We’re all just trying to get somewhere: in life, in love, and on the road. As the Beatles once said, we get by with a little help from our friends – that’s why carpooling and ride-sharing is such a good idea. Splitting the travel costs in half can make a huge difference to your monthly budget and having someone in the car with you prevents the monotony of sitting in traffic all by your lonesome.

Carpooling makes sense for all sorts of reasons but it can be a bit of a logistical nightmare: different schedules and destinations, sick days and other disturbances can set a finely tuned carpool into a tailspin. We’ve laid out some basic guidelines that will help you avoid the pitfalls and missteps that might prevent your carpool from leaving the carpark.

Carpooling lanes, also know as High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes are a fixture in many major cities around the globe, including Johannesburg and Pretoria. These lanes are reserved for vehicles with three or more occupants, and are aimed at reducing the high number of single private car users causing increasing congestion in cities like Cape Town.

There are a few different types of carpools that you can get: a designated driver carpool involves one car and one driver who offers lifts to one or more passengers who pay the driver a fare based on the expenses of running the vehicle. An alternating carpool occurs when the passengers take turns driving the others on a regular, predetermined basis, which removes the hassle of worrying about payment – if you all take the same number of trips, then you pay your own car’s expenses as per normal. An employer carpool is when employees use company cars to share rides to and from their place of work. In this way, company cars which would otherwise stand idle are being used and employees are able to offset the travel costs of getting to work.

Image credit: Cheki Kenya

There are a number of benefits associated with carpooling. With petrol price increases only getting higher, the prospect of saving up to half of your petrol costs would have most drivers licking their lips – and that’s exactly what carpooling offers. For those of you concerned with the environment as well as your pocket, carpooling is one of the best ways to get single-occupant cars off the road, lowering the strain that those cars put on the environment. If feeling good about yourself is what you’re after from your daily commute, then carpooling offers another advantage – beat the boredom and roadrage-inducing mania of the gridlock by enjoying the company of others on your journey. It also gives you the opportunity to close your eyes and relax, or even catch a few winks, on your way to work.

Golden rules of carpooling:

#1 Set the fare in advance – and stick to it

#2 Don’t be late, don’t make ‘em wait

#3 Keep in contact

#4 Always have a plan B, for those unavoidable disruptions

#5 Get your ride insured

#6 Get it serviced – if you’re worried that your ride may not be up to scratch, check out our fuel consumption calculator!

#7 Personal hygiene – no one wants to share a ride with smelly (that includes too much perfume or cologne) passenger

Check out local carpooling app, JumpInRides, if you’re driving alone and would like to share the trip, or if you want to grab a lift somewhere instead of taking your own set of wheels.

If you’re getting a lift and don’t need a car, you might be thinking, “I should sell my car!” And why not – at CarZar, we buy cars for cash! You can visit our site to get your trade-in car values for free, and if you like the quote then book an inspection at one of our nationwide Car Buying Centres, or visit your nearest DEKRA branch to get a free, independent vehicle inspection!