How does car sharing work?
The term ‘car share’ refers to the practice of more than one person travelling in a car, rather than each driving alone. The person getting the lift gives the driver a cash contribution towards the fuel costs, so both saves money. Both the driver and the passenger should agree beforehand how much the monetary contribution will be, but the driver must not participate on a ‘for profit’ basis (as this could invalidate the driver’s insurance). Alternatively, if the driver and passenger share on a regular basis and each owns a car, they may prefer to take it in turns to drive.
There are many different websites which offer car sharing services. Most of these will have an option for you to buy your own section of the site, which your employees can then access for free, and find matches only with people from the same organisation. You could also set up your own database very easily, which can be managed in-house.
Meet and greet coffee sessions
For some staff, a car sharing database may be too impersonal. You could arrange a couple of car sharing coffee sessions throughout the year, as networking events for interested car sharers to meet and discuss requirements in person.
Guaranteed lift home in an emergency
Any good car share scheme will be supported by a free guaranteed lift home, in the event that a car share partner has to leave early. Although this will incur the cost of a taxi or train ticket, such incidents are usually very rare.
Car sharing spaces
A good way to incentivise car sharing is to allocate preferential parking spaces to car sharers. Such a scheme would need to be administered, perhaps by use of a permit system, and monitored regularly to prevent misuse of the spaces and to make the scheme credible.
Car share noticeboard
A noticeboard displayed in reception or in communal areas such as the canteen can display details of car share events, show where allocated car sharing spaces are, display a map pinpointing were potential car sharers are coming from, and give details of who to contact for more information.
Rewards for car sharing
As with any other initiative, any reward offered should be relevant. Examples for encouraging car sharing include:
- Free car washes
- Monthly rewards such as fuel vouchers
- Discounted motoring organisation membership
- A car share mileage rate, payable per mile.