Enter Honest John's Kit Competition An awesome prize is up for grabs every week | No thanks

Clever car sharing idea uses Facebook and Google Maps

A new car sharing website has been launched to with the aim of creating a market place for empty car seats. Called goCarShare.com, it's integrated with Facebook, so you 'know' who you are sharing with, while Google maps helps establish pick-ups and fair rates.

Drummond Gilbert, founder of goCarShare.com, explains how it works.

Why did you set up goCarShare?

I’ve always been attracted by the idea of starting my own business. One afternoon after being particularly frustrated at work, I was brainstorming to myself about possible businesses that I could start up.

It was a miserable day at the beginning of the credit crunch, the combination of seeing frustrated drivers in stationary traffic and the general feeling of gloom from the worsening economic outlook led to my ‘eureka moment’.

What’s different about goCarShare?

It’s built around Facebook, that’s probably the key difference. Unfortunately as I researched the idea for car sharing, I noticed that other people had thought of it too and had tried to make it work with varying degrees of success.

The one thing that seemed to be holding the idea back in the UK is that people are very concerned about the idea of sharing with a car with a stranger.

The beauty of the site being built around Facebook is that you can see if you share friends or have interests in common, so the people that you will be sharing with will no longer be complete strangers.

How safe it is?

Ultimately, it’s totally up to you as to who you choose to share the journey with, if you are only happy to share with someone who is a friend on Facebook, or a friend of a friend, you can choose to do that.

There is an option for people to share with members of the same sex and there is a rating system that will help weed out unreliable users.

Any clever technology?

goCarShare is integrated with Google maps, when you enter a departure point and a destination, it works out a recommended contribution for the passenger to pay the driver.

For example, we recommend that a passenger pays a driver £23 for a journey up to Edinburgh. This will involve them making a big saving from train journeys and avoid the stress and guilt of flying.

From the drivers’ point of view they are getting a significant contribution toward the cost of the petrol.

The Big Picture

I went to a talk by Rachel Botsman called ‘collaborative consumption’. The premise was that we are moving from a society in which everyone is obsessed with ownership to one where people are less concerned with the objects they own, but more concerned with experiences and sharing them.

For example people are no longer keen to have stacks of CDs, these days they want to stream their music and share it on Spotify.

There are lots of interesting businesses doing similar things in different niches. It does feel a very exciting time and that we are part of a cultural shift brought about by a combination of the recession, meaning people are being more careful with money, and the fact that looking after the environment is now in the forefront of a lot of people’s minds.

And for the future?

Clearly the future is going to involve mobile phones and will involve opening up car sharing as a last minute travel solution. If people car see that there are people going their way at the last minute, that is when things get really exciting for us.

More at goCarShare

Comments

Add a comment

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car

Amount to borrow
Sorry. The minimum loan amount is £1000
To pay back over

My credit score

Best available rate 9.20%

Total repayment £9,304.93

Total cost of credit £1,804.93

£155.08

60 monthly payments

Apply now

Representative example

The Representative APR is 13.2% (fixed) so if you borrow £7,500 over 4 years at a rate of 13.2% p.a (fixed) you will repay £199.21 per month and repay £9562.20 in total.