Did you know that a solo drive to work costs an average of $5,000 a year and that many people spend 250 hours alone in a car? If this applies to you, carpooling can be a great way to save thousands on tolls and gas. It also can give you valuable time back to be productive (checking emails, reading the news) when you’re in the passenger seat. The hassle of finding someone who has a similar route and schedule as you might seem daunting, so we’ve got the low-down on simplifying your carpool strategy.
Looking for someone to carpool with? Try one of these apps that match you to a driver or rider with a similar route.
Scoop allows you to schedule morning and afternoon commutes either independently or together. Based on your route, schedule and traffic, trips are custom tailored for you and the drivers. If you choose to drive a carpool, that’s more cash in your pocket. Scoop even guarantees you a ride home, so you’ll never have to worry about being stuck at work.
Hitch A Ride helps you connect with colleagues to see who lives nearby – and opens the floor to discuss carpool destinations. Payment terms are negotiated between you and the driver- meaning you can either pay a flat rate or pick up a bagel for them in the morning. You can even connect with your social networks to see where your friends are travelling – and hop in for the ride!
UberPOOL matches riders heading in the same direction, and the trip costs up to 50% less than UberX. If you find yourself frequently hopping in a rideshare to save time on your commute, this is a great alternative. It only adds a few minutes to your ride, and you could meet a new friend.
Riding with a friend or coworker? Follow these tips to make sure it’s a smooth ride:
- Discuss the pickup point. Is the driver picking everyone up at home? Are you meeting at a convenient location for everyone?
- If everyone is going to take turns driving, create a schedule that you all agree on. Be flexible if there is a day when someone needs to switch drivers.
- Decide on payment terms based on mileage and fuel cost. If everyone is taking turns driving equally, you may not need to exchange cash.
- Make some ground rules and be respectful of them. How long will the driver wait if someone is late? When will you exchange payment? Is talking on cell phones OK?
Need a way to fill the silence? Check out our list of commute-friendly podcasts!
If you are participating in a carpool you’ll likely be driving your car less frequently, so you could really save a lot of money with pay-per-mile car insurance. Learn more and get your free quote here.