• August 18, 2023

  • Abby Nuttall

  • Driver Articles

It’s not surprising with the continued cost of living crisis that people are looking for new ways to save money and with cars being a continuous and rather costly expense we are seeing more drivers looking for ways to save money on their transport. It’s not just the car itself but the associated costs – fuel, insurance, tax, parking permits, tolls, maintenance, servicing, MOTs and any repairs that may be needed which all add up over time.

One way in which drivers are reducing the cost of their cars is through car sharing!

Research published earlier this year shows that the demand for car sharing has risen and with this in mind we wanted to take a look at what it is and how it can help your business. Moneybarn has analysed google searches over the past four years and seen that googling car sharing rose significantly in 2022 with an increase of 21.91% on the previous year. This reflects the rise in interest in more flexible and greener transportation which still retains a sense of freedom and flexibility that is missing from public transport.

What is Car Sharing?

According to the government, car sharing is “the co-ordinated matching up of lifts between drivers and passengers who share a common or similar route”, essentially two or more people sharing a vehicle to get to their destination(s).

There are several different ways that car sharing can happen – it can be informal with you arranging to share journeys with friends and family or it can be a more formal arrangement with a scheme offered by a workplace or private organisation, or as is becoming more popular a commercial car sharing club or company.

Why is Car Sharing Becoming More Popular?

1. Reducing the Fuel Bill

If you are car sharing then you split the cost of the journey, including fuel. This means your fuel bill will be cheaper if you car share.

There are two ways that you might see your fuel bill reduce, either by reducing the amount of travel you are doing in your car which means you’re filling up at the pump less or by having others contribute towards the cost of fuel so you’re not covering the full bill when you fill up.

2. Reduces Emissions

Another significant benefit of car sharing is the reduction in emissions. Even if it’s just you and one other person car sharing you are reducing the number of vehicles and by extension the emissions, helping to create less greenhouse gases and improve air and noise quality in your area.

3. Car Sharing Priority

Many city centres and built-up areas offer car sharing lanes where traffic is restricted to car sharers and public transport meaning they can skip the traffic and get to their destination with minimal disruption. This can make journeys much quicker and smoother for you, saving time and reducing stress.

4. Shares the Responsibility of Driving

Car sharing allows drivers to share the responsibility of driving, helping to reduce stress and tiredness, both of which can reduce your ability to drive well. This can be particularly useful for people on longer trips as it reduces the risk of tiredness caused mistakes.

5. Company While You Travel

Whether you’re car sharing with someone you’ve known for twenty years or a new colleague car sharing gives you a chance to be social. It can be a great opportunity to get to know someone better.

How Does Car Sharing Work?

How it works will depend on the type of car sharing you are interested in.

If you are informally sharing lifts with friends and family then it may be as simple as setting up a group chat. You can be as organised as you want with an informal car sharing arrangement, and the beauty of such a casual arrangement is that it is so flexible and can be organised to suit your needs.

There are more formal arrangements as well where you agree to set terms such as the journeys travelled, the set of time, who’s driving and what vehicle they’re driving.

Car Sharing in the Workplace

One of the most common ways you’ll have encountered a car share scheme will be in the workplace. A lot of employers offer and incentivise workplace schemes to connect their employers, reduce business emission levels and help improve employee quality of life.

You’ll usually be able to get information from your fleet management team about any existing car sharing scheme at your business. Most schemes will be run by the fleet team, or will at least have their input on the set up and management of the scheme. If there isn’t one then you could talk to them about setting one up.

Car Sharing is Good for Businesses Too

It’s not just drivers who benefit from a good car sharing scheme, but also the environment and your employer as well. We’ve got a dedicated blog that looks at the business benefits of car sharing if you want to learn more about this.

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