When you hear the term carpooling, you’d be forgiven for thinking of our friends Stateside. One in 10 commuters across the pond are believed to be involved in a car-share — a stat that is significantly higher than those on our shores. The definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary is:

“A group of people who travel together, especially to work or school, usually in a
different member’s car each day.”

But why should we take a leaf out of their book and get involved in carpools? Here, with Lookers, who have a range of New ŠKODAs ideal for car sharing, we take a look at the benefits of carpooling.

Better for the environment

Firstly, although it’s an obvious statement, carpooling means there’ll be 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

It’s true that the UK is behind the US on how many carpool lanes are available, but 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 in the UK that offers a carpool lane. Here, the number of cars that take two or more people now has increased from 20% to 27% thanks to 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.

Save money

A big selling point for carpooling is the fact that you can share the cost of your journey! 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.

Provides company

It’s also a way to have company on your journey. It used to be that you’d share with someone you knew on your daily commute, and half of those who carshare still do so with a flat mate or family member. However, the concept has grown in recent years and, thanks to technology, 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.

This can also reduce your stress levels, according to reports. 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.

As with any situation, it’s crucial that you remain cautious of who you decide to car share with if you carpool. 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.

So, it’s clear that carpooling is a great idea, so maybe now is the time you ask workmates that live near you and if they want to start a carshare today? Otherwise, search carpools in your area and take advantage of those already set up. Happy travels!