If you hear the term ‘carpool’, you’d be forgiven for thinking of our Stateside friends. Across the pond, one in 10 commuters are thought to be in a carshare scheme. This number is significantly higher than those involved in carsharing on UK soil. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, carpooling is:
“A group of people who travel together, especially to
work or school, usually in a
different member’s car each day.”
So, why should the UK public take a nudge of our American neighbours and start to carshare? Here, with Lookers, who have a range of New ŠKODAs ideal for car sharing, we take a look at the benefits of carpooling.
Gives us company
While you may think that car sharing is something you’d likely do with someone you know – half of those who carshare still do so with a flat mate or family member – the concept has actually developed in recent years. This is thanks to technology, meaning apps are available to help you find someone to join you on your journey. This can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
Carsharing has also been proven to be a stress-relieving tool. However, it’s not the only way that it can combat this. Sixty per cent of people admitted to experiencing stress while on the road, so it’s clear that sharing the drive and personally driving less will cut this high percentage. It may even provide you with some chill out time if you’re not driving, meaning you can turn up to where you’re going with a new sense of wellbeing.
You must, however, be cautious of who you share with if you do decide to get involved in carpooling. Be sure to take precautions, including confirming identities of those you don’t know, and always trust your instincts. Also, be sure to have a backup option in place, as sometimes unavoidable situations such as illness may scupper the best laid out plans.
Saving money is always a good reason to do something and carpooling can allow you to share the cost of your journey with others. The more people that there are in the car, the smaller your share of the cost of petrol becomes. You can also share any toll costs that you may encounter, as well as car parking fees. It’s not just the daily costs that you can save on either. By carpooling, you will not always be using your own car and this will reduce the amount of wear and tear that occurs, slowing down the need to fork out to fix your vehicle.
Better for the environment
While this may seem like a relatively obvious statement, choosing to carpool means there are less cars on the road. This in turn equals less emissions being released into the atmosphere as less fuel is being used – simple! While work continues to make cars and vehicles more environmentally friendly, carpooling is a great way to take a direct step closer to a greener environment today.
It can reduce your journey time
In the UK, we are way behind the US on the number of carpool lanes we have available. However, there are several starting to appear on our roads. Also known as 2+ lanes or High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, the idea has been around in countries like the United States since the 1960s, but now Britain is starting to warm to the idea. The intention is that any vehicle with more than two people on-board can use them and avoid any heavy traffic congestion.
Gloucestershire is one area of the UK that has a carpool lane on offer and this has seen the amount of cars carrying two or more passengers increase from 20% to 27% because of the lane. With the average car occupancy in the UK standing at 1.59 people, introducing more carpool lanes across the country could see this figure significantly increase.
So, it’s clear that the idea of carpooling can be great. Why not suggest the idea to workmates that live near you and start your carshare today? Otherwise, search carpools in your area and take advantage of those already set up. Happy travels!