While car-sharing is still a fairly new concept in the UK, many people have embraced it with open arms and it is becoming increasingly popular in cities in particular.
The environmental impact of driving is a big factor in its emergence as many people now understand the impact their driving is having on the planet. By sharing journeys, you are able to decrease the number of cars on the road and thus the amount of pollution harming the planet. While this would reduce your own carbon footprint, it could also save you money on petrol and car insurance.
Many large companies in the UK offer compensation to their employees who share rides to work. This is an easy and effective way for businesses to reduce their own carbon footprint, but the question still begs, is this more effective than if they took public transport?
While this debate has been going on for a while now, the important thing is that it is better than nothing. While it would be ideal for everyone to walk, cycle or take the bus, it is not realistic for everyone, so if we could reduce the number of cars on the road by 20% at least, that would be a success.
Some of you might be scratching your heads right now asking what car-sharing actually is and how does it work, well, let us explain:
How Does Car-Sharing Work?
In essence, car-sharing is the idea that two people will share the same car to go somewhere rather than them both taking separate cars. This agreement should be mutually beneficial and the costs of petrol, car insurance and mileage should be shared.
There are many different websites dedicated to finding people to share a ride with whether you have a car you want to offer a seat in or you’re willing to ride in someone else’s car. You can even search by county, town or even company.
Can you Charge Money?
While making money isn’t the purpose of car sharing in this sense, you are able to charge small amounts. It is not uncommon for passengers to be expected to pay small amounts towards the ride for wear and tear on the car. These fares have to meet the regulations of whichever site you are using to organise the ride and must be discussed and agreed upon beforehand.
It’s important to note that ride-sharing here is not the same as Uber where the purpose is to act as a freelance taxi driver.
Sharing with Strangers
This aspect can be uncomfortable for a lot of people and is understandably a point that many people won’t cross even if they want to help the environment. While you would be sharing a bus with strangers, it is a step up to decide to let a complete stranger into your car.
The various websites have safety procedures in place to make sure that the people sharing your car have been background-checked for criminal convictions etc. Similarly, you can see their profile and you make the final decision as to whether they share your car. Be sure that the website you decide to use has good procedures in place and is generally well-liked and respected in the first place.
If you’re one of the people that still use their car regularly to get to work, it may be an idea to consider whether you could offer someone a ride or whether you could take a ride with someone else to work. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a stranger; it could be someone from work that lives relatively close to you or on your route to work. Sharing a ride decreases the number of cars on the road and, therefore, shrinks your carbon footprint. While this is very beneficial to the environment, you may not be fond of the idea of sharing your car with a stranger or someone you don’t know all too well. If you like the idea of car-sharing be sure to research how much compensation you require towards car insurance and petrol.