Not all of us need to own a car. For some, being tied down to your own vehicle is unnecessary as we don’t need a car every day for work or for all our various errands. As a result, sharing a car with others is a far more attractive solution. Not only can it make far more sense for someone who doesn’t need a car all the time, but it means you can still access a vehicle when you need it.
Sharing a car can work for so many different people, all with different situations and requirements. For example, you might own a car but not need it all the time. Some people in this situation will choose to share their car with a friend, roommate, or neighbour, setting them up with cheap hourly car insurance so they can benefit from the vehicle when you are not using it.
There are also more formal forms of car sharing, where businesses will have a scheme in place for their employees to share a vehicle for their commute to work. Then there are platforms where you can look for people willing to share a car in your area for a specific journey. People all across the country are coming together in creative ways to share cars.
The benefits of car sharing are copious, and, in this article, we are going to highlight a few of the standouts.
You can save money
One of the greatest benefits of sharing a car is financial. You can save a lot of money by car sharing in a number of ways, depending on the arrangements you make with the person sharing your car.
For example, you can save cash on fuel by splitting the costs with your sharer. If you have a long-term agreement with a roommate, friend or family member, you could even agree to split maintenance costs such as servicing, repairs, and MOTs.
Car sharing might mean that you are now commuting far less often and therefore are saving big bucks on train tickets, railcards, and bus fares. It can also be a far cheaper option than choosing to rent a car. Car rental services can charge an arm and a leg but if you strike up an agreement to share a car, you can have regular access to a car that works out cheaper in the long run.
And how about car insurance? If you are sharing someone else’s car, you can take advantage of cheap temporary car insurance, meaning you don’t need to pay for annual cover. If you just need the car for a day, that’s all you need to pay for.
If you are taking advantage of rideshares during your daily commute, you might only need to borrow someone else’s car rarely, perhaps for a one-off road trip to somewhere nice, meaning you can sell your current unused vehicle, and get yourself weekend car insurance as and when you need it.
Community-led charity Greener Kirkcaldy, which combats the climate emergency, fuel poverty and brings people together, advocates car-sharing and recognises the attractive financial incentive for participants:
“Car sharing is a great way to take cars off the road and reduce the amount you spend on travel at the same time. If you have more people in your car going to work, the football or a gig, then you can split the cost of petrol between the people in the car, thus saving each of you money. Also, if you are going to a place where you need to pay for parking, then you can split that cost too. On average a car sharer in Fife will save around £1050 per year.”
It’s good for the environment
Sharing a car is also good for the environment. Many of us are concerned for the planet and reducing the number of cars on the road is an important step to making the world around us healthier. Car sharing is a great way to achieve this end with more people sharing one car there will be fewer individual cars on the roads, reducing carbon emissions and creating cleaner air in our towns and cities.
Djuna and Luke of the blog Bright Around the Corner, have shared their thoughts on the benefits of car sharing, making sure to highlight the environmental impact: “This is a fundamental environmental benefit of car sharing. Fewer vehicles and more modern vehicles will improve local air quality. Cleaner air means a better time for those with certain health conditions.”
More people sharing a car will also lead to fewer parking areas needed, helping us to conserve our current green spaces and even create new ones in our local communities, helping wildlife thrive in the process.
More people choosing to share a car will inevitably lead to less traffic on the roads and reduce congestion. Quieter roads mean quicker commutes, less stress in the mornings, and overall, a more pleasant driving experience. Driving can be a great joy but not when all the fun is sapped out of it by being stuck behind heavy traffic. The company Liftshare, which allows people to offer others a lift or hitch a ride with those heading in the same direction, says that the reduced congestion as a result of car sharing is a significant perk:
“Traffic congestion impacts everything from how long it takes us to get to work, the amount of fuel we use in our vehicles and the price of consumer goods.
“Traffic jams cost the UK economy £5 billion every year in lost productivity; but if half of UK motorists received a lift one day a week, congestion and pollution would be reduced by 10% and traffic jams by 20%.”
You can take a look at what people think of car sharing on Liftshare’s community page to see even more benefits that people have discovered.
Improves overall health
Those who decide to share a car can even receive some benefits to their health. Those who share a car with others are more likely to utilise other, more healthy ways of travelling when they don’t have access to a vehicle. For example, you might be sharing a car on weekends but during the week deciding to walk to work or cycle home. As a result, you would be improving your fitness and benefiting from fresh air on a more regular basis.
Additionally, there can be mental health benefits from sharing a car. If you are using someone else’s car, as and when you need it, the stress of owning your own car is eliminated. You can benefit from the convenience of a car at certain times but not have to worry about all the bills, taxes, and services that car owners have to deal with. It’s certainly a much more peaceful life.
More people have access to a car without buying
Car sharing also creates communities and a wider world where more people gain access to a car when they might not otherwise have been able to do so. For many, owning a car is simply not an option because of how much it would cost compared to how little they would use it. But sharing a car with someone else means that they can now enjoy the freedom that a car brings, letting them visit friends and family further afield, run errands that require a vehicle, and explore the countryside when public transport often isn’t an option.
Tips for car sharing
Okay, so we can see there are plenty of benefits when it comes to sharing a car but what’s the best way to go about doing so. The website Street Party, a resource dedicated to bringing people together through street parties and therefore enhancing community spirit, has shared some tips for sharing a car with those in your local area, recommending the following:
“Ask neighbours in your street if they know of anyone. It is best if it is someone you know a bit. You could also put a note around houses in the neighbourhood. Or look on internet sharing sites.”
Once you have found someone who is willing to car share, Street Party suggests: “Discuss whether your needs for sharing match each other. Agree and perhaps write down details about timing, insurance, money, petrol, parking, maintenance and cleaning. Costs can be paid for monthly, per mile or as bills need paying.”
It’s also worth looking for those ride-sharing platforms online, such as the aforementioned Liftshare, to see if that might be beneficial to you.
What are the benefits of sharing a car?
- You can save money
- It’s good for the environment
- Reduces congestion
- Improves overall health
- More people have access to a car without buying.
As you can see, sharing a car with another person can be a wonderful thing. So, save yourself some money, do your part for the environment, and reap the many benefits available.
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