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Here at Liftshare, we’ve seen a lot of people online referring to car sharing as ‘hitch-hiking 2.0’ or the evolution of hitch-hiking, and while we agree these sound like pretty great terms in headlines, they’re not actually indicative of what the process of sharing a car involves.
We thought we’d take a few moments to explain the differences between both forms of travel, in the hopes of dispelling a few myths around what car sharing actually is.
Let’s be honest, hitch-hiking is a huge gamble and a risk for both the driver and passenger. You don’t know who the driver is, and car owners might not feel good about allowing a stranger into their vehicle. We’ll get onto identity and security in the next section, but for now it’s important to stress that these are two very different modes of transport.
Liftshare is a platform that enables drivers to offer their spare seats and recoup the cost of their travel outgoings. The difference from hitch-hiking is that lifts are pre-planned with ID checked individuals, rather than picking strangers up from the side of roads at a whim.
So let’s say you drive the same office commute every morning – you can post details of your route with departure and arrival times using our smart ‘Offer a Lift’ tool, which also works out how much you can reasonably ask passengers to pay for petrol per seat. Fees are based on mileage and will never result in drivers making a profit, so there’s no implications on your insurance at all.
In fact, we recently asked the UK’s top car insurers – including Direct Line, Admiral, Aviva and Liverpool Victoria – what they thought about car sharing. As you can see, they’re all fully on board with it and able to cover you while offering your seats with Liftshare.
If you’re a passenger, you can find drivers offering lifts on our site using our search function, then get in touch with them to discuss pricing, routes, times and more. You can even look for gender-specific car sharers for additional peace of mind, and once the trip is over, you can pay using our secure, cashless system via our official iOS and Android apps.
You never have to have cash on your person to pay for the lift if you don’t want to, and this is just one of many safety considerations we have in place to give you a smoother, safer and most importantly – fun travel experience.
For starters, when a hitch-hiker enters your vehicle, you have absolutely no way of knowing who that person is. You can ask them of course, but how do you know they’re being truthful? The short answer is: you can’t, but by arranging a car share through a secure site like Liftshare, there are several ways to understand who you are travelling with.
When someone signs up to our site we ask them to register their bank details,which is our first layer of ID checking. We then encourage users to complete a full and in-depth bio complete with images so the community can get to know them, and to ensure that nothing is left to chance.
Those registering through Facebook have their details pulled across automatically from their private profile, and lastly, we advise all users to use our instant messaging feature to speak with their passenger or driver before agreeing to a lift. This gives our members a chance to see if a fellow car sharer is a good match for them or not.
We have more interactive safeguard features on the horizon, so stay tuned for updates on these soon. If you have any further concerns about the safety of car sharing, just head over to our official safety page for more information. Or, if you’re really not sure, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re always happy to chat!
We can see why people might think it is the same, but the major – and significant – difference is that Liftshare is regulated, endorsed by car insurance firms, ID checked and growing in popularity by the day. We’ve been active since 1998 and we’ve never had a single safety issue on UK roads in that time – we hope you’ll agree that’s an impressive track record indeed!
What’s your view on hitchhiking and car sharing? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter @liftshare and on Facebook.
Car share for less with Liftshare, the UK’s biggest sharing economy site!