This toolkit is designed to help you implement a car sharing scheme and encourage your staff to either register at www.carsharedevon.com, join your company car sharing scheme or set up informal car sharing arrangements.
What is car sharing?
Car sharing is when two or more people travel together instead of in separate cars. They may take it in turns to drive, or regularly use a single car and contribute towards the costs.
Why implement a car sharing scheme?
It can help your business by reducing demand for parking spaces, increasing staff wellbeing, and demonstrating corporate social responsibility. Car sharing is a good option for staff living in rural areas with limited access to public transport, or car users who want to save money on the cost of fuel. Car sharing can be a great travel option for both drivers and non-drivers.
Benefits of promoting car sharing for your organisation
- Congestion: you could benefit from reduced congestion on your site, and can also help relieve congestion on local roads
- Parking: encouraging more of your employees to car share could help reduce pressure on car parking spaces at your site. This would free up parking spaces for visitors, customers and suppliers, or release the spaces for more productive and profitable uses. In addition, relationships with the local community will be improved if your employees’ cars don’t spill out onto surrounding streets
- Boosts morale: car sharing offers staff cheaper and more flexible travel options, which can also assist with staff recruitment and retention
- Accessibility: employees without cars will still be able to access your organisation. This is particularly relevant if your business or workforce is located in a rural area with limited public transport
- Planning: can help strengthen cases for planning application approvals
- Commitment: helps achieve and demonstrate your commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability objectives
What is carsharedevon.com?
Carsharedevon.com is part of the national Liftshare scheme. Joining carsharedevon.com will enable your employees to find other people travelling in the same direction, as well as allowing them to discuss and arrange times and dates for car sharing.
Registration is free, and the scheme can be used to find car share partners for regular commuting trips, or even one-off leisure trips.
Priority car share parking
Dedicated parking spaces can be reserved for car sharers. These spaces can act as an incentive for people to car share. Try to locate the spaces in the most attractive areas, such as immediately outside the main entrance, and clearly mark them. Dedicated car parking spaces for car sharers can work well, especially if there are car parking issues.
A member of staff could be asked to periodically monitor the spaces, or you could issue car share passes. In many instances these spaces become self enforcing with staff monitoring the scheme.
It’s a good idea to have some flexibility around designated car sharing spaces. You could consider reverting the car share spaces back to normal car parking spaces after a certain time in the morning if the spaces aren’t filled by car sharers. This will enable staff and visitors arriving later in the day to park if these spaces are free.
If there is some resistance to implementing priority car share parking, you may wish to start with a small number of car share spaces and then gradually increase provision in line with demand.
You can also consider have daily parking charges at your site, you could make car sharers exempt.
Private car share schemes
Private Liftshare group
If feedback from your employees indicates they are reluctant to car share with people outside your organisation, you could set up a private car share group on the Liftshare website.
Private Liftshare groups are only accessible for people belonging to a specific business or a collection or organisations. The groups are usually restricted by email address.
When staff register on a private group, they can also choose whether they would like to be listed in the carsharedevon.com public group. Setting up a private group involves a set up cost and an annual license fee payable to Liftshare.
Internal car share database
Alternatively, you could set up an internal car share database. Below are some steps you may wish to take if you decide to set up your own car share scheme:
- Issue a survey to staff to find out who may be interested in car sharing
- From the responses received, plot on a map all those staff that would be willing to car share (remember to adhere to your company data protection policies)
- Display the map in a prominent location so staff can see who is willing to car share along their route
- Promote your car share scheme
Whether you are setting up a private group on Liftshare, or developing your own scheme, it can help to choose a member of staff to manage and promote the scheme. Having permanent posters on noticeboards can also act as a reminder for staff.
Guaranteed Ride Home
Offering a guaranteed ride home in an emergency can give your employees peace of mind and is an easy way to encourage staff to travel by different modes other than driving in by themselves.
Experience has shown employees only use this facility occasionally and the policy typically costs the employer £50 per year.
See our ‘Guaranteed Ride Home’ toolkit in the business policies section.
Overcoming barriers to car sharing
This section lists some FAQs which are often cited as barriers to car sharing. Answers are provided which address the concern raised.
Would car sharing affect my insurance?
The Association of British Insurers clearly states that car sharing won’t affect the insurance of their members, as long as a profit isn’t made.
How safe is car sharing through carsharedevon?
Carsharedevon.com is part of the national Liftshare website where the safety of members is a priority, and the website has been made as secure as possible. All members’ details are stored securely in the database and only the members’ intended travel information can be accessed by other members.
When it comes to travelling, every member is responsible for their own safety. However, we do recommend that members follow some simple security measures outlined below:
- Avoid exchanging home addresses with your travelling companion before you meet them
- Arrange to meet for the first time in a public place
- Inform a friend or family member of who you will be travelling with, when and to where
- Make sure you see each other’s IDs – passports, student cards or driving licences – so you know you’re travelling with the right person
- You are under no obligation to go ahead with any car share arrangement. If you have any doubts about your travelling companion, for any reason, then you don’t have to travel with them
- Check that the person you are sharing with has the legal driving documents such as driving licence, car insurance, MOT, and car tax
I won’t know how much to charge
If you’re using carsharedevon.com or a private Liftshare group, Liftshare will calculate a suggested contribution per passenger for you based on the journey length and the HMRC Approved Mileage Payment Allowance. If you are using an internal carshare database to Liftshare with, we suggest using the HMRC Approved Mileage Payment Allowance as a guideline as to not affect driver’s insurance.
I don’t own a car
Many people are happy to offer lifts in exchange for a contribution towards fuel costs. On www.carsharedevon.com you can register your journey as seeking a lift if you don’t have a car.
I don’t want to share with someone of the opposite sex
Through the advanced search on carsharedevon.com you can select ‘only male’ or ‘only female’ options.
If I’ve car shared how will I get home in an emergency?
A key concern for some employees when thinking about the implications of car sharing is the inability to get home quickly in the case of an emergency. Setting up and promoting a guaranteed ride home policy is an ideal way to overcome these concerns.
Further information and support
Want to encourage smarter travel to work at your workplace? Devon County Council can offer support* to organisations who want to enable their staff to travel more sustainably and actively. Please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
*Support offered will depend on availability of funding and engagement and commitment of your workplace.
This page was last updated February 2023.
- Car Share Devon website: https://liftshare.com/uk/community/devon
- Liftshare information for businesses: https://business.liftshare.com/
- Guaranteed Ride Home Toolkit:
- HMRC Approved Mileage Payment Allowance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rates-and-allowances-travel-mileage-and-fuel-allowances/travel-mileage-and-fuel-rates-and-allowances