Car Sharing - Pooling - LonesomeTraveller
For some reason we in the UK have been left behind compared to the rest of Europe when it comes to car sharing
All over Europe there are organisations which you can join as a traveller, wether you are a driver or passenger.
For a small fee they match drivers and passengers according to desired dates and destinations. The passengers pay an agreed amount towards the drivers costs.
For years I have travelled all over Europe in this way as a driver and have saved a tidy sum against my costs
You need to be a bit flexible and happy to be in the company of strangers during your journeys.
In Germany they are called Mitfahrzentrale
In France its Allostop or Provoya
Holland: Lift Centre
Belgium: Taxistop
In UK you can do it through SMS at www.sms.ac/clubpage.asp?club=CL217001011000906756
Car Sharing - Pooling - hootie
The only place that I've lived, where I've been actively aware of car sharing is in the areas on the west side of the Severn River crossings, motivated mainly by the toll charge I suppose (last I knew it was £4.50 for cars or £75 approx for a monthly tag - unlimited)

(What strikes me as odd about that is that it's only charged from England to Wales. Wales to England is free)

As city centre congestion charging grows, maybe that'll be an incentive too?

Depends mainly on finding the right partners, and any necessary parking at meeting places being easily available I suppose?

How contributing towards costs sometimes might affect non commerical insurance if the same driver reguarly did the driving, I'm not too sure? but it seems a good idea in principle.
Car Sharing - Pooling - peterb
(What strikes me as odd about that is that it's only
charged from England to Wales. Wales to England is free)


It's cheaper to collect £2 one-way than £1 each way.
Car Sharing - Pooling - LonesomeTraveller
Correct me if I am wrong but sharing costs should not effect insurance in any way as long as the driver/car owner is not making any profit
I shouldnt really need to point out that not only does it save money all round but if we all did it there would be less cars on the road
Perhaps the if the government promoted the idea, even set up car pooling offices like there are on the Continent and other countries it would be contrbuting greatly to the congestrion problem
Car Sharing - Pooling - DavidHM
It shouldn't, but it all depends on your insurance company's definition of hire and reward. And try getting a straight answer out of them, from someone who actually knows and isn't just answering phones in a call centre.
Car Sharing - Pooling - Marcos{P}
This happens in Los Angeles and apparently works really well. Basically if you are a single occupant you cannot use the outside lane on the freeway and you get some sort of tax rebate or something, not sure what.
My freind who lives there reckons itsa a great idea and he and his collegues take turns to drive.
Car Sharing - Pooling - Baskerville
Yes the multiple occupancy lane works well most of the time. Weirdly Jaguar are currently running an ad in the US with a tag line something like: The S Type: Made for the left lane. Now in California, Oregon, and Washington at least, quite a lot of the time around urban centres that would be the car-sharing lane. I'm not sure that's what they mean.
Car Sharing - Pooling - Dan J
Our company have an arrangement for those interested. Administered by an external company whose name I forget.

Noone bothers with it for one simple reason - Whilst most of us arrive at the same time, few of us leave together. Meetings/work/emergencies etc. No use if 5 of you are in one car and one guy is suddenly going to be an hour later than normal.

Appreciate this is a little different from what you refer to but it's not too practical workwise!
Car Sharing - Pooling - LonesomeTraveller
I doubt if there will ever be a perfect solution but such a system will greatly increase out options. You have to be a bit flexible.
A typical trip of mine turned out like this:
I was driving from Berlin to Rotterdam
24 hours before I intended to leave I informed the Mitfahr-Zentrale situated conveniently in Bahnhof Zoo railway station.
The following day I had 3 passengers who wanted to go to Amsterdam, just a little out of my way. I took them there and they paid me 3/4 of my fuel bill and insisted on buying me lunch.
My trip was far less boring than if I went alone and cost me next to nothing leaving me just 30 mins drive to my final destination. 4 of us were a lot better off as a result.
I use these organisations a lot and save a lot of money and often meet interesting people, I have friends I still visit from time to time as a result.
If you like driving alone and dont care for meeting strangers then its not for you.
If you are friendly, adventurouse and like saving yourself and othwers money its well worth putting yourself out a little.
Car Sharing - Pooling - andymc {P}
Wow, I'd forgotten all about the Mitfahrzentrale. If the MFZ system existed here, I'd definitely participate as I regularly drive long distances and it's always easier with a passenger to shorten the journey.

I travelled all over Germany and France when I lived there using this system. I was always the passenger, not the driver, as I was earning the equivalent of £400 a month at the time and a car was just a little out of range! Brilliant concept, really enjoyed it, especially as hitch hiking was starting to become difficult - hitchers were by then starting to be seen as a potential threat, rather than harmless and (hopefully) interesting new people. I do remember lecturing one lone female driver outside Dublin that it was risky to give lifts to single men - of course, this was after she dropped me off! She just laughed and waved as she disappeared.

I reckon my generation (I'm 31) was the last one to be able to hitch anywhere in Europe and realistically expect to get a lift sooner or later, and in comparitive safety as well. It was a real education, no other experience could have taught me what I learned about humanity and about myself on all those varied trips. I miss those days. Now, I hardly ever see people hitching - I think it's a real shame, as when I started driving I always made a point of picking people up. What goes around comes around, and all that.

One of my best trips was from Munich to Salzburg and back on the thumb, then a MFZ from Munich to Nurnberg. Another Mitfahrzentrale took me and she from Saarbrucken all the way to Paris! Which was a nice way to celebrate buying the engagement ring.


andymc
Car Sharing - Pooling - LonesomeTraveller
Although there is no MFZ or other lift centre here in the UK I have set up an SMS/online alternative. First you join www.sms.ac and then go to my club \"Travel Europe vehicle sharing. Drivers andPassengers\" at www.sms.ac/clubpage.asp?club=CL217001011000906756 .. There are currently over 800 members.
When you send a message to the club everyone in the club will receive it on their mobile phone and/or email. If they are interested in your lift offer or are a driver responding to your lift request they can message you back individually.
A message to the club costs 1 credit and you get 8 free credits a day so it doesnt have to cost a penny. You dont need to have a mobile to join but it helps
 

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