With increased petrol costs, extortionate parking rates and a host of other driving costs mounting up around your ears, it wouldn’t surprise us if you start to think about not using your car every day. Being stuck in traffic for an hour or more twice a day is no way to spend your life, especially if you have to pay over the odds for the privilege.
However, there are ways to avoid dreaded public transport and save money on your driving – opt for a car share. The humble car share is perfect for those who work in the same area, or parents sharing lifts to school, and can save you significant amounts of money each month. As well as using your car less – which saves money on petrol – you’ll also only have to pay for parking once or twice a week, rather than five times. Thanks to recent council initiatives, cars with more than one person in can also benefit from using ‘fast track’ lanes in certain parts of the country, cutting the length of your journey. And, of course, there are the environmental benefits; fewer cars on the road mean less exhaust fumes and cleaner air for all of us.
Once you’ve decided that a car share is going to be the best option for you, then finding the right people to join in is the next step. People you work with, or those who work near you, are a good option (as long as you don’t mind spending half an hour or so extra with them every day!) as well as people who live on your street but work in a similar area. Whoever you decide to car share with, make sure you lay down some ‘house rules’ before you start, including any shared payments and where you will car share from and to. Security and safety must be a priority, so if you don’t know the individuals you’re sharing with very well, ask if you can meet them before you organise anything to make sure you feel comfortable.
In some parts of the country, there are council-run and commercial car share services that can help match potential sharers together – CarPlus and LiftShare are both good places to start. However, an advert in the office or flyers down your street can be just as effective. Being organised is essential, especially when it comes to picking people up on time! Car shares, whether for work or the school run, can be a great money-saving alternative to using your car by yourself every day – why not give it a try?