Rising gasoline prices are prompting many commuters who are used to traveling solo to consider the benefits of carpooling. In addition to saving money, carpooling has numerous other benefits: additional time to pursue pastimes such as reading or simply relaxing while en route, the opportunity to socialize with fellow passengers, reduced parking fees, and the numerous positive effects on the environment.
We like this GREEN alternative and offer up some suggestions to ensure that it’s a successful option for you.
1. Set the ground rules at the beginning of your co-traveling relationship and stick to them. Commonly discussed issues include a policy on eating, drinking, smoking, and radio usage.
2. Agree on expense sharing and reimbursement. Decide on a payment schedule.
3. If multiple drivers will be sharing that responsibility, set a schedule and attempt to adhere to it. An occasional change is expected but try not to make a habit of it.
4. Explore the possibility of liability issues. Most red flags can be found in the exceptions / exclusions clause in your insurance policy but you might want to also verify with your agent. Conversely, ask about the possibility of a discount. Some insurers offer lower rates for carpoolers.
5. Restrict conversation about religion, politics or other potentially inflammatory topics unless you’re sharing a ride with people with whom you are already well-acquainted and can readily gauge what reactions will be.