Frequently Asked Questions

About car-sharing

What is car-sharing?

Car-sharing is when there is more than one occupant in a private car. We all share cars regularly, with our friends and family, without thinking about it. But there are often times when a driver has empty seats simply because they don't know of anyone who needs a lift.

Liftshare enables organised car-sharing by connecting people travelling in the same direction so they can arrange to travel together and share the costs, whilst reducing congestion and pollution at the same time.

What are the benefits of sharing a car?

If you're a driver, by sharing your car you can split the cost of your journey and reduce your carbon footprint.

  • Traffic jams cost the UK economy £5 billion every year in lost productivity
  • There are 38 million empty car seats on the UK's roads every rush hour
  • 29% of children travel to school by car
  • 90% of London air pollution is caused by road traffic

Sharing a car:

  • Reduces the costs of travelling
  • Undercuts the cost of nearly all forms of motorised transport
  • Cuts congestion and pollution
  • Reduces parking problems
  • Is a great way of networking and making new friends

If half of UK motorists received a lift one day a week, congestion and pollution would be reduced by 10% and traffic jams by 20%.

When can I share a car?

Car-sharing is appropriate for regular journeys and one-off journeys anywhere in the country, such as:

  • Getting to and from work
  • Getting to and from university
  • Travelling to a festival, big event or show
  • Going to the match at the weekend
  • Doing the weekly shop
  • Or simply visiting friends

What are the costs of car-sharing?

Liftshare calculates a suggested price per passenger for your journey based on the length of your trip and using HM Revenue and Customs Approved Mileage Payment Allowance. Drivers can adjust the price within a capped window, to ensure passenger costs offset real costs and no profit is made – therefore not invalidating car insurance. The price set by the driver using this system is fixed and non-negotiable, making it simple and transparent for everyone involved.

What are the legal and insurance implications of car-sharing?

The Public Passenger Vehicle Act (1981 Section 1(4)) outlines the rules that govern car-sharing. Passenger contributions should be arranged before travel and should not exceed the running costs (including wear and depreciation) of the vehicle for the trip. Liftshare calculates a suggested price per passenger for your journey based on the length of your trip and using HM Revenue and Customs Approved Mileage Payment Allowance.

In most countries, insurers state that car-sharing will not affect an individual's car insurance e.g. the Association of British Insurers clearly states that car-sharing won't affect the insurance of their members so long as a profit isn't made:

"Giving Lifts - All ABI motor insurers have agreed that if your passengers contribute towards your running costs your insurance cover will not be affected, as long as lifts are given in a vehicle seating eight passengers or less. This agreement does not apply if you make a profit from payments received or if carrying passengers is your business." (Source: ABI 2012)

Over 300 insurance providers are members of the ABI, accounting for about 95% of the motor insurance market in the UK. Drivers with any concerns, however, should check with their own insurance company as terms and conditions may vary between insurance providers over time.

How can I find a car-share partner?

If you’re looking for a lift, just sign on to the Liftshare system and search for a match! If you’re a driver, add the lift you’re offering and you’ll soon be contacted by passengers who’d like a lift. Remember to do regular searches - thousands of members join the national network weekly, so the more you search the more likely you are to find a match!

Offering lifts

How can I offer a lift?

You can offer a lift by clicking the ‘Add a journey’ button at the top of our website. You will then be asked to enter the details of the lift you’re offering, and whether you’d like your booking to be confirmed automatically or manually (if you choose to accept it manually, you will need to do so within 24 hours of the booking or it will be automatically declined).

How do I accept a booking for my journey?

When you post a lift, you can choose whether you want the booking requests to be accepted automatically or ‘manually’. If you choose to accept them manually, you’ll receive an email notifying you of a passenger’s request to book a seat; you then log into your account to accept or decline the request. If you’re using our app, you’ll also receive a notification and will be able to accept or decline the booking request wherever you are. Please note that booking requests will be automatically declined after 24 hours if the driver has not responded, as it would not be fair to leave passengers waiting for too long.

Where can I find out more about the passenger before accepting their booking?

You can view the passenger’s profile before you accept, via the passenger info on your ‘Lifts booked’ page or via the app. We encourage all members to provide a picture of themselves and a bio (so do upload yours too if you haven’t yet!) and to rate each other whenever possible, so our friendly community of liftsharers can know a bit about each other.

When do I receive the money from my passenger?

As a driver, when offering a lift, you can choose to receive your payment for a completed lift either online or in person by cash (or to make your own arrangement to alternate the driving on a regular journey, for example). You will select your chosen payment method when listing your lift offer.

If your passengers use the app, then they will be able to confirm their payment at any point during the lift. Your app will show you a confirmation when they have done so. If they do not have the app, then you can ask for their PIN code and enter it in your app (not while driving, please) or via the website. The passenger can also confirm from their “Lifts booked” page that the journey was completed, and this will transfer their funds into your Liftshare balance. If we do not receive any form of confirmation, and Liftshare is not alerted to the journey not having taken place successfully, then the money will be transferred automatically within 72 hours. Please note: we do urge drivers to ask passengers to confirm the payment using the app, or alternatively to ask for the PIN code and use it, as this proves that you met your passenger and gave them a lift, and avoids potential misunderstandings

How do I transfer the money from my Liftshare balance to my bank account?

You will need to input your bank account details, and then click on the ‘cash out’ button. This will transfer all the money from your Liftshare balance into your bank account within 48 hours. You might be requested to contact the Liftshare member support team (support@liftshare.com) for this cash out request to be processed. The payment provider will take a 25p fee for the administration of each cash out transaction.

You may be asked for a photocopy of your passport or driving licence the first time you cash out. In this case, your ID details will be uploaded to the system of our payment provider and removed from our own records.

IMPORTANT: in order to process cash-out requests, users are required to own and enter British bank account details.

Can I cancel booking requests that I have received? What happens in the event of a cancellation?

Both passengers and drivers can cancel their bookings at any time. In the event of an online payment lift being cancelled, the money will automatically be transferred back onto the passenger’s payment card within 48 hours. The lift can be cancelled after it was due to take place to trigger this automatic refund as long as it has not been confirmed as happening.

In the event that the lift has already been confirmed but one of the parties wants to cancel it, you will need to get in touch with the member support team on support@liftshare.com, who will resolve each dispute on an individual basis.

How do I contact my passenger?

Once a potential passenger has contacted you, you can reply to them through the messaging system. But the passenger has to make contact first. However, when you have accepted a booking request, you’ll also receive an email with that member’s mobile number so that you can get in touch to discuss the details.

Can I alter my journey?

To change the details of your journey, you’ll need to remove it and add a new one with the updated details. It will only take a few moments.

Can I delete the lift I’m offering?

Yes, if no one has booked to travel with you, then you can delete it. If you already have any bookings, you will first need to cancel these, and then you can delete the journey. We would encourage you not to cancel any bookings at short notice as this can cause significant difficulties to any passengers who were relying on you to give them a lift, and might also result in a poor rating.

How long should I wait for a late passenger?

Before the journey, it’s important to agree between you exactly when you plan to leave (and from where). And how you will recognise each other! If they’re running late, they should contact you. If they have not done so, please try contacting them. We would normally expect drivers to give passengers 30 minutes, without receiving any form of contact, before assuming the passenger will not be coming.

What happens if a passenger doesn’t turn up for the lift?

It’s important to try to make contact, in case they have been unavoidably held up. Please message them via the app or call them with the mobile number we will have provided you with. If they do not turn up within 30 minutes of the agreed meeting time, and have not cancelled online, you will still have the payment transferred to your account after 72 hours.

What should I charge for my journey?

Liftshare calculates a suggested price per passenger for your journey based on the length of your trip and using HM Revenue and Customs Approved Mileage Payment Allowance. Drivers can adjust the price within a capped window, to ensure passenger costs offset real costs and no profit is made – therefore not invalidating car insurance. The price set by the driver using this system is fixed and non-negotiable, making it simple and transparent for everyone involved.

Finding and booking a lift

How can I book a lift?

Some drivers wish to be paid in person; others prefer to be paid online. If a driver wishes to be paid online, he or she will register a journey which can be booked. If the journey has a ‘book’ button next to it, then you can book and pay for it online, with secure payment and a confirmed place in the car. If a journey on the website doesn’t have a ‘book’ button, you can contact the driver through the messaging system to make an informal arrangement, when you will pay them in cash.

What happens if my booking request is declined?

If the driver decides, for whatever reason, not to accept your booking, you will receive an email letting you know. People have different reasons for not being able to go through with a lift sometimes, so please don’t be too disheartened – there may well be other drivers able to offer you a lift. We do encourage passengers to have a complete profile (photo and brief bio), as drivers will often want to have an idea of the person they would be giving a lift to.

What happens if the driver cancels my booking, having previously accepted it?

If the driver is unfortunately no longer able to give you a lift, you will be notified via email and receive a full refund straightaway.

How do I contact my potential drivers?

Once you’ve found any drivers going your way, you can contact them using the Liftshare messaging system. When your booking has been accepted, you will also receive an email with the driver’s mobile number.

When will my payment be transferred to the driver?

When you book and pay for a lift online, we debit your credit card – but this money is not passed onto the driver until you have had your lift. The easiest way to complete that payment is by using our app to authorise the transaction at any point during the lift. Alternatively, you will receive a payment code when you book, via email and in the app. Please give that code to your driver at any point during the lift; this will then allow them to release the payment.

How is the total cost calculated?

When you book a lift, the total cost includes the contribution to the driver plus the service fee. This service fee is the sum of a mileage fee, the payment provider commission and VAT.

Can I cancel my booking? What happens in the event of a cancellation?

Both passengers and drivers can cancel their bookings at any time. In the event of an online payment lift being cancelled, the money will automatically be transferred back onto the passenger’s payment card within 48 hours. The lift can be cancelled after it was due to take place to trigger this automatic refund as long as it has not been confirmed as happening.

In the event that the lift has already been confirmed but one of the parties wants to cancel it, you will need to get in touch with the member support team on support@liftshare.com, who will resolve each dispute on an individual basis.

What happens if the driver doesn’t turn up?

Please report the issue (via the ‘report a problem’ button on your booking), and you will receive a full refund. You can also leave a rating for the driver, reflecting your experience. Liftshare matches members going the same way; it is up to this large community of drivers and passengers to be reliable and fulfil their journey commitments to each other. As such, whilst Liftshare does everything it can to enable a successful journey, it can take no responsibility for guaranteeing that a journey will take place.

Your Liftshare account

I can't activate my account

When you register we send an activation email to the address you registered with.

Unfortunately, this sometimes ends up in Junk/Spam folders. Please check there first; if you still haven't received it please follow this link to request the activation email again.

I can't access my account

If the system isn't recognising your log in details, then first make sure you have entered the same email address that you registered with.

Failing that, check that password you're using is correct (click here for a password reset email). Remember that your sign-in details are case sensitive - please ensure you're using the same case (capitals and non-capitals) that you registered with.

I've forgotten my password

Follow this link to request a password reset email. This will be sent to the email account you registered with make sure you enter the email address you registered with.

I need to update my details as they have changed

Simply login and go to your 'Profile' page. From here, you can change any of your account details. If you change your email address, you'll need to re-activate your account. All you need to do is click the link in the activation mail which we'll send to your new email address.

I need to delete a lift I’m offering

If you no longer make that journey, you can delete it by going to 'Lifts offered' and selecting the "delete" link. Please note that you cannot delete a journey with active bookings on it – you will need to cancel those bookings first.

I would like to delete my Liftshare account

To delete your account, go to 'Profile' on our website and select 'Delete my account'. All your details will then be removed from the database immediately. However, please note that if you have any active bookings (either as a driver or passenger), you will need to complete the booked journey(s) (or cancel them) before you can close your Liftshare account. Equally, if you still have money in your Liftshare balance, you will need to transfer it to your bank account before you are able to close the Liftshare account.

Removing your account because you're no longer making your journey? Rather than deleting your whole account you could update your details to a new journey.

Also, if you haven't managed to find a match for your journey then don't give up! We have thousands of new members joining the nationwide Liftshare community all the time and registering their journeys. It's worth keeping your options open and checking your account regularly to see if any new matches have registered.

I have sent messages to potential car-sharers, but haven't had any replies

Liftshare endeavours to keep members' details as up-to-date as possible and prompts users to maintain their accounts - but obviously this is not something we can control. We also encourage you to respond to share requests even if you're not interested.

Why has no one contacted me?

As Liftshare is only a matching service, it's important that passengers are proactive in their search and regularly sign-in to look for a match. With thousands of new members joining the Liftshare community every month, even if there isn't anyone suitable to share with initially, there probably will be in the coming weeks. Don't forget to search regularly and invite other members to share.

Safety and Trust

How safe is car-sharing?

The safety of our members is a priority for Liftshare and we have made our website as secure as we can. All members' details are stored securely in the database and only members intended travel information can be accessed online.

When it comes to travelling, every member is responsible for his or her 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 in a public place
  • Inform a friend or family member of whom you will be travelling with, when and to where
  • Make sure you show each other your IDs - e.g. passports, 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. If you have any doubts about your travelling companion, for any reason, you should avoid travelling with them

For more information about safety and security of personal information please read Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy.

Will my personal contact details be visible to other users?

No, your email address is kept hidden at all times. The only information that is visible to other users is your name and the journey details you added. We only ever share your mobile number once you have confirmed a booking with another member.

Is it possible to find a travelling companion of the same sex?

Yes, if you’re a passenger you can filter your search results based on gender.

Where should I arrange to meet my car-share partner?

We recommend that you meet your potential car-share partner at a public place, close to public transport connections if possible so that alternative transport options are available should the lift fall through. We advise members not to meet at a home address for security reasons.

How can I check if the driver's car is taxed and has passed its MOT? (UK only)

We recommend that you ask the driver for the Vehicle Registration Number and Vehicle Make and then check the details on https://www.vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/

Can someone under 18 (a minor) use the site?

To create a profile on Liftshare and have access to our services, you must be over 18 years old.

However, we understand there are particular circumstances in which a minor can get a lift without being accompanied by an adult or legal guardian.

If this is the case, the parents (or legal guardians) of the minor can make a booking directly from their profile. However, it is essential to inform the driver and ask for their approval beforehand to make sure they accept to give a minor a lift.

It is also necessary that the parents (legal guardians) or the driver have the appropriate safety equipment (a child seat or a booster) depending on the child’s age and size, in accordance with the law.

Click here to access a document to print in two copies and to be signed by both parties.