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Car Sharing Document produced by TAG

Car Sharing

What are Car Share Schemes?

Car sharing can help to ease traffic congestion. Every day, there are millions of empty seats travelling up and down Britain’s roads. It’s a problem that clogs our roads with unnecessary traffic, harms the environment, and sees thousands of drivers paying through the nose for journeys they needn’t make alone.

So whether you’re looking for a daily lift to work or an occasional trip to the supermarket or even to the other end of the country, it’s definitely worth considering a car share scheme. Not only does it save cash, there are environmental benefits. If every motorist shared their commute with just one other person, there would be half as many cars on our roads at peak times. That means faster journey times for everyone.

Although car sharers can make their own arrangements, most car share organisations recommend that drivers and passengers split journey costs equally. The lets you work out the cost of individual journeys.

Which Car Share Schemes?

One of the easiest ways to car share is to do it informally with someone you already know - a neighbour, shopping friend or fellow commuter. Explain the benefits of car sharing and try to be as flexible with times and locations as you can.

Alternatively, you can find a car share scheme online. There are several free-to-join nationwide car share schemes, plus hundreds of smaller, local groups that match people with other car sharers.

Here are the websites of some of the larger car share schemes:

  • BlaBlaCar.co.uk
  • LiftShare.com
  • CarShare.LiftShare.com
  • Freewheelers.co.uk
  • NationalCarShare.co.uk
  • CatchARide.co.uk
  • CarPlus.org.uk
  • ShareACar.com

And here are some local ones in Cumbria and nearby:

  • CumbriaUniCarShare.com
  • GoCarShare.com/University-of-Cumbria
  • WestLakesSciencePark.co.uk Car Share Scheme
  • Lancaster.ac.uk/Sustainability/Sustainability-Practice/.../Car-Sharing/
  • Nafferton.net

Some of these are only available if you are a university student or employed by the specific organisation running a scheme. If you are looking for a car share scheme specific to a particular town, village or employer, try using Google to find an appropriate scheme.

Cumbria County Council promotes car sharing throughout the county within its Work Place Travel Plans, Residential Travel Plans and School Travel Plans – see Cumbria.gov.uk for more information.

Car Share Safety & Etiquette

  • Safety is especially important when car sharing with someone you don’t know, or have only recently met; most car share organisations let females stipulate that they would rather only travel with other females.
  • For many, the first contact with new car sharers is via email. It’s worth exchanging phone numbers so you know who you’re talking to before you make detailed plans.
  • Arrange to meet in a well-lit, public place that’s easy to get to and away from – a large train station is ideal. Never give out your home address or arrange to visit the other person’s house until you feel you know them well enough to do so. Also, let someone else know where you’re going, when and with whom.
  • When you first meet up, check the car sharer’s driving licence or other ID (many car share clubs have membership cards) to make sure it’s who you were expecting. Passengers should ask the driver for details about their car, including the registration number, in advance. If things don’t add up, or if you feel at all uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to leave.
  • In a recent survey, over 70% of people said they would be annoyed if someone they were car sharing with was persistently late.
  • Other things car sharers worried about included people eating in their car, putting their feet on the dashboard or seats, and criticising their driving.
  • As a car share passenger, try to avoid loud telephone conversations and definitely don't eat in someone else’s car without permission.
  • As for directions, it's probably best to let the driver or satnav choose the route.

Darryl Francis

Sustainable Brampton – Travel Action Group

March 2016


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