Thanks to Peter Kay and James Corden, liftsharing has gone from being just ‘another type of commute’ to the inspiration behind a hit BBC comedy and a series of viral videos. Certainly, both Kay’s Car Share and Corden’s Carpool Karaoke have given car sharing a fun new façade and a bit of a celebrity status.
Yet a recent BBC survey found that, despite clear social, environmental and economic benefits, only 18% of UK drivers share a lift to work every day and 72% are yet to even give it a go!
Why is this? Since ‘sharing’ had proved incredibly popular on social media platforms as well as on certain sharing economy platforms such as Airbnb, why are many still reluctant to give it a go in the context of car sharing? It’s not unrealistic for individuals to save up to four thousand pounds a year, and millions of tons of CO2 can be prevented from entering our already over polluted atmosphere.
Luckily I’m not the only one questioning this curious trend. The BBC has also been investigating why some commuters are uncertain about car sharing. Their survey found that the most common reason for people not wanting to share was fears of a colleague’s bad driving. This was followed by concerns that car share partners might be too chatty, or would make you late for work. The survey also found that some are put off car sharing because they’re nervous about sharing with someone smelly, excessively moany or with a different taste in music.
So what do these findings really mean? What’s the bigger picture? It seems that most concerns about car sharing revolve around convenience, comfort or safety. People are worried that the benefits they’d gain by car sharing would not be worth becoming late for work, forced to buy car air freshener, or obliged to chat throughout the journey. Basically, like with many other forms of sharing such as co-working and co-housing, many are concerned that the pros would be outweighed by cons.
If anyone knows how needless these fears are it’s the people who have actually car shared. Like both characters in Kay’s Car Share, they may have had some reservations to begin with, but these almost always turn out to be misguided. Liftshare have matched thousands of people to car share, and hundreds of these get in touch each year to tell us how much they’ve enjoyed it. Many have even told us that they now look forward to their commute and have developed friendships which they value even more than the huge savings they make. With benefits ranging from parking perks to less stress, a number of sharers such as Lynwen Davison have said that their only frustration was that they’d not started sharing sooner.
And if you’re just waiting to find a match then please help spread the word. The more people join Liftshare, the more useful it becomes for everyone.
Photo credit: BBC
Author Lucie Boyle