24 May 2018
  • Giancarlo
    Re: What Not to Do in Your Allotment
    Hello, My name is Giancarlo Cristea, I live in Tooting, London, where I came 3 years ago. Unfortunately I cannot work…
    23 May 2018
  • Baz
    Re: Keeping a Pig
    When buying pigs do you have to buy two or would they be ok on their own
    11 September 2017
  • Coconut down South
    Re: What You Can't Grow
    Coconut down south is lit man. I grow it every day it is great!
    4 July 2017
  • Patsy
    Re: Foraging for Berries
    I'm thinking of making elderberry jam. Can this be made from elderberry syrup or concentrate, instead of picking the berries?
    3 March 2017