Ride-share to save - MoneySense

Ride-share to save

According to the CAA, it costs about $9,000 a year to drive a mid-sized car 24,000 km a year. If you’re driving a van, your costs jump to about $12,000 a year.



I was surfing the web the other day when I came upon a neat idea being done in Seattle. It’s called Real-Time Ridesharing and the service matches drivers and riders who have a GPS and smartphone and want to save some money. It got me thinking. Why don’t we do more carpooling? Transportation is one of our biggest costs, and rising gas prices are gobbling our budgets. So why not find a way to cut back on those commuting costs so our savings don’t suffer?

Lo and behold we have a similar service here in Canada: www.carpool.ca. Use the site to match yourself with a ride-share buddy or three. You fill in your commuting info, days you work, hours, and personal preferences and the system will give you a bunch of potential matches. For those who live in the back of beyond, you might have to drive part of the way to a commuter area.

Ride-sharing benefits don’t just include all the money you’ll save by leaving your car at home and jumping in with a pal. Less wear and tear on your car means less maintenance. You can use the toll-highways for a fraction of the cost. You can use the fast lanes without worrying that the cop’s gonna think you’ve made friends with a blow-up doll.

You should always have a back-up plan in case the driver gets sick. That means everyone has everyone else’s cell number and you agree to a call-in-sick time so other plans can be made. And check that you have enough liability insurance on your auto policy.

Also make sure you agree ahead of time on the reimbursement costs, and take turns driving so everyone in the pool benefits.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t be late.