Did you know that most domestic cars and vans are driven just 4% of the time, according to the RAC Foundation? With the average car being driven for just 1 hour out of every 24 (being parked at home or elsewhere for the rest of the time), it makes sense to consider sharing your car with someone who could use it while you don’t need it.
Here a resident of Hope Valley shares their experience on an informal car sharing agreement with neighbours. While there are more structured ways to share vehicles, for example through apps such as Hiyacar, this arrangement was based on trust with people who lived nearby, without a formal agreement.
Informal car sharing
The households used Whatsapp to communicate about when each party wanted to use the car. A notebook was used to record mileage and it was agreed to try to leave the car fully charged at the end of each use, when possible. At the end of the year, the car “borrowers” and the owners calculated any outstanding costs based on the depreciation of the vehicle and settled the cost.
Top tips from this arrangement? Here are some takeaways:
1) Communicate well – remember to let your car share buddy know when you need to use the car and for how long
2) Consider matters such as insurance and whether to purchase a vehicle in common before you start your car share arrangement
3) Make sure a clear agreement is in place, including how costs will be calculated, what to do if the car is damaged through an accident, and how and when the agreement may potentially end
4) Make the most of available technology, for example a device to accurately measure mileage. It takes the hassle out of remembering to record it!
It should be noted that car sharing may reduce the need for additional car ownership, but doesn’t ultimately move us away from car use.
Interested in car sharing? Like the case study above, you could try an informal arrangement with friends or neighbours, or you could use a more structured app such as Hiyacar to handle bookings, payments and insurance to share your car with people you haven’t met before.
If you have experience of car sharing, we would love to hear about it: firstname.lastname@example.org