The cost of commuting to and from work is often astronomical.
By the time you have paid out for train tickets, petrol and parking charges, your income is severely dented. There is also the wear and tear on your car, which for longer journeys can be considerable.
Whilst driving is probably the most popular way to travel to work if you live outside a city in somewhere like Twickenham, some people are forced to use public transport because they don’t have access to a car. Public transport comes with its own problems, of course, like cancelled trains and buses, overcrowding and longer journeys. It may also be possible to cycle to work if you don’t live too far away, but with heavy traffic to contend with, not to mention dark nights and inclement weather, this may not be a good option either.
Car sharing is a modern solution to the age-old problem of expensive commuting. Instead of driving to and from work on your own, you can advertise for companions: people who live close by and who also work in the same area. In return for a lift, they pay you petrol money. Or, if you don’t drive at all, you can look for drivers making the same journey as you and offer to share the ride.
Find a Companion
The first place to go looking for someone to share the drive is at your workplace. Ask around and see if there is anyone who lives locally to you and who makes the same journey. If there is, contact them to find out if they would be interested in sharing the trip costs. If they say yes, you could drive alternate days, thus making a 50% saving.
There are websites where you can advertise for a car share companion. All you have to do is register and list details about your journey, such as the start and end location, what time you go, and how much you are charging per journey. You might not find someone who is making the exact same journey, but if they are close enough, it will still work.
Safety is an important consideration if you are planning on inviting a stranger into your car for long spells. If you already know the person, you should be fine, but if you have never met them before, arrange to meet for a coffee in a public place to see how you get along. Should you have any misgivings at all, don’t take the arrangement any further.
Companionship on Longer Journeys
One of the most positive things about car sharing is the sense of companionship you get from allowing other people to share the journey. You can chat about work and share life’s ups and downs, which on a long, boring commute is a real bonus.
There are other ways to save money on the daily commute if you can’t find a car sharing companion. Going back to our Twickenham example, you can find cheap car parking spaces in Twickenham and then catch the train from Twickenham railway station into London. This often saves you money on the cost of parking as well as time, as you avoid the congested city centre, and is the preferred choice for many people living in these commuter hotspots.