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The Benefits of Car Pooling

Posted by admin on Apr-6-2011 under Alternative Energy

The morning commute is something that many people wake up to each day, driving to and from work by themselves and spending hundreds- or more- on gas each year. The cost of gas continues to rise, leading more people to wonder about the benefits of car pooling, using public transportation, or riding a bike to work. All of these are great options, but you may be surprised at just how cost effective sharing a ride to work can be.

Car pooling is also known as ride sharing or van pooling, and it is catching on throughout the country. Car pooling takes advantage of empty seats in vehicles that would go to waste if they weren’t used by car poolers. While you may think that car pooling is just for very long drives, research has shown that you can realize savings in as little as ten miles. Car pooling is also one of the easiest ways to start saving money on your daily commute as it often takes little more than talking to people who work with or near you to find out who lives nearby, or posting an ad at an online car pooling or “rideshare” website.

AAA, one of the leading providers of research related to automobile ownership, estimates that it costs about 54.1 cents per mile that you drive your car. The total is calculated by figuring the price of gas, maintenance, oil, new tires, and the depreciation of your car. This adds up to nearly $7000 per year if you drive 25 miles each way to work. Depending on where you work, you may also pay for toll roads and parking fees which increases the cost of driving even more. The less you drive your car, the less you will spend on oil, gas, and maintenance. You will also reduce any toll or parking fees that you have to pay. Other cost savings you may not have thought about- if you lease your car with an annual mileage limit, you will save money by driving your car less and therefore buying a lower annual mileage limit. Another benefit of car pooling, many insurance companies offer discounts if you put fewer miles on your car each year, which could add up to substantial savings each month.

When you start car pooling, you don’t even need to car pool every day to start saving money. For example, if you can find a co-worker that wants to car pool just a few days a week, you will each save money right away. Try using a local ride share service, which helps connect people who are interested in car pooling but who do not know anyone they can share with. If you car pool for long distances, you may even find that you get to work faster each day by using HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes that are for use only by vehicles with multiple riders.

One of the other benefits of car pooling is the reduction in dangerous emissions that you will be responsible for. In fact, if you car pool for three days each week, you will reduce the amount of emissions you are responsible for by 30 percent! Remember that whenever you start your car, you should think about ways to save gas. Not only does this save money, it also helps the environment. For example, remember to drive at posted speed limits because driving faster than 65 mph dramatically reduces fuel efficiency. To save money at the pump, buy the lowest grade gas that your car manufacturer recommends, and install a fuel-saving device that increases gas mileage by making your car more efficient. No matter how many riders you have, driving smart will save you money every time you fill up!

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