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Split the cost, share a lift: how car sharing benefits both businesses and car owners

Did you know that a typical commuter who car-shares every day saves on average, about £1,000 a year?

National Liftshare Week runs from 2nd – 8th October 2017 and is all about the social, environmental and financial benefits of car sharing, so maybe it’s time to make that change.

There is a continuous pressure on businesses to improve the workplace for employees whilst keeping down costs and increasing efficiency - one of these challenges being workplace parking. However, providing a perfect parking solution isn’t easy and with more and more cars on the road, space is becoming a real issue.

With the continued heavy use of cars, road traffic forecasts predict congestion could increase in the UK by as much as 55% in the next 25 years, hitting urban areas and cities hardest. Figures from The National Travel Survey 2015, show that people in the UK make an average of 142 commuting journeys every year, travelling an average of 1,308 miles, over an average of 31 minutes per trip in 2015.

So, is it time to start car sharing to make the daily commute more enjoyable, reduce costs and help the environment?

What is Car Sharing?

Car sharing is just as it sounds: two or more people who are heading to the same or a similar place travelling together by car for all or part of a journey.

Car sharing has really taken off in the US and other countries but is still struggling to take the UK by storm. Businesses can put schemes in place to encourage lift sharing whilst at the same time helping to cut congestion and emissions, and maximise corporate parking capacity.

What are the benefits?

A car sharing scheme can benefit both businesses and car owners. One of the main benefits to car sharing is that you are cutting down on energy usage and reducing your own carbon footprint. Whilst this is enough to make it a great thing to do, it can also be a substantial money saver. Think about how much money you would save on petrol if you split the cost with someone else lift sharing.

There are many other benefits of car sharing:

  • Environmental issues/carbon footprint - By sharing your trip with someone else rather than travelling alone, you’re immediately halving your emissions footprint from making that journey.
  • Reduce congestion – Sharing a car means fewer vehicles on the road, which can ease congestion and reduce air pollution. Next time you’re in traffic, look around at the other cars and see how many empty seats you see. If more of us offered out our spare seats or hopped in with someone else heading the same way, the number of cars on the road will be reduced, decreasing the chance of congestion.
  • Reduce demand for parking - Corporate car sharing can be a solution to solve the problem of parking being in short supply.
  • Financial Savings – Car sharing can cut fuel and running costs, as passengers help pay for petrol, while reducing mileage and general vehicle wear and tear. By offering lifts on your journey, you can ask for a fuel contribution from your passenger – without invalidating your car insurance. Likewise, lift sharing is significantly cheaper than the train for long distance journeys and is of course cheaper than making the journey alone in your own car. Also, by becoming a passenger in someone else’s car if you would have otherwise driven alone, you’re also saving yourself mileage and wear and tear costs on your car. It’s a win-win situation Preferential treatment – car-sharers have priority on some roads, with certain UK cities now operating car-sharing lanes and designated parking bays in some corporate car parks.
  • Health and well-being - We all know the frustrations of travelling through rush hour traffic. Several studies show that congestion not only makes people late for work but also has negative consequences on health and stress levels.
  • Employee engagement - Car-sharing is a great way for employees to interact with colleagues from different areas of the business. With studies showing that engaged staff perform higher and take less time off sick, car-sharing is a simple way staff can connect with one another.

The largest 3,300 companies in the UK employ almost 9 million commuters. Faxi has analysed over 100,000 of their journeys. The data shows that a staggering 50% to 80% of commuters could share their drive to work with multiple co-workers who live less than a 5-minute walk from their home and that, despite flexible working, most people still travel at similar times. Research from the AA reveals that 1 in 3 commuters are stressed about workplace parking with 1 in 7 getting to work more than an hour early just to park. A recent survey with the staff at a Milton Keynes head office identified that 60% of 1500 respondents would car share for a guaranteed parking space.

At National Grid’s Head Office in Warwick, staff were experiencing terrible difficulty in finding car park spaces, which was affecting meeting attendance and morale. National Grid approached Clearview Intelligence with a request to improve and optimise their parking facilities that needed to cater for over 2,800 employees and visitors. It was recognised that too much time was being spent driving through the various car park zones hunting for an available space, and this was resulting in growing employee frustration, due to the extra time required to get into the office.

See how we helped provide a solution to the parking problems and allowed for management of reserved spaces for National Grid.

The more people talk about car sharing, the more people will be encouraged to do it. The more people that car share, the fewer cars on the road, meaning less traffic, less congestion, and quicker journey times. Workplace parking also becomes easier with more spaces becoming available.

Clearview are currently working in partnership with lift share app companies and large corporate HQs to investigate parking solutions which will facilitate and encourage car sharing. To see how you could get involved and make your parking work better for the benefit of the business and employees, get in touch.

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