This week we are going to back to transportation and look at another great way to lower your carbon footprint, but also save a lot of money: carsharing. Carsharing is an idea that goes beyond carpooling and actually shares the car between two or more families. In doing so, you also share all the expenses that come with owning a vehicle like initial cost, repairs, insurance, and even gas.
If you’re interested in carsharing but don’t know where to start, a great idea is to talk to friends and neighbours to see if there are any others around you that might be interested in exploring the idea together. Obviously it’s helpful if you live close together, but carsharing can still work even if you live on either sides of the city.
Once you get some other people that are interested, there are different ways to share a vehicle depending on your schedule. If you have events that you need a car for every week, you might look at a scheduling arrangement where one family always has the car on Tuesday evenings for dance lessons for example, and another family always has the car on Friday nights to visit family out of town. If your group is more used to living without a family vehicle and is only looking to use a car for occasional trips like weekend getaways, you could set up a booking system where it’s a first come-first served basis for sharing the vehicle. Or maybe you could even combine the two; if one family needs the car more regularly but two other families only need it on occasion, you could have a usual schedule and then optional booking as needed.
If you’re interested in a more formal approach, there are a number of carsharing businesses that will give you on-demand access to vehicles and you only pay for what you need and how far you travel. Here’s a list of carsharing companies around the world: https://carsharing.org/membership/ Carsharing through a business can take a lot of the work out of organizing a carshare and can also have a ton of benefits like roadside assistance and gas cards!