Top tips for successful carpooling

Whether to work or to school, carpooling is a smart choice. Sharing commuting costs and taking turns driving can reduce stress, save on fuel costs and help protect the environment. Plus, most carpoolers agree that the good company of their fellow carpoolers is a benefit that they hadn’t anticipated. Put simply: It’s cool to pool!

4 benefits of carpooling

Flexibile:

Once a week or twice a month, carpool arrangements can be managed according to your preferences. Driving your own car or alternating drivers? You decide!

Cost-efficient:

The more you carpool, the more you save. It can cost thousands to operate a car each year.

Reduces stress:

Less stress, higher morale, and lower blood pressure, carpooling means a calmer commute – from sharing the driving burden to using the HOV lanes during rush hour.

Eco-friendly:

Fewer cars on the road result in less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions – not to mention reducing demand for new roads and parking lots.

Carpooling etiquette 101

To ensure your carpool arrangement works for everyone involved, here are a few specific guidelines to consider:

Create a schedule.

A schedule will help your group avoid confusion. Share it by email and mark the details in your calendar. Make sure the schedule includes complete contact information.

Agree on pick-up locations and times.

Do you pick up riders at their houses, or meet at a convenient central location? Perhaps there is a free carpool parking lot you could use.

What are the rules?

Decide how long you’ll wait for latecomers (five minutes is standard), and whether confirmation is required the night before.

Payment:

If you are the only driver, your passengers pay based on your expenses (fuel, maintenance and parking.) In an alternating arrangement, when you drive you pay, when you ride it’s free. Agree up front on payment policies.

No stopping – anytime!

This should be an unbreakable rule. Your commute serves only one purpose – to travel to and from work or school.

Agree on the little things:

Decide on radio use, smoking policies, use of scents, and other concerns before you start carpooling. Even things like seating arrangements should be agreed upon.

Have a back-up plan:

Ensure everyone has a copy of home, work or cell phone numbers and agree in advance what will happen in the event of illness or mechanical problems.

Insurance:

Contact your insurance provider to make sure coverage is sufficient to carry passengers. Third party liability insurance of $2,000,000 is recommended as well as underinsured motorist protection.

How to get started

To start a carpool at work, put a map of your area in the staff or lunch room and ask interested colleagues to contact you to determine your arrangements. To start a carpool at your child’s school, first check with the school administration office to find out if the school already has a carpooling program in place. If not, express your interest in starting a carpool in a school newsletter, or on school bulletin boards.

More on this topic

To find car pooling partners or to get more information, check out these free carpool services:


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The information provided is meant to be illustrative only and does not constitute or replace the advice of experts. The Personal assumes no liability with regards to how such information is used.